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Mark Cuban praises NBA’s Blake Griffin admission

Dec 27, 2013, 5:32 PM EDT

Blake Griffin, Andrew Bogut, DeAndre Jordan, Darren Collison

The NBA league office. NBA referees. Something he’s not involved in directly.

Yup, all the ingredients were there for Mark Cuban to speak up.

The NBA admitted Blake Griffin shouldn’t have been been ejected from the Clippers’ game against the Warriors on Christmas, an Cuban praised the admission.

Cuban, via Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News:

“I think it leads to fans trusting everybody involved more,” Cuban said. “We’re still the only sport where people question the integrity sometimes, and I hate that more than anything because I know the integrity is above reproach.”

“Just like players miss free throws, guys are going to miss calls,” he said. “But we have to have transparency with the fans. You’re only transparent when you think your guys are good. You’re only not transparent when you don’t think your employees are good. I think what the league did was a great first step.”

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I’m not sure why Cuban called this a “first” step. The NBA has admitted officiating mistakes before, including one late in a Dallas loss last season.

I also have heard fans question the integrity of other sports, though basketball probably gets the most scrutiny.

But to the substance of Cuban’s comments, I totally agree.

The NBA reviews these calls in order to grade the officials. There’s no reason not to make the determinations public. That transparency, as Cuban says, builds trust.

Everyone knew Griffin shouldn’t have been ejected. It’s comforting to hear the NBA also say that rather than mindlessly defending its officials.

Defending the integrity of its process goes a lot further.

  1. mornelithe - Dec 27, 2013 at 6:15 PM

    “I also have heard fans question the integrity of other sports, though basketball probably gets the most scrutiny.”

    Not sure I’d agree with that, have you watched the NFL this year? Or maybe baseball? Considering a baseball game is usually 2-3x longer than a basketball game, it seems logical that people would have more to complain about w/ regards to baseball (obviously whether it’s true or not). And as for the NFL, this year has literally been one of the worst officiating years I’ve ever seen…and yes, even worse than the replacement refs.

    • jrd8523 - Dec 28, 2013 at 12:45 PM

      Baseball is a sport where the action breaks between pitches and umpires generally have to watch two things: Did a part of the ball cross the plate, or did the runner beat the ball/tag at the base. Each umpire is focused on their own base and only involves another umpire if he requests it. Basketball involves 10 guys in constant motion in which the players aren’t set in set positions, and lots of forms of contact result in a foul. Football is comparable because it has even more action on the field to watch at any given time, but it’s not constant; It resets, and plays are generally really short in duration.

      I’ve been watching baseball my whole life, and unless it’s extra innings, I don’t see very many that are “usually around around 2-3x longer than a baseketball game”.

      • mornelithe - Dec 30, 2013 at 12:31 PM

        Sorry, you’re trying to tell me that the line refs, are scrutinizing balls and strikes? No, they aren’t. There is no instance where a pitcher, coach, or catcher seeks to challenge the home plate umps call on a ball or strike (where the challenge is successful, that is, because it can’t be challenged). So, the other umps have no involvement in the calling of balls/strikes (unless it’s a check swing call to 1st or 3rd)..

        On rare, extremely rare occasions will the home plate ump be calling a strike/ball AND watching a player cross the plate at the exact same time. This also doesn’t happen. So, what exactly are you defending here? And without asking me specifics of what I’m talking about, you could simply go on incorrect tangents in perpetuity.

        Facts are, ump strike zones don’t only change from game to game, but inning to inning, that’s a load of crap, considering the technology MLB has at their fingertips. Bad calls at the plate, or base running can happen (how about the phantom catch/out in the WS that got overturned at 2nd base), but the frequency of those errors pales in comparison to the butchery of the strike zone, which is taught from a very very young age to be a very specific set of parameters.

        I’ve seen _plenty_ of baseball games go 3+ hours, far longer than an NBA game.

  2. knoxxlive - Dec 27, 2013 at 8:23 PM

    That is bogus. Who cares if the league admits they’re wrong after the game is over? That call took LA’s second best player out of the game. Saying “whoopsy” doesn’t cut it. These officials need to be held accountable for their performances.
    Why don’t they get punished like the players do when they screw up? It’s infuriating, they make mistakes that change games and there are no consequences. Accountability is all I ask.

  3. mackcarrington - Dec 27, 2013 at 10:28 PM

    This is the league where the refs trade in their airline tickets for cash, fix games for gamblers, and challenge players to fight.
    I’d venture to say they still have character and corruption issues.

    • jimeejohnson - Dec 28, 2013 at 10:55 PM

      What about hookers?

  4. culverfish - Dec 28, 2013 at 9:44 PM

    Don’t confuse Cuban’s integrity comment with competency. I think he is generally correct in that of the major US sports, NBA is the one where fans tend to question the referees integrity. NFL officials are regularly questioned about their competency, as at times are baseball officials. NBA officials however are regularly questioned about having an agenda and taking orders from the top to help particular teams win.

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