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Phil Jackson slams Dick Bavetta for Trevor Ariza’s foul of James Harden

Feb 13, 2014, 6:30 PM EDT

It never took Phil Jackson much prodding to criticize referees. He doesn’t even need to be involved in the game.

(hat tip: CSN Washington)

Before Harden drove for the game-winning layup, he drew a foul on an inbound, getting one free throw and the ball. That’s the play that upsets Jackson

The foul should have been called here, when Ariza has his left arm on Harden’s back and is grabbing Harden’s right bicep:


Ariza actually went across the lane with Harden while keeping the same lock on him. That was a foul the whole way.

As Harden went toward the perimeter, he hooked Ariza’s arm – a common tactic by the Rockets guard – and brought Ariza to the ground with him.


After that happened, Bavetta called the foul on Ariza. It’s not clear when Bavetta believed the foul occurred, because there is a natural reaction time between seeing the foul and raising his arm.

The end result, a foul on Ariza, was correct. But it’s quite possible Jackson has a point and Bavetta missed two calls on the play – not calling the foul Ariza committed and then falling for Harden’s hook.

  1. eureca323 - Feb 13, 2014 at 6:39 PM

    That call cost Wizards at least a chance at overtime. Harden has gotten the most BS calls in the entire NBA since like his last season with OKC. Hes definitely become the master of throwing his shoulder into someone who has good defensive position then flailing his head back to create a non foul.

    At some point the NBA has to fix these BS offensive flopping/flailing for foul calls. Really makes a mockery of the game. The current flopping rules are stupid they barely enforce flopping violations when the league is still full of flopping. Someone like Shane Battier was allowed to impact a close NBA finals series with his flopping last year.

  2. lakerade - Feb 13, 2014 at 6:50 PM

    The real noteworthiness of this is Phil’s begrudging use of “smh” in his tweet. Hilarious! The rest of it – refs blowing calls and Harden’s shenanigans – are par for the course. Lame, but not surprising in the least.

    • asimonetti88 - Feb 14, 2014 at 11:15 AM

      Phil is the man

  3. timb12 - Feb 13, 2014 at 6:52 PM

    I’m a Rockets fan and Harden makes it really tough to root for him. He doesn’t play “dirty” but I can’t cheer this stuff or him complaining for calls.

  4. JHathwell - Feb 13, 2014 at 7:07 PM

    OMG he totally SLAMMED him!

    SMH at these sensational, BS headlines.

  5. 5xchamp24 - Feb 13, 2014 at 8:43 PM

    Should have been a “no call” situation. Harden flopped

  6. sportsfan18 - Feb 13, 2014 at 9:15 PM

    One plays defense with their feet, not their hands…

  7. greej1938l - Feb 13, 2014 at 9:15 PM


  8. titansbro - Feb 13, 2014 at 10:02 PM

    The NBA, where flopping happens.

  9. Professor Fate - Feb 14, 2014 at 10:35 PM

    “okay i’ll SMH” The way that reads I thought Phil was saying, “okay i’ll shut my hole”

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