NBA Last Two Minutes Report Not Going Anywhere Despite Continued Criticism by Referees and Players
The Milwaukee Bucks visited the New York Knicks Wednesday and left Madison Square Garden with a big win thanks in part to Giannis Antetokounmpo and his thrilling buzzer-beater. “The Greek Freak” is almost certainly on his way to his first NBA All-Star appearance and the NBA’s Most Improved Player award come season’s end; however, according to the NBA, the shot shouldn’t have counted.
In their Last Two Minutes Report, the NBA informed fans that Giannis dribbled with his back towards the goal for 5.6 seconds, a violation that should have resulted in a turnover.
Forget the magic. Forget the shot. Forget the victory. It shouldn’t have counted.
It did, though. After every game, the NBA releases an analysis of the last two minutes of the game, combing for missed fouls and bad calls. No matter what the report says, however, nothing changes. The last two minutes are not replayed. Wins are not taken away. It just opens the referees up to more criticism.
The NBA Referees Association complains regularly about the L2M reports. After the Giannis debacle, the refs took to Twitter to voice their concerns again.
“NBA says 5-second violation, but is only ‘detectable with a stop watch.’ We’ll be sure to bring that with us next time. More L2M absurdity,” Tweeted the NBA Referees official account in a classic burn.
The refs aren’t the only ones tired of the NBA’s reports. Superstars and coaches alike have called for a stop to the L2M.
“I don’t think those last two minutes is a real indication of any transparency because it’s a 48-minute game,” said Chicago Bulls star Dwayne Wade. “It could’ve been something I did early in the game that’s the reason I didn’t get that in the last minute. Who knows? I just don’t think two minutes is a real indication. That’s just my personal opinion.”
Not understanding what the reports actually do seems to be the common issue. Yeah, they say they want to be more transparent, but all they’re doing is pissing fans off.
“I’m not a huge fan of the two-minute report myself,” said Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr. “It does put the refs in a tough spot. I don’t know what it accomplishes, but I do appreciate that the league is trying to be transparent about what they’re looking at, and how the refs are judged and all that. But I’m not sure to what extent it really helps anybody.”
Well, it doesn’t help anyone. That’s the problem. It doesn’t overturn anything. It doesn’t give the Knicks a win. It just tells NY fans to hate officials.
“I’m not a fan of the two-minute report,” said Cleveland Cavaliers superstar LeBron James, the biggest name in basketball (and maybe sports in general) right now. “I think it discredits what the referees are doing for 48 minutes. If that’s the case, you might as well do a 48-minute report.”
The NBA, however, has made it clear that L2Ms aren’t going anywhere. The league will continue to put out reports—in fact, they may even start putting out full game reports that LeBron suggested. Both teams in a game already receive such reports so that it wouldn’t be any extra work for the league.
But is it worth going public with even more information? What does that accomplish? If it turns out one team was getting pounded by the refs all game, and the NBA tells the fans that, what are we supposed to do with that information? It confirms what fans can see all game.
Maybe for some people being right is more important than winning.