(Reuters) – Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant wants the National Basketball Association to become less transparent, at least when it comes to its review of referee decisions.
Durant made his comments after the league concluded he was on the wrong end of a non-call during the Warriors’ blockbuster Christmas Day showdown with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
On the game’s final play, with the Warriors down by one point, Durant stumbled when Cleveland’s Richard Jefferson trod on his foot.
The referees did not call a foul, and a stumbling Durant was unable to get a decent shot away before the buzzer, allowing the Cavs to escape with the win.
The NBA policy, known as the “Last Two Minute Report”, is to publicly review every play in the final two minutes of close games.
That is of scant consolation to the losing team, but it at least makes for transparency in an era where there are concerns over corruption.
“The refs didn’t lose us that game,” Durant said in an interview on Tuesday after the NBA said he was fouled.
“We lost that game. I think it’s (bull) the NBA threw the refs under the bus like that.
“To say I got fouled, just move on. Refs don’t deserve that. They’re trying their hardest to get the plays right.
“After the game, like it matters. The game’s over. We’re moving on.”
Durant added that the next time the Warriors play the Cavaliers he does not want referees tensing up over concerns they will be exposed for their mistakes.
He said the job was difficult enough at the best of times for referees, who do not have the luxury of slow-motion replays.
The NBA report on Sunday’s game also said that Cleveland’s LeBron James should have been received a technical foul for hanging on the rim of the basket after a dunk.
In 2008, referee Tim Donaghy was sentenced to 15 months in prison after admitting to betting on games he officiated and passing on inside information to bookies.
(Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina, editing by Nick Mulvenney)