Lost tooth and foul woes: NBA referees take to social media to explain controversial calls in Lakers vs Suns game
The NBA referees' decisions have been under the spotlight after the Phoenix Suns lost to the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday night
In a game where every call counts, NBA referees are taking to social media to explain their controversial decisions. After the Phoenix Suns lost to the Los Angeles Lakers, Suns coach Monty Williams criticized the free-throw disparity that favored the Lakers, with 31 calls and 46 attempts to the Lakers and 20 to the Suns. This has been a recurring issue for Williams in recent games, with fans and players demanding answers to questionable calls.
NBA officials have been using social media to explain calls since March 2015, with Last Two Minute reports and pool reports containing brief interviews with referees on Twitter accounts like @NBAOfficial and @OfficialNBARefs. These reports are designed to provide transparency and clarity for fans, coaches, and players alike.
One recent call that caused a stir was Phoenix's Torrey Craig being called for a blocking foul against Milwaukee Bucks' Giannis Antetokounmpo during a game on March 14. Antetokounmpo made hard contact with Craig, causing him to lose a tooth and the Suns to lose their patience with the ongoing free-throw disparity. Fans criticized the call heavily on Twitter, leading the NBA referees to explain their decision with a video clip and a tweet.
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Debatable calls are always going to be part of sports, but in the final month of the NBA regular season, when the playoff picture is taking shape, calls or no-calls can make or break a team's postseason chances. Referees hope that their explanations on social media can provide transparency and help fans understand the reasoning behind their decisions.