It's fun to raise a ruckus around basketball officiating, especially considering it's March and most folks tuning into the NCAA Tournament are getting their first dose of awful college referees first hand.
But on Monday, the NBA took the spotlight back from March Madness with what was, hands down, one of the weirdest calls in recent memory.
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As Brooklyn forward Bojan Bogdanovic drove to the basket, he was met by Boston big man Kelly Olynyk. Using the rule of verticality, Olynyk successfully challenged Bogdanovic at the rim and forced a held ball.
Then, Bogdanovic made the layup.
It was eventually waved off as referees apparently called a jump ball before the shot attempt. It's still not clear whether they thought it was because Olynyk had somehow gained dual possession while the two were in the air (he didn't) or because they ruled that Bogdanovic had come down and touched the floor (he might have).
As a refresher, this is the NBA rule for a jump ball. Emphasis mine:
Section VII-Held Ball A held ball occurs when two opponents have one or both hands firmly on the ball. A held ball should not be called until both players have hands so firmly on the ball that neither can gain sole possession without undue roughness. If a player is lying or sitting on the floor while in possession, he should have an opportunity to throw the ball, but a held ball should be called if there is danger of injury.
The sole possession part is kind of an issue in any case because Olynyk, bless him, never had a hand firmly on the ball. What he really did was pin it with his wrists.
Still, I searched for the video and zoomed in and it appears at least by this frame that Bogdanovic had fingers on the ball while his foot had returned to the floor.
So he either traveled or it was a jump ball. Or, hell, maybe Olynyk fouled him. I don't know. Does it matter? It's the Celtics and the Nets, I'm just glad my synapses are still firing watching this game.
And thus solves the mystery of the jump ball layup. To think, the Nets would have gotten away with it, too, if it wasn't for those meddling referees.
(Source: SB Nation)