A foul in basketball is a lot like that proverbial tree that falls in the forest with no one around to hear. If a referee doesn’t see contact and whistle the transgression, is a foul actually committed?
DeMar DeRozan and the Toronto Raptors weren’t missing the tree for the forest after their 132-125 home loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder Sunday. As they saw it, Thunder wing Corey Brewer smacked DeRozan on the arm when DeRozan drove to the basket with 30 seconds left. Referee Marc Davis, closest to the play, indicated Brewer only made contact with the ball.
DeRozan vehemently disagreed in the moment, swiftly earning two technical fouls and an ejection. Teammate Serge Ibaka and coach Dwane Casey also got tossed for complaining. And while Casey got his emotions under control before addressing the media afterward, Frank Zicarelli of the Toronto Sun reported that DeRozan still was hot. He felt what he felt, regardless of what Davis thought he saw or didn’t see:
“It was obvious,’’ began DeRozan of the technicals, ejections and missed calls and their role in the outcome. “You’ve seen it from all of us, the frustration. It was obvious, especially at the end of the game.”
The Brewer call was a clear-cut mistake, a complete non-call when a foul was warranted.
“He smacked the (crap) out of me,’’ said DeRozan in using a colourful word. “He smacked me. He tried to smack me because I had a layup. Period. I got fouled.”
Casey wasn’t prepared to lose any money by ripping the officials.
“All we can ask for is fairness and consistency,’’ he said. “We’re going to complain the proper way (which will not change the outcome in any way), how the game got out of hand.
“We just watched the calls. We’re going to do it the proper way. I’m not going to step here and criticize the officials because we made enough mistakes down the stretch also. We shot ourselves in the foot, missed a lot of easy shots, layups, free throws, turnovers. And that’s a good team, but we’ll complain in the right and proper way in how games are called.”
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