Doc Rivers on Late-Game Officiating: “We Were Robbed”


May 13, 2014; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Los Angeles Clippers head coach Doc Rivers reacts to a call in action against the Oklahoma City Thunder during the first quarter in game five of the second round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

No one is more irate at the ineptness of NBA officiation than Doc Rivers. It’s unfair to say the referees cost the Los Angeles Clippers as several mistakes and poor offense down the stretch did them in,

Everybody knows it was our ball. I think the bottom line is they thought it was a foul and made up for it. In my opinion let’s take away the replay system. Because that is our ball we win the game and we got robbed because of that call. And it is clear. Everybody in the arena saw it. That is why everybody was shocked when they said Oklahoma City. That was our ball. Whether it was a foul or not, it was but they didn’t call it. The same thing happened to us in the Golden State series where they tried to reverse the call. They didn’t want to look at the replay because they knew it was a foul but they had to and they had to go by what it said. so, they give Golden State the ball and the NBA later came out and said it should have been a foul. The official on that play that he made — didn’t see the foul but he had to be honest on the replay. That didn’t happen here. We made our own mistakes. We turned the ball over and fouled. We did a lot of stuff to lose the game ourselves. But at the end of the day we’ve a replay system that you are supposed to look at. I don’t want to hear that they didn’t have that replay. That is a bunch of crap.

That is what i heard. That is a bunch of crap. We should never have lost that. We stopped playing with 3:00 left, we were milking the clock. We turned the ball over. We came out of the time-out and we were supposed to foul Durant before he made the three. We made a comedy of errors but having said that we still have the right to win the game if it says it is our ball and that didn’t happen. It is too bad for us. We have two more games to play but that could be a series — defining call and that is not right.

That is what they were saying. I don’t know who was saying it. They had it in the arena. of course you saw it. Steve Kerr around them were over there shaking their head. Everybody saw it.

The play was drawn up so we were fine. My thinking was I was pissed. That is is being honest with the official. I love them. I think all three of them are terrific officials but on that call they got it wrong and that is game defining and possibly a series defining call and that eight under right.

They didn’t want to answer. Everybody in the arena, everybody on TV saw it. It was so clear that i usually wait but it was so clear I went in and grabbed the clip board I’m drawing up a side out of bounds to get the ball in. When i saw them point that way I thought they were pointing at us like it is our ball. I didn’t realize they were actually pointing that way. But what can you do?

We can’t do anything about the missed call. That was a brutal call and it cost us the game. But we contributed a lot on ourselves. and give them credit, they made every slot they needed to make.

The answer is get it right. That is the only answer. Sometimes it is hard where if you go either way then what you need to do — but when it is that clear get it right. Maybe we do have some way to take the emotions out and we blew the ball so give it up. Like in hockey they have it in Secaucus or Toronto. That will piss every coach off. Some guy 2,000 miles away making a call. That was not hard. What can you do?

They blew the call. That is the memo.