Officiating in the NBA was dealt a very poor reflection Saturday night as the Boston Celtics hosted the rival Los Angeles Lakers in a primetime clash at TD Garden. And apparently it’s causing the officials who missed a result-altering foul on superstar LeBron James to lose sleep.
… Yes, seriously.
The NBA’s official referee Twitter account quote-tweeted a story from the Washington Post on Sunday evening and offered a rather bizarre statement as a sort of apology.
“Like everyone else, referees make mistakes,” the tweet read. “We made one at the end of last night’s game and that is gut-wrenching for us. This play will weigh heavily and cause sleepless nights as we strive to be the best referees we can be.”
James was fouled by Celtics star Jayson Tatum in the lane in the final seconds with the game tied. The whistle was not blown and thus the game went to overtime. The Celtics ultimately claimed the victory in the extra session, making it all the more difficult to digest for James and the Lakers.
“I don’t understand. I don’t understand what we’re doing, and I watch basketball every single day,” James told reporters after the game.
Lakers head coach Darvin Ham also was among those to sound off on the officiating blunder.
While the miscue undoubtedly was a bad look, NBA fans couldn’t help but think the tweet from the referee’s account was a bit dramatic. “Sleepless nights” and “gut-wrenching” probably didn’t come across as officials believed it would.
James and company certainly will be waiting to see whether there’s an improvement or if those words continue to ring hollow.