At the end of the Los Angeles Lakers’ three-point victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves last night, Kobe Bryant missed a free throw that could have put his team up 121-117 with less than four seconds to play, essentially icing the game. Instead, Ricky Rubio grabbed the rebound and flew down court, pulling up for a running three-pointer as the clock expired. He missed. Air ball, in fact. But on the replay it was clear that Kobe, from behind, nailed Rubio’s arm as he released the shot. But the foul went uncalled and the Lakers were victorious.
Today – more than 12 hours after the conclusion of the game – the NBA has admitted that a foul should have been called. This type of post-damage-done apology has become a sort of go-to refrain for the league these days, willful blame-taking to deflect focus from the main issue: that a call was blown in the first place.
Do you see what’s happening? The NBA is wedging the sympathy card between your glare and its gaffe. Well, at least they admitted it. Very creative. But they’re also dumping gasoline on a fire will disappear in another few hours: Minnesota’s season is over anyway, and the Los Angeles Lakers have other games to worry about. And now we’re left to discuss the foul, or non-foul, and rehash the same tired end-game-non-calls conversation in bickering tones.
All of which is to say: just leave it be, NBA, and let’s get on with things.