The NBA referees’ official X account admitted to missing a crucial foul call late in the fourth quarter of the New York Knicks season-opener versus the Boston Celtics.
The play occurred in the fourth quarter, with the Knicks up 88-86 with just over six minutes remaining. Jalen Brunson pulled up for a three, and it appeared that he landed on Jayson Tatum’s foot, causing him to fall to the ground as Tatum was in Brunson’s landing space.
What followed was a flopping technical foul called on Brunson. The in-game referee crew reviewed the play but to no avail.
Rather than awarding Brunson three free throws to pad their lead, Boston was able to re-take the lead with Tatum nailing the technical free throw and two additional ones since the Knicks were already in the penalty.
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A Devastating Miss-Call For the Knicks
The Knicks would go on to lose 108-104, with that missed call proving to make a massive difference.
The call on Brunson was the second of two flopping technicals issued in the game, as Celtics’ Kristaps Porzingis was handed one just a few plays prior. The NBA emphasized a crackdown on flopping over the summer, and it is clear that players will not be able to get away with them as easily.
Despite the erroneous mistake, Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau sympathized with the officials in the difficulty of making those calls in real-time, saying after the game that “it could go either way.”
He also expressed support for the league’s crackdown efforts against flopping.
“I think the intent is good,” Thibodeau said via The New York Post. “I’m in favor…I like the intention of what they’re trying to do. I think it’s good.”
Follow this writer on X: @DylanBacker_