UPDATE: Buntin just texted me:
CRAZY. Broke down game tape til 2am.
Three of our refs: Jim Buntin (Bay Area), Tre Maddox (Vegas), and Deldre Carr (Vegas) happened to be staffed together last night for the Lakers-Nuggets game on ESPN! It was their final night of replacement referee work for the NBA, and boy was it a night to remember. The game was held in San Diego.
Lamar Odom of the Los Angeles Lakers and Chris Andersen (aka “The Birdman”) of the Denver Nuggets got into a scuffle with 8:32 remaining in the 2nd quarter. Tre immediately called a double-technical but soon found himself trying to hold off an angry Odom from an approaching Andersen.
Meanwhile, Deldre and Jim rushed to the scene and headed off Sasha Vujacic, Luke Walton, and Andersen. Kenyon Martin soon entered the fray near Tre and Odom, but cooler heads prevailed.
Mind you, Deldre, Tre, and Jim are not small human beings. Jim’s 6′4″, Deldre’s around 6′3″ or 6′4″, and Tre’s about 6′2″. All three of them are ripped and in top athletic condition, which may be one reason why they were staffed on this game together, knowing the testy history between the two teams and the volatility of their players. Believe me, someone at the NBA does recognize this stuff.
These guys did a very commendable job and even Jeff Van Gundy was quick to praise them on the air.
There’s no way I can double-check this, but I wouldn’t be surprised if I was the first person ever to live-tweet an NBA broadcast for the sole purpose of commenting on the officiating. I mean, who in their right mind, or outside of the NBA circle for that matter, has ever had such commonality between all three officials assigned to the game? And it being broadcast on national television, no less! Ain’t it weird how it’s the last one they’ll do? I’ll try to do a blogpost on that asap, but this post is dedicated to these guys. And remember the fourth dreamleague ref that made it? Well, he deserves his own post and you’ll see why soon enough as well.
Here’s a transcript of the live-tweet from tonight, in chronological order (oldest tweet first)…
Three of the four dreamleague refs are doing the DEN-LAL game on ESPN!!!
Refs Deldre Carr, Tre Maddox, and Jim Buntin just got props from Van Gundy and Jackson for handling Birdman-Odom scuffle well.
I’m gonna livetweet LAL-DEN from perspective of refs. Biggest reason they handled Birdman-Odom scuffled is cuz the refs are big guys too…
…Jim Buntin is 6′4″, Deldre Carr is 6′3″ and Tre Maddox is 6′2″. They are all pretty ripped and in excellent athletic condition.
Van Gundy criticized Deldre’s elbow call after which Vujacic got 2 flagrant FTs, saying there was no intent. I agree, but…
…as a ref making a split-second decision you cannot take that chance right after a scuffle. Not a good time for the guy to use his elbow.
Ty Lawson just got hammered by Adam Morrison. Absolutely correct call by Jim per slo-mo replay!! ESPN announcer: “I can’t say I disagree.”
Jim made the call quick, huddled up with Del and Tre to confirm what happened. No hesitation. I mean, I am proud of these guys (*sniff*).
George Karl is on Tre’s back about something. Didn’t really see the whole play. Laker tried to save but stepped out of bounds.
Defensive three-seconds call by Deldre. Next time down, Tre correctly notices shotclock didn’t start.
Shtclk violation, but Deldre not quite assertive enuf as Denver got airball reb, started fastbreak. Mighta been Jim’s call nearest reb tho.
Someone on Denver just got called for a tech but the ESPN announcers didn’t mention it. I think Deldre called it.
Artest offensive foul on Afflalo. Called by Tre up top. Van Gundy: “I like how these refs have called the game.”
Van Gundy: “I wonder why they only signed a 2-year deal, maybe see how the recession is? They’ll be back at it soon.”
Btw ESPN announcer (forgot his name) has listed the guys twice now. Funny to hear “James Buntin” all the time since we only call him Jim.
Wet spot on floor, ESPN guys want refs to stop game. Van Gundy says that’s where NBA refs/crew come in handy (this gm not in NBA arena).
Fan ran out w gym broom to wipe wet spot, play went other end. San Diego Arena does have towel boy, he should be fired! ESPN guys chuckle.
Walton just hit a fadaway 7-footer baseline off rebound at buzzer. Good shot slo-mo reply of ref Jim Buntin telling table to count it.
Tre just called and-one against Luke Walton for in restricted area. Good call but it shudda been made by Jim underneath? Maybe bad angle.
Elbow foul on Balkman after rebound, didn’t connect. Tre gets in middle betw Walton, triple checks with Dre. Corect: loss of possession…
Had the elbow connected, I think they changed the rule this year that Balkman would’ve gotten a flagrant (?).
Not ref-related but Van Gundy just said NBA champion would easily win Olympics so why not do it. Apparently forgot Gasol’s from Spain et al
Tre calls foul on Vujacic with 27.1 left and TV close-up of Tre. ESPN guy: “They’ve done a nice job.” Van Gundy: “They *have*.”
Watching SportsCenter now. Good replay of Tre holding off Odom during the scuffle with Birdman…
…That in a nutshell is one crux of the ref lockout. Dick Bavetta couldn’t have done what Tre did. I will blog about this soon.
Thats a wrap for the 3 dreamleague refs who reffed DEN-LAL tonite on ESPN. I’m prolly the only one who’s ever livetweeted an NBA ref view!
As you’ll soon see, good things come in threes!
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