The biggest NBA story of the last few days has been the referees’ missed call during Saturday’s game between the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics.
In the final seconds of the game, LeBron James made his way into the paint for the bucket but was stopped by Jayson Tatum.
James felt that he was fouled – as did just about every Lakers fan – but the refs didn’t call it and the game then went into overtime when the Celtics took home the victory.
The National Basketball Referees Association released a statement on Saturday's missed call on LeBron James, calling the mistake "gut-wrenching." pic.twitter.com/RCIKTEUVXF
— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) January 30, 2023
But after looking back at the footage, everyone can agree that a call was missed and James was entitled to two free throws, which could have won him and his squad the game.
The controversy around this incident has gotten so big that the official NBA Referees’ Twitter account released a statement this weekend, reading:
“Like everyone else, referees make mistakes. 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.”
While it is nice to see the referees of the league speaking out about this mistake, that is cold comfort for the Lakers, who are again in 13th place in the West with a 23-27 record.
Accidents do happen and humans aren’t perfect but that fact won’t stop a legion of fans from demanding some sort of change within the league to prevent an incident like Saturday’s ever happening again.
However, what can be done?
Some people have demanded that refs be fined for their mistakes, much like players are fined for their conduct.
Others are pleading with the league to allow the official replay center to have more power and the ability to overturn calls.
Those are massive moves that the NBA would be hesitant to enact.
In all reality, it’s unlikely any big changes will be coming.
It’s also unlikely that Lakers fans will forget and forgive time soon.NEXT: The Lakers Will Be Missing 2 Key Stars Monday