Those were the words of Jeff Van Gundy, NBA-owned announcer, in regards to the foul Wade perpetrated against Rondo on his drive to the basket in overtime.
Was the foul called? Of course not. The result? A 5-on-4 fast break and a dunk for the Heat, while a clearly dazed and annoyed Rondo trailed the play back. And, to those of you saying he didn't hustle, look at how he landed all crumpled on the ground, expecting the call to be made. NBA courts are loud. That split second of him landing awkwardly and that split second of him thinking a foul was called was absolutely normal. There was no way he could catch sprinting players down the court.
At the other end of the court a few possessions later, Wade drives to the hoop and gets the bucket AND the foul call. Then, he glares at KG, an obvious taunting penalty. Is it called? No.
ALL OF THIS IN OVERTIME, no less, when every play and every call are crucial. This league is disgusting.
James ended up with TWO FOULS in 48 minutes of play, despite playing more like a linebacker than a forward.
Wade ended up with TWO FOULS in 43 minutes of play, despite swatting physically at every shot attempt taken within five feet of him.
The first foul against either of those men came with five minutes left in the first half.
Pierce, Pietrus, and Dooling ALL FOULED OUT.
Pierce somehow fouled out during regulation on a few iffy bailout calls. Pietrus and Dooling were gone almost before overtime started.
The Celtics committed 33 personal fouls. The Heat? 18.
The Celtics shot 29 free throws. The Heat? 47. James? 24, all by himself.
The numbers speak for themselves.
The Heat won by only four with all that help from the officials. And, they think they've actually accomplished something. This is very much akin to the Kobe-Shaq Lakers of the early-2000s. Their teams are good. The refs make them better. The league protects them. It becomes nearly impossible to beat them when the refs are conspiring to help them.
Dammit all that is holy. Damn this league.
The point is: It takes so much to compete in this league. Every playoff team is talented. Not only do you have to execute and play well to contend, you have to have things bounce your way every now and then. You need a level playing field to make things relatively fair. Missed calls are one thing; they go both ways. Biased calls are entirely different. It's impossible to win a game when you're playing 5-on-8.
The Celtics, no matter how talented or passionate, will have to win four games of 5-on-8 basketball to take this series. I don't think the league will allow that to happen. The league will hear the outcry, no doubt - they already ripped down from the internet an ESPN employee's opinion of their officiating, but they won't do anything more than throw the Celtics some calls at home in Games 3 and 4. Maybe the Celtics will win both. But, they certainly won't win Game 5 back in Miami, not if the refs have anything to say.
I credit the Celtics for everything they did tonight. They came to win this game, and with a level playing field they would have. They played absolutely phenomenal basketball, but it's impossible to win a game of 5-on-8. I'm as honored to be their fan now as any other time in my thirty years on this Earth. Fighting against unfair odds to the end. Isn't that a heroic feat. What did the Heat do? They won a rigged game. Wow, way to pull that one out. They're a joke that think they're special. The Celtics are the real deal.
Regardless of who you root for, it is IMPOSSIBLE TO DENY that the officiating in these first two games has been anything other than outrageous, insulting, demeaning, ludicrous, biased, and, in my humble opinion, absolutely disgusting.
By the way, Stern also rigged the NBA Lottery tonight, so that the overall #1 pick went to the recently-NBA-owned New Orleans Hornets. Think that was in the contract between the league and the team's new owner? Wow! Big day for Stern.