Dwyane Wade thinks NBA should get rid of officiating reports

ByMichael Wallace ESPN logo
Friday, April 29, 2016

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Miami Heat star Dwyane Wade said Friday that he's not in favor of the NBA releasing two-minute reports used to critique calls made by referees late in close games.

"Those last two-minute (reports), to me, are pointless," Wade said at the Heat's workout in advance of Game 6 against the Charlotte Hornets on Friday night. "It does nothing for us or for any other team. Go through the whole game and break it down, and I think it will help the refs and the league continue to grow. But those last two minutes; that's not a good thing."

Wade's comments came two days after he was the subject of a controversial play in the final seconds of the Heat's loss to the Charlotte Hornets in Game 5. With 2.6 seconds left in the game, Wade drove along the baseline and attempted to score over Hornets center Cody Zeller and guard Courtney Lee, who both made contact with Wade before he lost the ball.

The Hornets held on for the 90-88 victory to claim a 3-2 series lead that pushed the Heat onto the brink of elimination heading into Friday's game in Charlotte.

NBA officials release a last two minute report for all games that are within five points at the two-minute mark of regulation or overtime. Thursday's report indicated the referees were correct in not assessing a foul against either Zeller or Lee that would have sent Wade to the free-throw line to potentially tie the game.

Immediately after the game, both Wade and Heat coach Erik Spoelstra were adamant that a foul should have been called, and Wade's wife, actress Gabrielle Union, posted several messages on social media that were critical of the NBA's officiating.

Cavaliers star LeBron James on Friday agreed with Wade's criticism of the officiating reports.

"It changes absolutely nothing," James said after Friday's practice. "When they said they made a call or missed a call or a call should've been made in the last two minutes, I think it sends a bad message to our fans of thinking the game is only won in the last two minutes.

"A play in the first quarter is just as important as a play in the last four seconds. That's how playoff basketball is played, that's how the game of basketball should be played. And I think for the youth, the kids that love the game so much, I don't think they should hear that, 'Oh, it's OK to talk about the last 2 minutes calls missed.' We should talk about the whole game, if that's the case, because the whole game matters. You miss an assignment in the first quarter, it can hurt you in the fourth quarter. So, I'm not fond of it all."

Wade said Friday that he appreciates the league's move toward transparency with the officiating process, but added that the current report format isn't enough.

"It's easy to go back and Monday morning quarterback things," Wade said. "There's a lot of times when I go back and look and I say, 'They (referees) were right.' Sometimes I go back and say, 'They were wrong.' Go through the whole game and be transparent the whole game. It's a lot that can happen through the whole game that can affect the last two minutes. It's not just the last two minutes."

The first three games in the Heat-Hornets series resulted in blowouts, but Charlotte won Game 4 by five points and overcame a seven-point deficit in the fourth quarter for the Game 5 win. As many as eight pivotal plays were mentioned in the officials' reports from the past two games.

The Heat have voiced frustrations with the officiating after each of the last three games -- all Hornets wins. But Wade also said the Heat didn't make enough key plays down the stretch in either of the last two losses to Charlotte.

"Both sides get frustrated every play down the court," Wade said. "The refs are wrong every play on both sides of the coin. But at the end of the day, it has nothing to do with us losing the game. We had opportunities to win despite what we feel about whether the whistle was blown or not blown."

Wade was then asked if the NBA should stop publicizing the officiating reports.

"I would," Wade said. "What does it do? Maybe they should give the definition -- the consequences -- of what's it really doing. I don't think the last two minutes is a real indication of transparency, because it's a 48-minute game. It could have been something done early in the game being the reason I didn't get that call in the last two minutes."