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Bill Dwyre

If it's worthy of a whistle at the start, it's worthy of a whistle at the end

May 29, 2008|Bill Dwyre

If it looks like a foul, sounds like a foul and smells like a foul, it's a foul.

We have much consternation, especially in San Antonio, over Tuesday's night's un-grand finale of Game 4 of the Lakers-Spurs series, which ended with three referees inhaling on their whistles.

You saw it. A couple of seconds left, Lakers lead by two, ball into the Spurs' Brent Barry. He makes a head fake behind the three-point line, Derek Fisher buys it, flies through the air and lands on Barry.

No call. We had the silence of the three lambs in referees clothing. It turns out, the NBA concluded Wednesday night that it should have been a two-shot foul.

If the play happens in the second quarter, the whistles would be cracking the glasses in the mezzanine bar. The aftermath was like the Geneva Peace Treaty. A post-game love-in.

Spurs Coach Gregg Popovich said no call was the right call. The Lakers agreed, while exhaling deeply in relief. The TNT post-game crew, three ex-players and one orchestra conductor, said referees shouldn't decide games at the end, anyway. What else would three ex-players say?

Columnists, even from Texas, found justice in the whistle sucking. The team that played the best won, so all was OK, they said.

Except, all wasn't OK. There was enough contact to make an NFL line coach drool. In basketball, they call that a foul.

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