When Ray Allen tied game six of the NBA Finals with five seconds remaining, the referees nearly caused what may have become the biggest controversy in the history of the NBA.
When the refs decided to review what was clearly a three-pointer, the Spurs were out of timeouts.
Not only did the refs give the Spurs a free timeout to set up a championship-winning play, they also may have inadvertently allowed Tim Duncan to re-enter the game illegally.
With the Spurs trying to prevent a three-point basket, Gregg Popovich removed Duncan from the game. However, during the subsequent review, Duncan went back into the game even though the game should not have been stopped and NBA rules do not allow substitutions when play is stopped for “unusual circumstances.”
Duncan should have never been permitted to re-enter the game.
Imagine what would have happened if Duncan would have made a basket at the buzzer to win the championship?
The NBA takes a lot of heat for their officiating. But if a championship had been decided by a referee’s mistake, it would have been a black eye that would have been hard to recover from.
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