TUALATIN, Ore. — Tuesday afternoon, the NBA confirmed what thousands of fans in the Rose Garden already knew the night before — that the late-game goaltending call against LaMarcus Aldrdige was, in fact, a clean block.
The blown call eventually sent the game into overtime and resulted in the Trail Blazers losing to Oklahoma City, 111-107. So it’s easy to see why, despite the league confessing the referees’ error, players didn’t exactly find satisfaction.
Asked if the NBA admitting its mistake made him feel better, Aldridge replied, “No it doesn’t. I still lost the game.”
Most of the questions Aldridge fielded after Tuesday’s practice centered around that very play. He reiterated that he thought it was a clean block and that it was the wrong call, but while he was obviously disappointed with the turn of events, did not express his displeasure maliciously.
Aldridge even said of the officials, “They have a tough job.”
Blazers coach Nate McMillan seemed to express a touch more contentment with the league’s statement. While he knows that the result can’t be undone, he did seem to take some solace in the fact that the NBA saw the same thing he did.
“Well, I’m glad that they reviewed it and came up with the correct call,” McMillan said. “You make mistakes. You blow some calls. There’s nothing you can do about it. I’m glad they reviewed it.”
Since goaltending is considered a judgment call, it is not reviewable. Plus, if that were to change, it would raise questions such as: Would you stop play to check the monitor? And if it wasn’t goaltending, who would be awarded the ball?
A reporter asked McMillan if goaltending should be reviewed in a late-game situation, to which Nate responded with a grin, “Yeah, last night that would have been good.”