The Brooklyn Nets are on the brink of elimination, and desperate teams must do all they can to gain an advantage. Nets head coach Jason Kidd blames the referees for some of his squad’s woes against the Toronto Raptors in the first round Playoff series. Per The Record:
Kidd made it clear that when the Nets take the court for a must-win Game 6 at Barclays Center on Friday night, they expect the game to be called differently. The Nets trail this best-of-seven series 3-2.
Kidd’s agenda was apparent the beginning of his conference call, when he used an innocuous question about what he saw on the game film, to launch into a defense of (Joe) Johnson — who scored 30 points but shot only one free-throw in Game 5.
“He had a game going not just where he shot all jump shots, but only ended up with one free throw,” Kidd said, “which is kind of mind-boggling, if someone shoots 23 times and only shoots one free throw.”
When asked why Johnson wasn’t getting calls, Kidd deadpanned, “They didn’t blow the whistle.”
From there, Kidd doubled-down, suggesting that the referees were getting fooled by the Raptors.
“If flopping is the way to go, then we have to maybe play that game,” Kidd said. “But Joe is a strong individual, and unfortunately he doesn’t flop. He plays and doesn’t complain. But that’s why we have officials, to make calls.”
Kidd was also upset with one call that wasn’t made in the final seconds of the game. With the Nets down two with 4.9 seconds left, center Andray Blatche missed a free-throw. Shaun Livingston, charging from beyond the three-point line, grabbed the ball, but was knocked out of mid air by DeMar DeRozan, who appeared to change his path to knock Livingston to the floor. No foul was called. Blatche secured the ball, but threw it away trying to find Deron Williams and the Nets lost.
“I thought Shaun made a heck of a play to come up with the rebound and get fouled right in front of [referee] Tom Washington, but no call was made,” Kidd said, veering himself into the conversation about the officials when he was simply asked to recount the end of the game strategy. “And Dray came up with the ball and his intention was to get the ball to Deron, who was wide open, and it just didn’t work out.”
Kidd’s comments singling out Washington will likely earn him a fine from the league office. And it won’t be the first time. Back in 2006, the then-Nets point guard was fined $20,000 for referring to Washington and two other officials as “The Three Blind Mice.”