NBA Says JR Smith Shouldn’t Have Been Ejected for Hard Foul

by March 13, 2013

Referees kicked JR Smith out of Monday night’s game after he flagrantly fouled rookie Harrison Barnes. The NBA, after reviewing the tape, downgraded Smith’s foul to just a flagrant 1. Per the NY Times: “That was little consolation to the Knicks, who lost Smith, their second-best scorer, with 6 minutes 51 seconds left in the third quarter, as they faced a 24-point deficit. A flagrant foul-2 triggers an automatic ejection, while a flagrant foul-1 does not. ‘It is upsetting, but what are you going to do?’ Coach Mike Woodson said. ‘Hey, he got ejected and they felt they made the right call. It turned out it wasn’t the right call. Hey, we got to live with it and keep it moving.’ The commissioner’s office reviews all flagrant foul calls and has the authority to upgrade or downgrade each call. […] The change on Smith’s foul means little, other than to acknowledge that the referees made a mistake. It also means one fewer flagrant foul ‘point’ assessed against Smith for the season. A player who exceeds 5 points receives an automatic one-game suspension. But this was Smith’s first infraction, so he is in little danger of that.”