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NBA Finals: Refs take responsibility for technical foul confusion

epa06020253 Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr

epa06020253 Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr (L) and Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green (R) react after a play against the Cleveland Cavaliers in the first half of game four of the NBA Finals basketball game at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio, USA, 09 June 2017. Credit: EPA / DAVID MAXWELL

The referees officiating Game 4 of the NBA Finals took responsibility for the confusion involving Draymond Green and how many technical fouls he had.

Green was whistled for a technical with 6:18 left in the third quarter of the game won by the Cavaliers 137-116. Everyone believed it was his second, which is automatic ejection. But Green wasn’t ejected.

The referees said that the technical that was assessed to Green with 1:55 left in the first quarter should have gone to Warriors coach Steve Kerr.

“After calling the loose ball foul on Draymond Green, I noticed the reaction by coach Kerr and then assessed the technical foul,” referee John Goble told a pool reporter after the game. “In the moment, I thought I had verbalized to the table that the technical foul was on Coach Kerr.

“After looking at the video, I did not verbalize to the table, and looking at the video, I should have done a better job of making sure that the table knew the technical foul was on Coach Kerr.”

When Green picked up what appeared to be his second technical, the Cleveland crowd got even more boisterous and the obligatory arena songs for a player being ejected blared. But he never left the floor. Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue stood and screamed, asking for an explanation.

“When the technical foul was called on Draymond Green, we reported it to the table,” referee Mike Callahan said. “The table informed us that it was his second technical foul and (he was) ejected. We informed the table that it was not his second technical foul.”

Callahan also took responsibility for the mix-up because the referees didn’t hear the Quicken Loans Arena public address announcer tell the loud crowd that Green was charged with the initial technical.

“The procedure is to advise the table who the technical foul is on and with the player we give a number,” Callahan said. “With a coach or trainer, we just verbalize and at that time we should listen to the PA announcer to who it is on. At that time, we did not do a very good job of listening to the PA announcer and we did not hear him announce it. I take full responsibly for that.”


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