TORONTO- In a stunning and perhaps foolish move, the NBA upgraded Kevin Love’s common foul of elbowing to a flagrant one. This means little if anything in terms of how it will impact the series. Love could be fined though.
Since the foul was so severe, the referees should have made the call right in the first place and not put the problem in the hands of the league office. The referees are constantly chastised on social media and this latest error will only serve to make things worse. If the officials would have made the right call, ruling it as a flagrant one in the first place, there wouldn’t be any need for such unnecessary action in a sad effort to make the league look better.
Upgrading the foul after the result won’t comfort Raptors fans at all. The result will not change. The Cavaliers won 113-112 in overtime yesterday. How does giving in to the Raptors fans help anything? If safety is the concern, then fine the referees rather than Love. The referees should be slightly punished. Being a referee isn’t easy but there are some calls that are just plain obvious.
Make no mistake, Love definitely committed a flagrant. The contact was unnecessary. It just seems ineffective and unnecessary to punish Love well after the fact. That is about as bad as punishing a child a week after he or she did something wrong. The NBA is not going to look better for issuing late punishment. It is nice to admit to getting something wrong but it should be precisely that. The NBA should just issue a statement saying the referees committed an error which could have affected the final outcome of game one. A simple statement of acknowledgement accompanied with additional statements about learning from the error would have sufficed. Is there really a point to this late action?