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Dispelling BallerVision's "Facts"

July 24, 2017

It seems like everyone wants to be the next SLAM Magazine a pioneer in making basketball a mainstream pop culture phenomenon. Except SLAM actually has quality writers practicing authentic journalism. Outlets like BallerVisions, meanwhile, specialize in haphazardly spliced-together click bait that does nothing but further the biggest fallacies ignorant coaches/parents have in their misunderstanding of basketball rules. 


As if officiating was not hard enough already, even when we get our calls RIGHT, we have to deal with the popular misperception that we are wrong because of propaganda like the video below.


First, let's dispel one of BallerVision's "facts." The referees on Sunday's game were not "in training." They were bettering themselves through off-season development to get even stronger for the winter season. Two of them already work the college circuit (JC and D2 level) and the third is a promising varsity level official. These were NOT rookies learning to call plays at the YMCA. This was as good as it is ever going to get at the club/recreational level.


The rest is an official's rebuke of the majority of BallerVisions reasons of why LaVar Ball got so upset:


Clip 1. Rule 9, Section 7: The 3-second count resets at every shot attempt. A blocked shot is still a shot attempt. Therefore when Blue #4 got his shot blocked by White #15, the clock at the bottom right of your screen should have reset at about 2.6 seconds. Instead, BallerVisions keeps it running so that it looks like the referees missed another 3-second violation on the offense and "cheated" Big Ballers out of a defensive stop.


Clip 3. Wow. I wish we had the benefit of a rewind button and slow-mo on the floor. Did most of you catch that "carry?" Probably not. That is why BallerVisions decided to slow it down for you.


Was it even a real discontinued dribble (actual rulebook terminology)? Did the ball-handler put his hand underneath the basketball and had it come to a complete stop before commencing a new dribble. No. No Call Correct.


Clip 4. Was correctly called a foul! They got the call! You can hear the whistle and everybody stop play. No reason this should be on the list. 


Clip 5. The defender was in legal guarding position. The offensive player initiated the contact and used it to create space and finish his shot. There is no foul on this play. No Call Correct.


Clip 6. See #5. There was no contact on the arm and the offensive player initiated all the body contact on his defenders who were in legal position. There was no foul on this play. No Call Correct. 


Clip 7. The trail official is correctly utilizing a manual count for the 10 seconds in the backcourt. No impropriety here.


Clip 8. The ref got the travel call!! Call Correct. LaVar got the call he wanted! Why is this on the list?


Clip 9. See #7.


Clip 10. It may have been a hand check but it is hard to tell because the official obstructed our view of the play while the offensive player was completing his move. In any case, the contact was rather marginal as White #4 was able to make a successful pass to White #10 for an uncontested layup. Play on.


And the "final straw" was the play we analyzed in yesterday's post. 


With the exception of Clip 2, the referees were correct in their assessment in all of these "controversial" plays that BallerVision theorizes led to LaVar's technical foul. Their conclusion should have been clear cut: LaVar Ball was getting a very well officiated game and only out of pure ignorance, a bad day, or as some referees believe, putting up a front to stir up interest in his reality TV special, was he complaining as much as he was. 


Now look at the unfortunate effect of these types of videos. The message boards are full of fanatics backing up LaVar, blasting the officials, and furthering the hype that he was somehow cheated. These same voices will be at the next AAU tournament yelling obscenities and filing complaints about all the calls that we "missed." That is the added animosity that referees have to battle due to amateur media's pandering to the lowest common denominator of basketball culture. 


Thanks, BallerVisions! Excellent journalism. Whatever gets you your views, right?


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