The 2018-19 season will definitely be one to remember, and not because of who comes out on top.
It has been quite a dramatic campaign filled with must-see TV. And a team of match officials helped add to that by incredulously failing to see that Kevin Durant was out of bounds on a play against the Houston Rockets on Thursday night.
With 30 seconds left in overtime of what was a thrilling contest, the Golden State Warriors star managed to save a ball headed out of bounds to ultimately set Steph Curry up with a jumper that stole the lead. The problem with that was he was way out of bounds himself.
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ICYMI: The refs missed Kevin Durant stepping out of bounds, which helped give the Warriors a lead with 30 seconds left in OT last night 👀 pic.twitter.com/7Kpu8AjHmV— ESPN (@espn) January 4, 2019
Had it not been for James Harden's miraculous three - the reigning MVP hit an amazing long-range shot to hand his team a win at the buzzer - the Warriors would have gotten away with a cheap win aided by what is potentially the worst missed call in the history of the NBA.
As you can see from the video above, it doesn't get much worse than that. But, somehow, the ref missed it and gifted the champions a real lifeline, given the level of difficulty of Harden's three - a play on which he was fouled too (for real this time).
Everyone can joke about it now as the Rockets managed to win, but things could have been a lot worse if not for the MVP's brilliance.
Even Durant admitted that he knew he was out and actually chastised the officials for doing a poor job overall.
"Uh, yeah," he said after the game, when asked if he was aware that he was out of bounds. "I could believe it because the refs were missing a lot."
He also sheepishly revealed that he had already seen the video of his great escape.
Kevin Durant knew he was way out of bounds on that late save, wasn’t surprised the call was missed: “The refs were missing a lot tonight.” pic.twitter.com/Ey0uJ7d42O— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) January 4, 2019
What This Means
The state of officiating in the NBA this season has been worrying, to say the least. We can all appreciate that referees are only human, but to miss something that blatant is quite incredible.
Thankfully, the ball did not lie in Harden's case. And he might win the MVP Award again just because of what he was forced to do on January 4.