The Brooklyn Nets leave the court early after a loss, leave coach Jason Kidd hanging (Video)
The Brooklyn Nets’ 2013 calendar year was a 12-month spin they’d like to forget, one that saw the team lose in embarrassing fashion to an undermanned Chicago Bulls team in the first round of the playoffs, followed by a future-destroying trade for veterans Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Jason Terry, topped off by the strange hire of Jason Kidd as a rookie head coach and a 10-20 start to 2013-14. With the defending Western Conference champion Spurs set to host Brooklyn in the final game of 2013, things weren’t expected to get much better for the $180 million team, what with Brook Lopez out for the season, and the team’s triptych of Deron Williams, Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce going through the motions.
This is why you can understand if the Nets, despite the massive amount of compensation they get to sleepwalk through these games, can’t even be bothered to stay on the court for a full 48 minute term. The Spurs were up 113-92 heading into the final 24.2 seconds of their blowout win over the Nets on Tuesday, and with the team’s record set to turn over to 10-21, the Nets decided to bail early after giving some midcourt handshakes – even though it was clear that the Nets would have the final possession of the game unless the Spurs decided to shoot it and then crash the offensive glass.
They didn’t, dribbling the 24-second shot clock out instead, necessitating that the Nets would get the ball back with two-tenths of a second left in the game. The problem was that no Net was around to end this monstrosity under league rules. Watch:
That’s right, Jason Kidd had to call a timeout with his team down 21 points, with 0.2 seconds left, just to chase some players out of the locker room and back onto the court. Spurs coach Gregg Popovich’s reaction to the eye-roll of an end was telling:
As the league more closely scrutinizes its referees, who are judged game by game on their performance to a ridiculous degree via tape that night, we’ve lost a bit in terms of refs letting things go. More often than not, the game is run by the rule book, as opposed to the referees enforcing the rule book, which is why you see an annoying number of block or charge calls whistled, or the endless video review of what seem like obvious breakaway fouls, or reviews of out of bounds calls that should take just one quick viewing of the replay to discern.