On the heels of David Stern's rant about coaches complaints undermining the consumer's confidence in his product, we find out that Bennett Salvatore is officiating the Celtics game tonight. Now, Salvatore may just be one of the worst refs in the league. Almost always one team or the other gets an advantage when he is officiating and it usually isn't the Celtics.
Salvatore made one of the most controversial calls in NBA finals history in game 5 of the 2006 finals. The call basically gave the Heat their championship. Here is Bill Simmons' take on the call.
Salvatore called the foul on Wade's final drive in overtime (remember, the call where ABC couldn't find a replay to show that anyone touched him?) even though he was standing at midcourt a full 35-40 feet from the play, and even though two other refs were closer to the play. Not only was that NOT his call, he butchered it.
Another of Salvatore's controversial calls was in the 2008 conference finals when he waved off a contested 3-pointer that Pierce had hoisted over Richard Hamilton, inducing him to leave his feet with a ball fake. Pierce, however, was charged with an offensive foul for creating the contact with Hamilton.
Just to prepare you for tonight's game, here's a few videos to check out.
Finally, another game Salvatore officiated that will be of particular interest to Celtics fans. The Celtics overcame his biased calls in that one and can do so again tonight should he choose to have an agenda in this one.
Mr Stern, if you don't want coaches and players complaining and you want the consumers to have faith in your product, tell your "company men" to officiate fairly and then maybe it will happen.