NBA rumors: Rockets wrote memo saying refs likely cost them 2018 title


Programming note: Watch the pregame edition of Warriors Outsiders Tuesday night at 6, streaming live on the MyTeams app.

The Houston Rockets are...

...embarrassing themselves.

On Monday morning, Sam Amick of The Athletic reported that the Rockets obtained the officiating reports from all seven games of last year's Western Conference Finals and concluded that the referees cost them 93 combined points. Amick also reported that the Rockets believe the "Super Team Warriors are getting a major officiating advantage in these heavy-hitter matchups," and provided a data-driven report to the NBA that explained their reasoning.

On Monday afternoon, Zach Lowe and Rachel Nichols of ESPN took the story to a whole another level, reporting that the Rockets created a memo after auditing Game 7:

"Referees likely changed the NBA champion," says the memo, addressed to Byron Spruell, the NBA's president of league operations. "There can no be no worse result for the NBA."  

The Rockets never actually sent the memo to Spruell because they ended up communicating its messages -- including that they believe officiating cost them the 2018 title -- during in-person meetings with league officials, according to multiple league sources."


The Rockets led last year's Game 7, at home, by 15 points at one juncture during the game. Houston also infamously missed 27 consecutive 3-pointers from midway through the second quarter to midway through the fourth quarter.

Yet they are blaming the referees for falling short of advancing to the Finals? 

It's also funny how the Rockets -- who most likely would have beaten the Cavs -- just assume the championship was an automatic.

Here are some more details from ESPN:

The full report obtained by ESPN lists 81 total calls, non-calls and violations. It concludes that those 81 instances cost Houston a total of 18.6 points in that game.

In its own reports, the league does not issue point values to missed calls and non-calls.

"As we told the Rockets, we do not agree with their methodology," Mike Bass, an NBA spokesman, told ESPN on Monday.

The Rockets also argue in their memo that veteran officials "exhibit the most bias against our players."

[RELATEDLast Two Minute Report: Three incorrect calls favored Dubs]

This is truly unbelievable and this story isn't going away anytime soon.

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