Questionable calls and no no-calls by NBA referees have been a hot topic this season, and Minnesota Timberwolves guard Anthony Edwards added to the displeasure players have felt after a game on Monday night.
The Timberwolves ended up beating the Oklahoma City Thunder, 107-101, but Edwards felt Minnesota was battling more than just their opponent on the court.
He let it be known after the game.
While celebrating the win with teammate Rudy Gobert, a camera caught Edwards yelling out, “Cheating a– refs.”
Edwards, who finished with a team-high 27 points, kept his fiery spirit about the officiating going in his post-game interview as well.
“I don’t know,” he said when asked how the team won a close game that was 99-97 in favor of Minnesota on the road with two minutes to play. “I don’t know, and I’m gonna take the fine because the refs did not give us no calls tonight. We had to play through every bump, every grab. I don’t know. I don’t know how we won tonight.”
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An open critique of officiating usually leads to a letter from the NBA league office with a fine, but as Edwards says, he does not care.
That has been the thought process of others this season, especially Toronto Raptors head coach Darko Rajakovic, who lambasted referees during a game and was fined $25,000 for his post-game rant on the matter.
The Timberwolves were also part of a recent referee debate during a game against the Charlotte Hornets.
Charlotte came back from a 15-point deficit to start the fourth quarter on Jan. 22 to beat Minnesota, 128-125. It was a shame the Timberwolves lost, as Karl-Anthony Towns set the franchise single-game scoring record with 62 points.
However, late in the game, the league found that referees missed 10 calls that could have changed the outcome of the game in the end, including a final game to the hoop by Towns with Minnesota down by a point.
Officiating in any professional sport is a tough task, but players want fairness and consistency throughout, as they have hard jobs as well on game days.
However, that will not stop leagues like the NBA protecting their officials, which Edwards will likely see in his inbox soon.
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