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NBA referees take responsibility for confusion on Draymond Green’s technical fouls

The officiating crew says it didn’t clearly convey that Green’s first technical foul should have been assigned to Steve Kerr.

2017 NBA Finals - Game Four Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images

It seemed like Draymond Green was ejected in the third quarter of Game 4 after receiving a second technical foul. Cavaliers fans thought he was tossed. The Cavaliers thought he was tossed. The entire arena thought he was tossed.

He wasn’t. Instead, the referees explained that the first technical foul was actually given to Steve Kerr, and the scorer’s table mistakenly assigned it to Green. That meant that Green could stay in the game with just one technical, much to everyone’s confusion.

After the game, officials Mike Callahan and John Goble took responsibility for not clearly informing the scorer’s table that the initial technical was on Kerr, not Green.

“In that moment, I thought I had verbalized to the table that the technical foul was on Coach Kerr,” Goble told pool reporter Brian Mahoney of the Associated Press. After looking at the video, I should have done a better job of making sure that the table knew the technical foul was on Coach Kerr.”

Callahan also took responsibility for not correcting the public address announcement that the first technical was on Green.

The technical in question occurred when Green elbowed Iman Shumpert in the face in pursuit of a loose ball:

Green was shocked when he was called for it (though it was an obvious whistle) and reacted in a very Draymond way. Everyone thought that earned him a tech. It didn’t though.

Behind him, Kerr made a fuss as well, which earned him the tech. Green said he knew that he didn’t receive that tech, but the viewers, and seemingly everyone in the arena, including Kerr, weren’t relayed that information:

In fact, ABC’s Doris Burke confirmed during the broadcast that the scorer’s table thought the first tech was Draymond’s up until the refs corrected them after his second technical.

“They all agreed as a unit that they were told by the officials that that first-half technical was in fact on Draymond Green,” Burke said on ABC midway through the third quarter. “That’s why it was marked that way in the scorer’s table. It wasn’t until that last incident, when there was that stoppage in play, that the officials went to the scorers and said, ‘No, that first-half technical was on Steve Kerr.”

It was a confusing effort that took minutes to sort out and reflected poorly on the officiating crew. At least they are taking responsibility for the error.