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Part of Blame for Heat - Hawks Replay Rests With The NBA

Saturday, March 8, 2008 , Posted by Christopher Byrne at 5:04 PM, under ,

Athens, GA (Mar 8, 2008) - Tonight the Atlanta Hawks and Miami Heat will replay the last 51.9 seconds of the disputed game from December 19, 2007. In that game, the scorekeepers and statistics crew for the Atlanta Hawks mistakenly said that Shaquille O'Neal had 6 fouls, and not the 5 he had, resulting in his incorrectly fouling out. The NBA fined the Hawks $50,000 for the error and ordered the reply.

Eye on Sports Media, after discussions with reporters and Hawks team staff, is convinced that the root cause of the error lies with the NBA itself, and its push for more revenue. Apparently an edict (or "strong suggestion" as one person put it) came down to move many of the in-game functions, including statistics, from courtside so that more sideline seats could be sold at Phillips Arena. As a result, the statistics crew was split up from the official scorekeeper and moved up many rows to sit with the radio crew and print reporters. It is not clear why communications broke down between these two locations, but it did.

"I knew something was up after the game when the referees spent more than two hours reviewing game tapes immediately after the game," said one print reporter.

It is unclear why the television stats person did not notice the error either, but what's done is done. The bottom line, though, has to be the fact that the problem would not have arisen if the NBA, in their greed, had not split up the in-game operations crew. In the legal world, this is called contributory negligence. As a result, 51.9 seconds is going to be replayed, even though Shaquille O'Neal is no longer with the team, and other players are hurt.

So Mr. Stern, are you happy to finally resolve a problem that was really caused by your own staff?

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