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Mark Cuban's outburst damages NBA's credibility

Mark Cuban is back. And his social-media diatribe against NBA officiating can only hurt the credibility of the league.

The Dallas Mavericks owner unloaded on NBA officiating after his team’s 111-107 loss in Atlanta on Saturday night.

"Refs have bad games," Cuban tweeted. "Crews have bad games. But this isn't a single game issue. This is the same s*** that has been going on for 20 years. Hire former refs who think they know how to hire, train and manage. Realize 2 years later they can't. Repeat."

Such outbursts will not help anything, and it most certainly will negatively impact the NBA, which is riding a wave of popularity but must always counter the conspiracy theorists who believe games are controlled by officiating.

“I think overall it’s probably wiser to issue any complaints you might have to the league, because the league is very sensitive to making sure everything’s as good as it can possibly be,” said Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, who was in Oklahoma City for a game against the Thunder on Sunday night. “Some things done publicly I don’t think solves anything.”

What exactly does Cuban want? The games to be called perfectly?

A goaltending call went against Dallas on Saturday night. Think of the goaltending calls you see. In real time, it’s almost impossible for anyone to know if the call was correct. Sometimes, even replay review doesn’t produce a verdict. And yet the refs, who must make a split-second decision, are somehow incompetent?

This is classic blame-the-refs mentality, which permeates from the youth basketball level all the way to NBA ownership.

Thunder coach Billy Donovan also declined to join Cuban’s band. Heck, virtually everyone in the league, when considering the issue away from post-game emotions, would decline to support Cuban’s statement.

“I think those guys got a really really hard job,” Donovan said of NBA referees. “Just calling it like it is from my perspective. I’m on the sidelines there. They’re not going to get every call right. The thing I respect is, at least in the games since I’ve been here, very very rarely does it happen where a guy who makes a mistake will not come by the bench and say, ‘You know what, I kicked that call, or I made a mistake, or that was the wrong call.’

“Any time you’re dealing with the human element side of it, no one’s going to be perfect. We’re not perfect as coaches or players. There’s human element in every game. I’ve got great respect for the officials. I think they try really really hard. I think they work really hard at it. I think they’re trying to do the best job they can.

“We’ve had different officials come in during the course of the year. It’s interesting. I think officials are always trying to get better and catch up to the game, so to speak. I certainly haven’t been in the league for 20 years. (But) I wouldn’t say I felt like it was a problem since I’ve been here. Have there been games I maybe not happy with it? Yeah. And there’s been games I’ve been really happy with the officiating. Again, I think they’re trying to do the best job they can while they’re out there.”

Cuban was set off by a call and replay review in the final 10 seconds of the Mavs-Hawks game. Atlanta led 109-107. The officials originally called goaltending against Dallas, on a Trae Young driving shot. After replay review, the call was overturned, but on the play, Atlanta’s John Collins had immediately scored on a putback, and the refs awarded that basket.

Crew chief Rodney Mott explained the call after the game to a pool reporter: “The ball was blocked and reviewed. The ball hit the rim, so it was deemed an inadvertent whistle because it was ruled a good block. By rule, it's an inadvertent whistle. It's Rule 2. Because (Collins) was in his shooting motion when my whistle blew, it's deemed a continuation, so therefore, the basket counts."

That’s an easy scenario to understand. It’s very much like the NFL’s “immediate recovery” rule. If football officials whistle a ballcarrier down before he fumbles, replay review still can overturn and give the ball to the defense, provided there was an “immediate recovery.”

The Mavericks have protested the game, and ESPN reported that NBA commissioner Adam Silver's potential punishment on Cuban will wait until after the ruling on the protest. Cuban twice went onto the playing court during dead-ball situations in the final minute of the game.

It seems a far bigger credibility issue than referees’ calls is an owner – part of the group that hires and fires a commissioner who oversees the league -- who tries to intimidate referees in a game.

Cuban, a long-time critic of NBA officiating, has been mostly quiet in recent years. Of course, that quiet stretch came when the Mavericks were mostly non-contenders.

“So they call a goaltend," Cuban wrote on Twitter. "They literally blew the whistle that it was a goaltend. There was a putback after the whistle. After review they said no goaltend but count the basket? (What) is that? That's NBA officiating…

“1 of the refs told us it was an inadvertent whistle, so it was not goaltending. Doesn't matter that people stopped. They thought the whistle came after the putback. So the basket counted. So what where they reviewing if it wasn't a goaltend?...”

Former referees oversee the day-to-day mechanics of managing and developing game officials -- Monty McCutchen currently is the vice president of referee development and training.

But the NBA’s president of league operations is Byron Spruell, who has more than a quarter century of management experience in global professional services. That doesn’t sound like good-‘ol-boys club thinking.

The NBA has some problems, but a lack of corporate influence is not one of them. NBA officiating is fine. It’s often better than the play.

Related Photos
Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban argues a call as they played the Utah Jazz during the second half an NBA basketball game in Dallas, Monday, Feb. 10, 2020. Utah defeated Dallas 123-119. (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban argues a call as they played the Utah Jazz during the second half an NBA basketball game in Dallas, Monday, Feb. 10, 2020. Utah defeated Dallas 123-119. (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)

<figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-04a212784b16ea1ade28fd766461e949.jpg" alt="Photo - Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban argues a call as they played the Utah Jazz during the second half an NBA basketball game in Dallas, Monday, Feb. 10, 2020. Utah defeated Dallas 123-119. (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)" title="Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban argues a call as they played the Utah Jazz during the second half an NBA basketball game in Dallas, Monday, Feb. 10, 2020. Utah defeated Dallas 123-119. (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)"><figcaption>Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban argues a call as they played the Utah Jazz during the second half an NBA basketball game in Dallas, Monday, Feb. 10, 2020. Utah defeated Dallas 123-119. (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-04a212784b16ea1ade28fd766461e949.jpg" alt="Photo - Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban argues a call as they played the Utah Jazz during the second half an NBA basketball game in Dallas, Monday, Feb. 10, 2020. Utah defeated Dallas 123-119. (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)" title="Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban argues a call as they played the Utah Jazz during the second half an NBA basketball game in Dallas, Monday, Feb. 10, 2020. Utah defeated Dallas 123-119. (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)"><figcaption>Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban argues a call as they played the Utah Jazz during the second half an NBA basketball game in Dallas, Monday, Feb. 10, 2020. Utah defeated Dallas 123-119. (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-02c70a75cc1e6f91578b34035cfa7794.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma City's Steven Adams (12) dunks the ball surrounded by San Antonio's Dejounte Murray (5), Marco Belinelli (18), Keldon Johnson (3) and Lonnie Walker IV (1) during an NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San Antonio Spurs at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020. Oklahoma city won 131-103. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman] " title="Oklahoma City's Steven Adams (12) dunks the ball surrounded by San Antonio's Dejounte Murray (5), Marco Belinelli (18), Keldon Johnson (3) and Lonnie Walker IV (1) during an NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San Antonio Spurs at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020. Oklahoma city won 131-103. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman] "><figcaption>Oklahoma City's Steven Adams (12) dunks the ball surrounded by San Antonio's Dejounte Murray (5), Marco Belinelli (18), Keldon Johnson (3) and Lonnie Walker IV (1) during an NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San Antonio Spurs at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020. Oklahoma city won 131-103. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman] </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-8a7ebd80551a44e0b4c1a01563a34650.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma City's Luguentz Dort (5) dunks the ball beside San Antonio's LaMarcus Aldridge (12) during an NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San Antonio Spurs at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]" title="Oklahoma City's Luguentz Dort (5) dunks the ball beside San Antonio's LaMarcus Aldridge (12) during an NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San Antonio Spurs at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]"><figcaption>Oklahoma City's Luguentz Dort (5) dunks the ball beside San Antonio's LaMarcus Aldridge (12) during an NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San Antonio Spurs at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-519d2dac878bceefd99e8d0bc568d6e5.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma City's Steven Adams (12) catches the ball over San Antonio's LaMarcus Aldridge (12) during an NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San Antonio Spurs at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]" title="Oklahoma City's Steven Adams (12) catches the ball over San Antonio's LaMarcus Aldridge (12) during an NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San Antonio Spurs at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]"><figcaption>Oklahoma City's Steven Adams (12) catches the ball over San Antonio's LaMarcus Aldridge (12) during an NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San Antonio Spurs at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-d5032c41055b3285d1babc8ca0a304d2.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma City's Dennis Schroder (17) goes to the basket during an NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San Antonio Spurs at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020. Oklahoma city won 131-103. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]" title="Oklahoma City's Dennis Schroder (17) goes to the basket during an NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San Antonio Spurs at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020. Oklahoma city won 131-103. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]"><figcaption>Oklahoma City's Dennis Schroder (17) goes to the basket during an NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San Antonio Spurs at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020. Oklahoma city won 131-103. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-00dc7bd6f1dce2eb34ab63518b79310c.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma City's Chris Paul (3) goes for the ball beside San Antonio's Dejounte Murray (5) during an NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San Antonio Spurs at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]" title="Oklahoma City's Chris Paul (3) goes for the ball beside San Antonio's Dejounte Murray (5) during an NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San Antonio Spurs at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]"><figcaption>Oklahoma City's Chris Paul (3) goes for the ball beside San Antonio's Dejounte Murray (5) during an NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San Antonio Spurs at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-db350bcf8323fbf41ebbcbd9f92dc3d7.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma City's Steven Adams (12) dunks the ball beside San Antonio's Marco Belinelli (18) and Lonnie Walker IV (1) during an NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San Antonio Spurs at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020. Oklahoma city won 131-103. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]" title="Oklahoma City's Steven Adams (12) dunks the ball beside San Antonio's Marco Belinelli (18) and Lonnie Walker IV (1) during an NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San Antonio Spurs at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020. Oklahoma city won 131-103. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]"><figcaption>Oklahoma City's Steven Adams (12) dunks the ball beside San Antonio's Marco Belinelli (18) and Lonnie Walker IV (1) during an NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San Antonio Spurs at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020. Oklahoma city won 131-103. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-e7dabc2be43efd8b9ae68bcc39584ece.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma City's Nerlens Noel (9) blocks the shot of San Antonio's Dejounte Murray (5) during an NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San Antonio Spurs at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]" title="Oklahoma City's Nerlens Noel (9) blocks the shot of San Antonio's Dejounte Murray (5) during an NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San Antonio Spurs at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]"><figcaption>Oklahoma City's Nerlens Noel (9) blocks the shot of San Antonio's Dejounte Murray (5) during an NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San Antonio Spurs at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-b03f59073aa79c7dfbf896c76ee00453.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma City's Hamidou Diallo (6) dunks the ball between San Antonio's Keldon Johnson (3) and Dejounte Murray (5) during an NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San Antonio Spurs at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020. Oklahoma city won 131-103. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]" title="Oklahoma City's Hamidou Diallo (6) dunks the ball between San Antonio's Keldon Johnson (3) and Dejounte Murray (5) during an NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San Antonio Spurs at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020. Oklahoma city won 131-103. 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Oklahoma city won 131-103. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]"><figcaption>Oklahoma City's Danilo Gallinari (8) gestures after a basket during an NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San Antonio Spurs at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020. Oklahoma city won 131-103. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-b3c10f31e8d971be9dc689bd5ebfd8b0.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma City's Hamidou Diallo (6) dunks the ball beside San Antonio's Keldon Johnson (3) during an NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San Antonio Spurs at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020. Oklahoma city won 131-103. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]" title="Oklahoma City's Hamidou Diallo (6) dunks the ball beside San Antonio's Keldon Johnson (3) during an NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San Antonio Spurs at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020. Oklahoma city won 131-103. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]"><figcaption>Oklahoma City's Hamidou Diallo (6) dunks the ball beside San Antonio's Keldon Johnson (3) during an NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San Antonio Spurs at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020. Oklahoma city won 131-103. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-f989568f38174b0d8befd5c954bb22bc.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma City's Hamidou Diallo (6) goes up for a dunk beside San Antonio's Marco Belinelli (18) during an NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San Antonio Spurs at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020. Oklahoma city won 131-103. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]" title="Oklahoma City's Hamidou Diallo (6) goes up for a dunk beside San Antonio's Marco Belinelli (18) during an NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San Antonio Spurs at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020. Oklahoma city won 131-103. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]"><figcaption>Oklahoma City's Hamidou Diallo (6) goes up for a dunk beside San Antonio's Marco Belinelli (18) during an NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San Antonio Spurs at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020. Oklahoma city won 131-103. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-653ab9367aca5ed8df405f8ab8881d6a.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma City's Abdel Nader (11) goes between San Antonio's Keldon Johnson (3) and Lonnie Walker IV (1) during an NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San Antonio Spurs at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020. Oklahoma city won 131-103. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]" title="Oklahoma City's Abdel Nader (11) goes between San Antonio's Keldon Johnson (3) and Lonnie Walker IV (1) during an NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San Antonio Spurs at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020. Oklahoma city won 131-103. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]"><figcaption>Oklahoma City's Abdel Nader (11) goes between San Antonio's Keldon Johnson (3) and Lonnie Walker IV (1) during an NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San Antonio Spurs at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020. Oklahoma city won 131-103. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-329281c53020d4cb10791960f744ff2e.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma City's Luguentz Dort (5) goes to the basket beside San Antonio's Derrick White (4) during an NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San Antonio Spurs at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020. Oklahoma city won 131-103. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]" title="Oklahoma City's Luguentz Dort (5) goes to the basket beside San Antonio's Derrick White (4) during an NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San Antonio Spurs at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020. Oklahoma city won 131-103. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]"><figcaption>Oklahoma City's Luguentz Dort (5) goes to the basket beside San Antonio's Derrick White (4) during an NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San Antonio Spurs at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020. Oklahoma city won 131-103. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-bdf11b04f73324e643bc9e89b549a7fe.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma City's Hamidou Diallo (6) celebrates during an NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San Antonio Spurs at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020. Oklahoma city won 131-103. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]" title="Oklahoma City's Hamidou Diallo (6) celebrates during an NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San Antonio Spurs at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020. Oklahoma city won 131-103. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]"><figcaption>Oklahoma City's Hamidou Diallo (6) celebrates during an NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San Antonio Spurs at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020. Oklahoma city won 131-103. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-ee8deb2259490511d4c005e6baa90105.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma City's Terrance Ferguson (23) and Abdel Nader (11) defend San Antonio's DeMar DeRozan (10) during an NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San Antonio Spurs at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020. Oklahoma city won 131-103. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]" title="Oklahoma City's Terrance Ferguson (23) and Abdel Nader (11) defend San Antonio's DeMar DeRozan (10) during an NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San Antonio Spurs at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020. Oklahoma city won 131-103. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]"><figcaption>Oklahoma City's Terrance Ferguson (23) and Abdel Nader (11) defend San Antonio's DeMar DeRozan (10) during an NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San Antonio Spurs at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020. Oklahoma city won 131-103. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-c88bcf1bfe3038f85110b896bb2a12e9.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma City's Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2) goes to the basket between San Antonio's Chimezie Metu (7) and Keldon Johnson (3) during an NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San Antonio Spurs at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020. Oklahoma city won 131-103. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]" title="Oklahoma City's Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2) goes to the basket between San Antonio's Chimezie Metu (7) and Keldon Johnson (3) during an NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San Antonio Spurs at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020. Oklahoma city won 131-103. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]"><figcaption>Oklahoma City's Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2) goes to the basket between San Antonio's Chimezie Metu (7) and Keldon Johnson (3) during an NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San Antonio Spurs at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020. Oklahoma city won 131-103. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-cb500139192e8c4e8cb0099282d76bee.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma City's Luguentz Dort (5) fights for a rebound with San Antonio's Dejounte Murray (5) during an NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San Antonio Spurs at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020. Oklahoma city won 131-103. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]" title="Oklahoma City's Luguentz Dort (5) fights for a rebound with San Antonio's Dejounte Murray (5) during an NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San Antonio Spurs at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020. Oklahoma city won 131-103. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]"><figcaption>Oklahoma City's Luguentz Dort (5) fights for a rebound with San Antonio's Dejounte Murray (5) during an NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San Antonio Spurs at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020. Oklahoma city won 131-103. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-be4e50c78de2e4e7bdf4a591b35e60cd.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma City's Luguentz Dort (5) during an NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San Antonio Spurs at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020. Oklahoma city won 131-103. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]" title="Oklahoma City's Luguentz Dort (5) during an NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San Antonio Spurs at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020. Oklahoma city won 131-103. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]"><figcaption>Oklahoma City's Luguentz Dort (5) during an NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San Antonio Spurs at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020. Oklahoma city won 131-103. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-2fb6a32845c607e3131ea13534559b2b.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma City's Nerlens Noel (9) blocks the shot of San Antonio's Derrick White (4) during an NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San Antonio Spurs at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020. Oklahoma city won 131-103. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]" title="Oklahoma City's Nerlens Noel (9) blocks the shot of San Antonio's Derrick White (4) during an NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San Antonio Spurs at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020. Oklahoma city won 131-103. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]"><figcaption>Oklahoma City's Nerlens Noel (9) blocks the shot of San Antonio's Derrick White (4) during an NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San Antonio Spurs at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020. Oklahoma city won 131-103. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-1ec3d304859aaf79548304229e618ee3.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma City's Luguentz Dort (5) dunks the ball beside San Antonio's LaMarcus Aldridge (12) during an NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San Antonio Spurs at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]" title="Oklahoma City's Luguentz Dort (5) dunks the ball beside San Antonio's LaMarcus Aldridge (12) during an NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San Antonio Spurs at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]"><figcaption>Oklahoma City's Luguentz Dort (5) dunks the ball beside San Antonio's LaMarcus Aldridge (12) during an NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San Antonio Spurs at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-8beea77e125d133fee9036cffe0b8c11.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma City's Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2) drievs past San Antonio's Rudy Gay (22), Jakob Poeltl (25) and Derrick White (4) during an NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San Antonio Spurs at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020. Oklahoma city won 131-103. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]" title="Oklahoma City's Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2) drievs past San Antonio's Rudy Gay (22), Jakob Poeltl (25) and Derrick White (4) during an NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San Antonio Spurs at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020. Oklahoma city won 131-103. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]"><figcaption>Oklahoma City's Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2) drievs past San Antonio's Rudy Gay (22), Jakob Poeltl (25) and Derrick White (4) during an NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San Antonio Spurs at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020. Oklahoma city won 131-103. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-aae65db71493d8744b6acab90ee24129.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma City's Nerlens Noel (9) walks back to the bench during an NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San Antonio Spurs at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020. Oklahoma city won 131-103. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]" title="Oklahoma City's Nerlens Noel (9) walks back to the bench during an NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San Antonio Spurs at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020. Oklahoma city won 131-103. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]"><figcaption>Oklahoma City's Nerlens Noel (9) walks back to the bench during an NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San Antonio Spurs at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020. Oklahoma city won 131-103. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-519dbecdb0111e8529545ff0c261d345.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma City's Luguentz Dort (5) waits to be introduced before an NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San Antonio Spurs at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020. Oklahoma city won 131-103. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]" title="Oklahoma City's Luguentz Dort (5) waits to be introduced before an NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San Antonio Spurs at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020. Oklahoma city won 131-103. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]"><figcaption>Oklahoma City's Luguentz Dort (5) waits to be introduced before an NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San Antonio Spurs at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020. Oklahoma city won 131-103. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-4299a7545fbc41afa7b50ab299a5f472.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma City's Chris Paul (3) shoots over San Antonio's Bryn Forbes (11) during an NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San Antonio Spurs at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020. Oklahoma city won 131-103. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]" title="Oklahoma City's Chris Paul (3) shoots over San Antonio's Bryn Forbes (11) during an NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San Antonio Spurs at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020. Oklahoma city won 131-103. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]"><figcaption>Oklahoma City's Chris Paul (3) shoots over San Antonio's Bryn Forbes (11) during an NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San Antonio Spurs at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020. Oklahoma city won 131-103. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-1faf7709814e14f25ac9207205061e76.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma City's Steven Adams (12) shoots a basket over San Antonio's LaMarcus Aldridge (12) during an NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San Antonio Spurs at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020. Oklahoma city won 131-103. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]" title="Oklahoma City's Steven Adams (12) shoots a basket over San Antonio's LaMarcus Aldridge (12) during an NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San Antonio Spurs at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020. Oklahoma city won 131-103. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]"><figcaption>Oklahoma City's Steven Adams (12) shoots a basket over San Antonio's LaMarcus Aldridge (12) during an NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San Antonio Spurs at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020. Oklahoma city won 131-103. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-a080922619dfe20b7f1b0fa3324ccab2.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma City's Dennis Schroder (17) makes a basket between San Antonio's Dejounte Murray (5) and Trey Lyles (41) during an NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San Antonio Spurs at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020. Oklahoma city won 131-103. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]" title="Oklahoma City's Dennis Schroder (17) makes a basket between San Antonio's Dejounte Murray (5) and Trey Lyles (41) during an NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San Antonio Spurs at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020. Oklahoma city won 131-103. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]"><figcaption>Oklahoma City's Dennis Schroder (17) makes a basket between San Antonio's Dejounte Murray (5) and Trey Lyles (41) during an NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San Antonio Spurs at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020. Oklahoma city won 131-103. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-6466f23b4e9c707adbf23e7fb2c9706a.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma City's Steven Adams (12) dives for the ball in front of San Antonio's LaMarcus Aldridge (12) during an NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San Antonio Spurs at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020. Oklahoma city won 131-103. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]" title="Oklahoma City's Steven Adams (12) dives for the ball in front of San Antonio's LaMarcus Aldridge (12) during an NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San Antonio Spurs at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020. Oklahoma city won 131-103. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]"><figcaption>Oklahoma City's Steven Adams (12) dives for the ball in front of San Antonio's LaMarcus Aldridge (12) during an NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San Antonio Spurs at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020. Oklahoma city won 131-103. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-d3c9b03eb7fadf3bebf88a7f55c1a46f.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma City's Dennis Schroder (17) goes past San Antonio's Bryn Forbes (11) during an NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San Antonio Spurs at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020. Oklahoma city won 131-103. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]" title="Oklahoma City's Dennis Schroder (17) goes past San Antonio's Bryn Forbes (11) during an NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San Antonio Spurs at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020. Oklahoma city won 131-103. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]"><figcaption>Oklahoma City's Dennis Schroder (17) goes past San Antonio's Bryn Forbes (11) during an NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San Antonio Spurs at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020. Oklahoma city won 131-103. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-bd6e0f974c1fdd6ac937b20c01e18ff6.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma City's Dennis Schroder (17) fights for the ball with San Antonio's DeMar DeRozan (10) under Bryn Forbes (11) during an NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San Antonio Spurs at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020. Oklahoma city won 131-103. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]" title="Oklahoma City's Dennis Schroder (17) fights for the ball with San Antonio's DeMar DeRozan (10) under Bryn Forbes (11) during an NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San Antonio Spurs at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020. Oklahoma city won 131-103. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]"><figcaption>Oklahoma City's Dennis Schroder (17) fights for the ball with San Antonio's DeMar DeRozan (10) under Bryn Forbes (11) during an NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San Antonio Spurs at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020. Oklahoma city won 131-103. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-aacfcf71669acf28f71007f726cd2789.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma City's Luguentz Dort (5) knocks the ball away from San Antonio's LaMarcus Aldridge (12) during an NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San Antonio Spurs at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020. Oklahoma city won 131-103. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]" title="Oklahoma City's Luguentz Dort (5) knocks the ball away from San Antonio's LaMarcus Aldridge (12) during an NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San Antonio Spurs at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020. Oklahoma city won 131-103. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]"><figcaption>Oklahoma City's Luguentz Dort (5) knocks the ball away from San Antonio's LaMarcus Aldridge (12) during an NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San Antonio Spurs at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020. Oklahoma city won 131-103. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]</figcaption></figure>
Berry Tramel

Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,... Read more ›

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