National Media Sides With Jazz Against Officials In Loss To 76ers
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The Utah Jazz were the talk of the national media the day after they lost to the Philadelphia 76ers, most notably their complaints about the officials after the game.
Jazz All-Star Donovan Mitchell was ejected from the game for completing to the referees about what he perceived to be blown calls before offering a profane statement about how he felt the team had been treated by officials this season.
“It’s really getting out of hand,” Mitchell said of the NBA’s officiating. “It’s really, really, really getting out of hand. And the league needs to do something about this. I want to see the Last Two-Minute report, I want to see it, but this is getting out of hand.”
Smith And Twellman Go After Officials
Thursday morning, the Jazz became a popular talking point on national sports news networks, most notably ESPN where both Stephen A. Smith and Taylor Twellman were critical of the NBA’s handling of the game.
The NBA has drawn sharp criticism this week from NBA fans after Phoenix Suns All-Star Devin Booker was ejected from a nationally televised game for arguing with officials.
Smith referenced Booker’s ejection before turning his attention to the Jazz.
“Devin Booker gets ejected,” Smith started. “There’s not fisticuffs going on here. It’s not a fight that broke out or anything like that. What the hell is he getting ejected for?”
The ESPN star then focused on the officials’ similar handling of Mitchell in overtime.
“Donovan Mitchell gets ejected in overtime of a game, are you kidding me?” Smith asked. “Donovan Mitchell of the Utah Jazz. You want people to pay attention, watch the Utah Jazz and you’re going to throw their star out of a game? For what exactly?”
On ESPN’s SportsNation, Twellman aggressively went after the officials in the Jazz defense.
The former professional soccer player went on a rant discussing several controversial calls late in the Jazz loss to the 76ers, including an out-of-bounds call leveled against forward Royce O’Neale.
“Why have replay if you can’t see?” Twellman argues. “And you want to know why Donovan Mitchell was losing brain cells? The officials right there!”
While Smith and Twellman are free to voice their opinions on the NBA officiating, it likely won’t be such an easy pill to swallow for the Jazz Mitchell and teammate Rudy Gobert.
After Mitchell slapped a Gatorade jug while walking off the floor, and the two offering profanity-laden complaints against the officials, Mitchell and Gobert should expect hefty fines to be handed down later today.