George Karl had to watch his words after his first game as the Kings’ coach.
He had watched the contact absorbed nightly by center DeMarcus Cousins and the fouls that aren’t called in his favor.
But Karl didn’t want to be fined for publicly criticizing officials.
The NBA will make “Last Two Minutes” officiating reports from close and overtime games available to the public starting Monday. Karl is curious about the process.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Sacramento Bee
“I want to see a report before I make a comment,” Karl said. “I think it’s interesting.”
The NBA said publicizing the reports will provide more transparency for fans.
“Our fans are passionate and have an intense interest in understanding how the rules are applied,” Mike Bantom, the NBA’s executive vice president of referee operations, said in a statement. “NBA referees have the most difficult officiating job in sports, with so many split-second decisions in real time. We trust this consistent disclosure will give fans a greater appreciation of the difficulty of the job and a deeper sense of the correct interpretations of the rules of our game.”
The NBA already had taken the step of releasing statements to announce when there had been calls made or missed that might have affected the outcome of games.
The reports, however, aren’t new to coaches. Karl admits he’s not exactly savvy at retrieving them.
“We have a way of getting that feedback if we want it on an Internet site, which I have no idea how to use,” Karl said. “But making it public, I think it’s good. I think it puts responsibility and maybe accountability on the referees. Again, I don’t know.”
Cousins update – Cousins missed Friday’s game against the San Antonio Spurs at Sleep Train Arena with a sprained left ankle and left hip contusion.
Karl said Cousins was walking like an old man because of the injuries. Karl said Cousins quipped, “I walk around like you.”
Karl is optimistic that Cousins will return to the lineup Sunday, when the Kings host the Portland Trail Blazers.
“I think there’s more hope for Sunday,” Karl said. “He was in a boot (Friday), and he was still wobbling.”
Cousins was out of the boot as he watched Friday’s game.
Honored guests – Doug Christie, Bobby Jackson and Scot Pollard were the latest former Kings honored as part of the team’s Legends Nights this season.
Christie was a starter and Jackson and Pollard were reserves on the powerful Kings teams of the early 2000s.