NBA league office admits to officiating blunder in Nuggets-Timberwolves game 1

May 4, 2024; Denver, Colorado, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves guard Anthony Edwards (5) reacts
May 4, 2024; Denver, Colorado, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves guard Anthony Edwards (5) reacts / Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Overall, the officiating in game one between the Nuggets and Timberwolves on Saturday night was solid. It was definitely not a talking point, a decisive factor in the outcome, or anything less than we can realistically hope for these days.

The referees being a non-story is generally a good thing, and really the best-case scenario for the league. Far too often it seems that the officiating becomes a major topic after a lot of great NBA games, sometimes even overshadowing the basketball. Having said that, I thought the refs in game one did a great job.

However, there was one call that evoked an immediate eye-roll from basketball fans of any team and drew the immediate ire of the TNT broadcast crew. Late in the third quarter, Anthony Edwards drove hard past Reggie Jackson for a layup. He turned back to Jackson and stared him down as he backed up the court on defense.

Ridiculous technical foul called on Anthony Edwards

Edwards was immediately called for a technical foul by referee, Courtney Kirkland. This was a tight, physical, back-and-forth NBA playoff game filled with emotion and passion. Nothing Edwards did was out of line in any way, it was an innocent look in the moment. There was zero reason for the officials to get involved there, and for a moment it did put a frustrating damper on an excellent game.

Technical foul call on Anthony Edwards rescinded

Well, it turns out the NBA agrees as Sunday the league office reviewed the play and decided to rescind the technical foul call on Anthony Edwards. Luckily, this call had no major bearing on the outcome and both teams moved on pretty quickly. But nobody wants to see a series with this much intensity be officiated like that.

So, it’s great that the league has seemed to acknowledge this and indicate that they are okay with a little actual passion going forward. Obivously they don’t want players going over the top, being disrespectful or offensive, but this was far from that. Good on the league for making the correct judgment here and allowing common sense to prevail. This series could end up being a classic, let’s see it play out on the hardwood.