After Further Review, NBA Downgrades LeBron's Triple DoubleAfter conducting its standard video review of game footage, the NBA has ruled that LeBron James had nine rebounds, not 10, in his sensational performance at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday. The MSG scorekeeper incorrectly awarded a rebound to James that should have been credited to Ben Wallace. This is the second triple double by James that the NBA has rescinded; on April 1, 2006, James was initially credited with 47 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists in a 106-99 win over Miami but the NBA subsequently determined that the home scorekeeper had been too generous in awarding one of James' assists.
The NBA's decision about James' New York game was announced not long after Commissioner David Stern chose Ray Allen as the All-Star injury replacement for Jameer Nelson. Cleveland owner Dan Gilbert offered some pointed criticism about that move, so some Cavs' fans are already crying conspiracy, suggesting that the NBA struck back at James to punish Gilbert. That seems like a reach to me. The rebound in question was bogus, the footage has been widely seen and discussed and, as noted above, this is not the first time that the NBA has corrected a scorekeeping error; it actually took the NBA longer to correct the 2006 mistake than it did to change this most recent one.
However, since the NBA clearly monitors such things I think that it is long overdue for the league to take a look at assist scorekeeping in general and Chris Paul's numbers in particular; as I have documented several times--most recently here--Paul has been the beneficiary of some very questionable scorekeeping. Since Paul has supposedly broken several regular season and playoff assist records, it is important for the sanctity of the record book that the NBA confirm that Paul has in fact legitimately set those records.
posted by David Friedman @ 12:38 AM