Referee Admits To Missed Call In Bulls Game

ATLANTA (AP) NBA referee Bennett Salvatore acknowledged Sunday that he blew a call in the closing minutes of the Chicago Bulls’ 100-88 loss to the Atlanta Hawks, which evened the Eastern Conference semifinal at two games apiece.

With 2 1/2 minutes remaining and the Hawks leading 90-84, Bulls star Derrick Rose went up for a shot beyond the 3-point stripe and appeared to be fouled by Jamal Crawford.

Salvatore blew his whistle, but ruled he had done it inadvertently. That led to a jump ball, which Atlanta’s Josh Smith tapped away from Joakim Noah. The Hawks scored on that possession to essentially finish off the Bulls.

“An inadvertent whistle is when a referee blows a whistle and didn’t mean to,” Salvatore said. “That’s exactly what happened. I blew my whistle and didn’t mean to. I didn’t think it was a foul.”

Bennett changed his opinion after watching a replay.

“It was a foul and I should have called it,” he said. “I made a mistake.”

Rose walked away in disgust when he saw Bennett signal a jump ball instead of a foul. But the league’s MVP brushed off the impact of the play on the Bulls’ chances.

“That’s basketball,” he said.

Coach Tom Thibodeau argued for a foul but, like Rose, he didn’t raise too much of a stink afterward.

“He just said it was inadvertent,” Thibodeau said. “Bennett’s a good official. He made a mistake.”

Salvatore said he was “positive” there was no foul on Rose when he blew his whistle.

“It was a foul,” the referee said. “I was wrong.”

Copyright 2010 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. STATS LLC and The Associated Press contributed to this article. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.

  • TOM


  • Jose Lamas

    Momentum killer- this could have been a 5 point swing; may have changed how the Bulls attacked going forward; you can see that they just “down shifted” once they saw the game slipping away. The refs should just stop making bone headed calls or at least review them and make sure the right call is made in a particular instance. The right calls has to be made each and every time irregardless of what the final score may be- otherwise just take the refs out after either team has a big lead and make it a “free for all”.

  • RealRick

    You picked the worst time to make the dumbest call of your career, bub.

    Apology not accepted.

    But a suspension, even an undisclosed one, would be nice.

  • J. Stone

    At the time it was a huge play. It would have been 3 shots. Personally I think they were done before that. Rose was out of gas and the rest of the team was flat. Korver was way off. The NBA needs to look at the way they call fouls. Guys get hammered inside but when you touch a guard in the back court it’s an instant foul.

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