It might have taken over two decades but the Kings finally have gotten even for the 2002 Western Conference Finals.
In Thursday’s Last Two Minute report released by the NBA, the league acknowledged that De’Aaron Fox should have been called for a foul on Kendrick Nunn’s 3-pointer with 8.5 seconds left. If the foul was called, Nunn would have gone to the line with a chance to tie the game.
NBA says Kendrick Nunn was fouled by De'Aaron Fox in latest L2M report - would've sent him to the line with a chance to tie pic.twitter.com/crz3m6kWwI— Dan Woike (@DanWoikeSports) January 19, 2023
The play saw Nunn knock down the effort while fading to his right after the foul. Adding insult to injury, Nunn then complained to the ref about the non-call, allowing Fox to receive the in-bound pass before passing to Richaun Holmes in the open court, leading to the clear-path foul.
For years and years, Kings fans whined about the 2002 Western Conference and how rigged they were. We’re finally even now, though, after this call in the 2023 regular season. The situations are equal and, honestly, there probably wasn’t any one play in 2002 as egregiously bad as this non-call was. No more complaining allowed.
The Lakers continue to find themselves on the wrong side of late-game decisions, which isn’t helping in their frustration of the recent stretch. Against the Sixers, video and picture pretty clearly showed Joel Embiid grabbing Russell Westbrook’s arm on the final play.
There was also a pair of controversial plays in the team’s loss to the Mavericks, including one the league admitted was incorrectly not called that would have sent LeBron James to the line for a chance to win the game in overtime.
It’s hard to determine which is more frustrating to read — and Lakers fans have gotten to experience both situations — that the league screwed up and got a critical call wrong late in the game or for them to claim they got the call right when it’s pretty clear they didn’t.
For the Lakers, the end result has been the same because either way, they have lost four of their last five games and each of the three games with controversial calls. It’s hard to imagine any fanbase feeling worse than this right now. Even Kings fans in 2002.