Friday, May 27, 2022

Kyle Kuzma, Wizards react to Nets assistant coach reaching onto court, deflecting pass that led to turnover

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Referees missed something that wound up looming large in the Nets vs. Wizards game on Wednesday night. Nets assistant head coach David Vanterpool reached out and interfered with a pass in the fourth quarter. He extended his arm onto the court and deflected a sideline pass from Wizards point guard Spencer Dinwiddie that was intended for forward Kyle Kuzma

Officials missed what Vanterpool did, let it play out, and the deflection allowed Nets forward Kessler Edwards to jump in for a steal. 

Take a look at what transpired:

The Wizards were winning 109-103 when the interference took place, but went on to lose by only one point — 119-118. While the Nets did not score off of the steal, a missed opportunity to score for the Wizards could’ve been the difference between a victory and defeat. While Vanterpool got away with the deflection at the time, the league issued fines to him and the Nets’ organization on Thursday as Vanterpool was docked $10,000 and the organization was hit with an additional fine of $25,000.

Kuzma was, unsurprisingly, upset that the referees missed the call and after the game called the interference “horses—.” Wizards assistant coach Joseph Blair also spoke about the incident after the game, saying, “My reaction was utter disbelief.”

“It’s very hard to swallow them missing something like that, for me,” Blair said of the referees missing the call.

After the game, crew chief Ben Taylor was asked about what happened. Taylor said there was no “mechanism in place” for a review and the crew did not see the deflection when it occurred.

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