In my job at the Delta Center, I have a unique opportunity. I happen to work on floor level. In the corner where the infamous foul/nonfoul on Kobe Briant took place Thursday Night.
Unfortunately, I had to watch it on the Jumbotron. The fact is that there were too many employees (fellow ushers, security, the Jazz Dancers, Bear, etc.) standing in there to have a good view. I would have had a decent view of the play, but everyone was standing up in my way.
So, I saw the Jumbotron. And, I don't remember hearing the whistle.
Upon looking at the replays, there was no foul. Kobe Briant claims that Brown kicked his legs out from under him. However, the replays show NO CONTACT with Kobe's legs before, during, or after the shot.
However, do I blame the officials for blowing the call and costing the Jazz the game? No. For several reasons:
1) The Michael Jordan Rule. The big name players will always get the call. Kobe may be a third the player MJ was, but he is the League right now. He will always get the call. The Jazz enjoyed Stockton and Malone occasionally getting the star call.
2) Bad officiating. The official who blew that call missed several calls in the game anyway, so it wasn't unexpected.
3) The Jazz beat themselves. Harpring missed a free throw just seconds before the phantom foul that would have made all this a moot point. Kobe fouled out in OT, but the Jazz couldn't capitalize. The guy who hit the 3 to put LA up by 4 in the closing seconds was wide open. We wit sub-40% of our shots in the game.
4) At least we showed up to the game. It wasn't a 60-point effort.