The play begins with the Charlotte Hornets in possession of the ball. As a player attempts a three-point shot, an unusual tactic takes place. In an attempt to gain an advantage, a Hornets player forcefully shoves the ball into a Cleveland Cavaliers player, hoping he will touch it while out of bounds. The plan backfires as the Cavaliers player’s fingers are smashed, but his foot lands out of bounds. However, there is a possibility that he may still be touching the ball while being out of bounds.

Referee’s Perspective

Upon reviewing the play from a different angle, it becomes apparent that the Hornets player’s hand is indeed touching the ball, while his foot is on the line. One referee notices this and rules the play as out of bounds. The whistle is blown, and all players stop playing, thinking the possession is over. However, one referee, named Marat, fails to hear the whistle or recognize that the play is out of bounds.

Technical Foul Controversy

As the Hornets player casually attempts a practice shot, the Cavaliers players take the opportunity to interfere with him, playfully disrupting his shot. Meanwhile, Referee Marat, unaware of the out-of-bounds ruling, calls a technical foul against the Cavaliers. According to the rules, if a player is touched while shooting by someone who is not on the court, it results in a technical foul.

Confusion and Dispute

The Cavaliers players express their disbelief, as they were under the impression that the play had already ended due to the out-of-bounds call. The coach attempts to reason with the referees, emphasizing that the play was dead and there should not have been a technical foul. However, the situation becomes increasingly heated as the referees and coach engage in a heated argument.

The Crew Chief’s Role

The crew chief, presumably the most authoritative figure among the referees, questions Referee Marat’s decision. The coach argues that while the Hornets player was indeed touched, it happened after the out-of-bounds call. The third referee also gets involved, but the dispute continues to escalate, with no resolution in sight. The coach and players express their frustration, convinced that the call was incorrect.

Unfortunate Consequences

As the commotion continues, the Hornets are awarded a free throw for the technical foul, which they successfully convert. However, upon looking at the scoreboard, the coach realizes that the Hornets were also awarded three points for the shot attempt. This results in a four-point swing in favor of the Hornets, adding further fuel to the coach’s frustration.

Post-Game Explanation

After the game, the referees were questioned about the controversial call. Referee Brian Forte, one of the officials involved, admits that there was a miscommunication among the crew regarding the sequence of events. Upon reviewing the game, it was determined that the out-of-bounds call was made before the shot attempt, rendering the shot invalid. The referees acknowledge their error and concede that the three points should not have been awarded.


The bizarre NBA call during this game left both players and fans astonished. A series of events, miscommunication among the referees, and an incorrect ruling resulted in a controversial outcome. The play serves as a reminder of the complexity and challenges faced by referees in the fast-paced world of professional basketball. It also emphasizes the importance of clear communication and decisive actions on the court to avoid such controversies in the future.