That the NBA rescinded the second technical foul against Draymond Green in the Warriors' loss to the Knicks on Thursday is an acknowledgment that the wrong call was made.
Green was, in short, victimized by an officiating error.
There is, however, no specific mechanism that would have allowed rookie official John Butler to rescind the technical foul in real-time and immediately reinstate Green, according to Tim Frank, senior vice president of league operations communication.
“I can’t recall ever seeing that happen,” Frank said Friday.
“If another official heard or saw what happened and the crew gathered to talk it over, it’s possible the call could have been overruled. Kind of like if one official believes the ball went out of bounds off one team but another with a different angle saw it differently. They could come together, discuss it and maybe change it.”
Several other longtime NBA executives contacted by NBC Sports Bay Area also could not recall any incident in which a second technical foul, resulting in an automatic ejection, was immediately overturned, allowing the player to continue.
The incident occurred late in the second quarter when Green shouted profanity in admonishing rookie center James Wiseman. Butler assumed the profanity was directed at him and whistled the technical foul. Green missed the final 25 minutes of a 119-104 loss.
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Ben Taylor, chief of the officiating crew, substantiated Butler’s assessment in a brief postgame interview.
Warriors coach Steve Kerr said Taylor conceded at halftime that a mistake had been made on the call.
“At halftime, Ben Taylor came out and told me that it was a mistake," Kerr said. “That John Butler didn't realize that Draymond was yelling at his teammate. He thought he was yelling at him.”
The league makes an effort to be transparent regarding officiating, Frank said, but needed to be clearer in his situation.