Warriors

NBA rumors: Rockets wrote memo saying refs likely cost them 2018 title

NBA rumors: Rockets wrote memo saying refs likely cost them 2018 title

Programming note: Watch the pregame edition of Warriors Outsiders Tuesday night at 6, streaming live on the MyTeams app.

The Houston Rockets are...

...embarrassing themselves.

On Monday morning, Sam Amick of The Athletic reported that the Rockets obtained the officiating reports from all seven games of last year's Western Conference Finals and concluded that the referees cost them 93 combined points. Amick also reported that the Rockets believe the "Super Team Warriors are getting a major officiating advantage in these heavy-hitter matchups," and provided a data-driven report to the NBA that explained their reasoning.

On Monday afternoon, Zach Lowe and Rachel Nichols of ESPN took the story to a whole another level, reporting that the Rockets created a memo after auditing Game 7:

"Referees likely changed the NBA champion," says the memo, addressed to Byron Spruell, the NBA's president of league operations. "There can no be no worse result for the NBA."  

The Rockets never actually sent the memo to Spruell because they ended up communicating its messages -- including that they believe officiating cost them the 2018 title -- during in-person meetings with league officials, according to multiple league sources."

Wow.

The Rockets led last year's Game 7, at home, by 15 points at one juncture during the game. Houston also infamously missed 27 consecutive 3-pointers from midway through the second quarter to midway through the fourth quarter.

Yet they are blaming the referees for falling short of advancing to the Finals? 

It's also funny how the Rockets -- who most likely would have beaten the Cavs -- just assume the championship was an automatic.

Here are some more details from ESPN:

The full report obtained by ESPN lists 81 total calls, non-calls and violations. It concludes that those 81 instances cost Houston a total of 18.6 points in that game.

In its own reports, the league does not issue point values to missed calls and non-calls.

"As we told the Rockets, we do not agree with their methodology," Mike Bass, an NBA spokesman, told ESPN on Monday.

The Rockets also argue in their memo that veteran officials "exhibit the most bias against our players."

[RELATEDLast Two Minute Report: Three incorrect calls favored Dubs]

This is truly unbelievable and this story isn't going away anytime soon.

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Warriors star Steph Curry has fun playing pick-up basketball with kids

Warriors star Steph Curry has fun playing pick-up basketball with kids

They say in order to be the best, you must compete against the best.

If you go by that logic, the kids you're about to see may have a bright future -- they're competing against Steph Curry.

Recent footage surfaced of a few kids playing a pickup game with the Warriors star, and these kids could hang:

During the pick-up game, you can hear Steph chatting it up like it's an NBA game, saying "I got your help" and celebrating after a 3-pointer.

He didn't take it lightly on the young ones.

Curry, of course, showed off some of his masterful shooting, ball-handling and footwork during the scrimmage.

[RELATED: Curry cements himself as social justice leader]

Imagine being one of the kids who could add that to their résumés before even reaching high school.

Ex-Warriors Kevin Durant, Andre Iguodala chime in on double-team debate

Ex-Warriors Kevin Durant, Andre Iguodala chime in on double-team debate

We're talking about pick-up.

Not a game. Not a game. Not a game. We're talking about pick-up.

Ah, yes, the doldrums of the NBA offseason. We have officially arrived. You can tell because the NBA world's focus has drifted to a rather ridiculous topic over the last 24 hours.

It all started when video surfaced of Suns guard Devin Booker getting visibly frustrated as a result of being double-teamed in a pick-up game featuring several other NBA players, including Ben Simmons, Joakim Noah and Trey Lyles.

"Hey bro, we're not doubling in open gym," Booker can be heard saying. "I see that s--t all season. Come on, man. Let's work on our games."

"Yeah, we are," Noah retorted. "It's part of the game." 

On Wednesday morning, Hawks guard Trae Young voiced his thoughts on the subject, aligning himself with his pal Booker.

Young's thoughts have since made the rounds, with numerous former and current NBA scouts and players chiming in. Ex-Warriors star Kevin Durant couldn't resist.

Apparently, this isn't the first time Durant has expressed such feelings. Two of his now-former teammates got under his skin doubling him in a practice (warning: NSFW language).

[RELATED: Kerr wants Livingston involved with Warriors for years]

It's a bit ironic that Iguodala mentioned it being right after the All-Star break, as Twitter detectives have tracked down visual evidence of Durant himself participating in a double-team against Steph Curry in what technically was an exhibition -- the NBA All-Star game.

Durant responded to that tweet, pointing out how that double-team was drawn up by coaches, whereas there aren't typically any in your average pick-up game. That's a fair point, but here's the problem with his reasoning: Bonafide NBA players like Simmons, Noah and Lyles don't need a coach to tell them when, who or how to double-team.

If Booker wants to work on his offensive game in open gym, others should be allowed to work on their defensive game, too, right? And, frankly, wouldn't Booker benefit more in the long run from working on his game against the same kind of defense he actually faces?

If you want to work on your NBA game, then don't be surprised when you encounter NBA defense. Anything else is simply batting practice.