Sacramento Kings lose protest over Memphis game

Adam Silver at All-Star Weekend 2014. (Photo: Jonathan Santiago)

The Sacramento Kings knew it was a long shot when they filed an official protest with the NBA stemming from their loss to the Memphis Grizzlies on Nov. 13.  The NBA and Commissioner Adam Silver officially squashed the protest today in a press release.

“The Commissioner determined that the game officials’ call that Lee’s shot was timely was within their judgement and not a misapplication of the playing rules.  Sacramento’s protest therefore did not justify the extraordinary remedy of overturning the game’s results.”

Memphis’ Courtney Lee scored the go-ahead basket as time expired on a play that started with with just 0.3 of a second remaining, giving the Grizzlies a 111-110 victory.

Sacramento’s argument to the league was two-fold.  First, the Kings believed Ryan Hollins touched the inbound pass, which visual evidence appears to confirm.  If Hollins indeed touched the ball, the clock should have started immediately and expired long before the pass made it to Lee under the basket.

Secondly, the clock operator was slow to start the game clock and the shot by Lee took more than the allotted 0.3 of a second from the time he caught the ball until he released it from his hand.  Again, visual evidence was on the side of the Kings.  It took Lee between 0.377 and 0.423 of a second to receive the pass and lay it into the basket.

With the loss confirmed, the Sacramento Kings cruise into San Antonio tonight with a 9-6 record.  They return home for a Sunday afternoon matinee against the Memphis Grizzlies, which should be interesting to say the least.

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About: James Ham

James Ham is the senior editor of Cowbell Kingdom, providing extensive Kings coverage through news analysis, in-depth interviews with players and staff and daily coverage of breaking news since 2010. Along with providing original content for the site, including the Cowbell Kingdom Podcast and his weekly Sunday Musings column, James also contributes to ESPN.com and is one of the producers behind the award-winning, independent documentary film "Small Market, Big Heart".