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NBA Referee Comments On Controversial Billups Ejection

Referee Crew Chief Bill Kennedy fields questions on the late game confusion in Oklahoma City.

Brooklyn Nets v Portland Trail Blazers Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images

NBA Referee Crew Chief Bill Kennedy has answered questions following a controversial late-game ejection of Portland Trail Blazers Coach Chauncey Billups on Tuesday evening.

The Blazers went down 111-109 against the Oklahoma City Thunder after Billups received two technical fouls following an interaction with a referee with 15.1 seconds left.

The incident occurred after Blazers guard Malcolm Brogdon was trapped in the frontcourt, prompting Billups to call a timeout, which wasn’t heard by the referees.

Brogdon was subsequently called for a double dribble and Billups received two technical fouls for remonstrating with a referee, resulting in an ejection.

Kennedy clarified the series of events post game.

QUESTION: Can you explain why Chauncey Billups received both his first and second technical fouls with 15.1 seconds remaining?

KENNEDY: The first technical foul was issued due to contact while Chauncey was trying to express himself to the official. He makes contact with the official two times, and the result is a technical foul. The second technical foul was assessed due to the fact that Chauncey aggressively now tries to follow and pursue the official after the first technical foul was assessed. So that covers basically those two technical fouls.

QUESTION: Chauncey said after the game that he tried to call a timeout. Why was he not granted a timeout in that situation?

KENNEDY: The referee in the slot position was refereeing the double team that was right in front of him, which makes it difficult for number one to hear and number two to see a coach request a timeout behind him. He is taught to referee the play until completion, which a double dribble happens, and he correctly calls the double dribble and then pursuant (to that) the technical fouls come forward.

The Blazers face the Houston Rockets in Texas tomorrow night with a 5:00 PM start.