Nick Nurse backs Lithuania coach after botched call vs. France; questions FIBA officiating

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Toronto Raptors and Canada men’s basketball coach Nick Nurse has plenty of sympathy for Lithuania head coach Dainius Adomaitis.

Adomaitis was extremely upset after a botched call late in his team’s 78-75 loss to France that prevented the Lithuanians from advancing to the quarterfinals at the FIBA World Cup. He said that the officials didn’t need to be smart, but they had to be honest in making the right calls, especially in the most important moments of every game.

Nurse was impressed by Adomaitis’ outburst, but he also said that the Lithuanian coach’s comments made a lot of sense (via TSN Canada).

“He’s 100 percent right, he’s 100 percent right. It’s a travesty, most of it is. We’ve had the same ref three games in a row (Martin Horozov of Bulgaria). There’s 84 (expletive) countries that they draw from for referees, and we’ve had the same ref three (expletive) games in a row.

“The Lithuanian coach makes a lot of valid points.”

FIBA suspended the officials who worked the Lithuania-France matchup for the remainder of the World Cup but they have decided not to change the outcome of the game.

Lithuania was down by 76-74 with 30 seconds remaining when Jonas Valanciunas was fouled. He made the first free throw, and his second was rattling around the rim when France’s Rudy Gobert attempted to knock the ball away. Gobert clearly made contact with the rim before hitting the ball. Yet for some reason, the game officials decided not to review the play, which eventually led to France’s Nando De Colo making a two-pointer to seal the win.

FIBA officials ultimately agreed that a violation should have been called and a game-tying point should’ve been given to Lithuania.

Kris Wilkes, Knicks