Written by Tim Hoffman Saturday, 06 June 2009 10:05
It's great when you see good teamwork out there on the basketball floor. Nowhere was it more apparent than during the end to Sunday's regulation time when Courtney Lee missed an alley oop layup with a chance to win the game. Referee Tim Bixon was under the basket, ready to whistle a shooting foul, but then he saw Pau Gasol help him out on the call by waving his arms and shouting "No foul!".
"Wow, that guy was just really nice," said Bixon. "He could have not done anything, or even lied. But he helped me make an important call there that ultimately decided the game. What a swell person! I was probably even going to blow that whistle, but luckily he was there to tell me how it really was."
To that fact, Gasol has been training to be a basketball referee in the offseason.
"I've noticed the officiating in this league could really use an overhaul," he said after the game. "They tend to call way too many fouls on me, and not enough when I get touched. That is why I'm learning to just make my own calls out there. I think the league will allow it, as long as I get certified and everything. Why would a certified ref ever lie?"
He has been doing his part this season to make sure the refs know what every call should be, yelling and screaming at them that he did not make contact during every shooting foul called against LA. He also is quick to remind them who last touched the ball when it goes out of bounds, which 94% of the time happens to be the other team, something he says is a known statistic.
They are very appreciative of his help in calling the games, and believe he will be key if the Lakers have any chance of sweeping the Magic in 4 games this series.