The WNBA today admitted that the 8-second call in last night's Game 4, with 16 seconds to go, was missed. Said the WNBA's Renee Brown:
“After reviewing postgame video, we have determined that with 0:17.7 remaining in regulation time, Minnesota released the ball for a pass from the backcourt and the ball was still in the backcourt when the shot clock turned to 0:16. An 8-second violation should have been called on Minnesota. This play is not a trigger to review via instant replay.”
Right away last night, I thought of the situation in the Mercury-Lynx 2015 playoff game when Phoenix's Noelle Quinn was called for a foul on an inbounds pass with 1.5 seconds to play. Maya Moore made one of two free throws to send Minnesota past the Mercury and win the series. The league later admitted the foul shouldn't have been called.
If the 8-second call had been made last night, the ball would have been turned over to Los Angeles, and a different outcome might have resulted. Sparks players and coach Brian Agler have graciously said "champions don't make excuses" and "that's life," but the cases last year and last night weren't right. If a game is going to the wire, as usually happens in the Finals, then officials should take extra care to ensure their accuracy.
If players can be suspended for their clothing, referees should be suspended for making unconscionable errors. Roy Gulbeyan, Kurt Walker and Maj Forsberg shouldn't be allowed to officiate anymore WNBA games for a while. Referees should NEVER decide a game.