We’ve seen some weird things between players and NBA referees before, but someone trying to block a free throw? That’s new. Courtney Kirkland, who has been among the league’s officials since 2000, did everything he could to stop Kris Humphries from taking a free throw, just so a substitution would be made.
A little too dramatic, don’t you think? Especially with Humphries’ shot not meaning anything: the play was called dead with a blown whistle, meaning Humphries knew that his shot was not for a point until the subs come on the court. The Nets were leading the Raptors 81-68 at that point in the fourth quarter (eventually winning 94-88).
Kirkland did fail to get the rejection in a leap that reminded us of someone trying to get in the way of a straying bullet, attempting to save a person’s life, but he did get to stop Humphries before he, god forbid, actually took the free throw shot.