Cavaliers May File Formal Complaint Over Delonte West’s Mythical “Fourth” Foul

Though the Cavaliers managed to escape Atlanta with a one-point win, the dust has yet to settle with Mike Brown and the league.  When the game came back from commercial break after the end of the third quarter, cameras focused on Brown as he was dealing with the officials and the scorers table.

Brown, he of the $25,000 fine after slamming Joey Crawford, has been in the officials’ ear a lot more this season.  The Hawks took a considerable amount of free throws through the first three quarters, but it wasn’t the actual calls that drew the ire of the Cavaliers’ head coach.

Brown dressed down the official scorer in between the third and fourth quarters after there was a snafu with the fouls.

The Cavs were told West had four personal fouls with three minutes left in the third quarter and took him out of the game.

Officials reviewed it and decided he only had three. But the Cavs weren’t told until the quarter break.

“I was upset because it was a mistake that they made,” Brown said. “The only thing they can say is, ‘Sorry.’ I think I had a right to be upset.”

When you have a team in the thick of a four-games-in-five-nights stint on the road, you can ill afford to have things like this happen to you.  When West finally returned, he looked like he was throwing screwballs from the corner – airballing two straight three-point attempts a la Peja circa 2002. 

“We have to file a formal complaint about it,” Brown said. “Something like that could have a huge impact on the outcome of the game.

“This is my livelihood and the players’ livelihood. We take this serious. This was tough to swallow.”

Thankfully, the Cavaliers did win the game and it was not one of those issues that happened with the exact same crew in the past.  Recall the infamous game that had to be replayed between the Hawks and Heat that had to be replayed after Shaquille O’Neal had fouled out – despite only having five fouls?  Yep, it was the exact same crew that was officiating last night’s festivities.  Granted, you only hear about these sorts of things when officials do something wrong, but this is bound to raise a few eyebrows.

Stay tuned to see if Mike Brown follows through with the formal complaint.  He’s always been one to do things to ensure his team that he has their back.  This would undoubtedly fall in the same line.

Cavs dig one out [Bob Finnan/News Herald]

  • Hoy

    I thought they said during the game at some point that they were counting his Tech as a personal and thats where the mix up was. I’m not saying that should excuse the mix up, just clarifying.

    Any idea as to what kind of action the crew may face for the infraction?

  • Josh

    Is Mike Brown not the best coach EVER!? okay, that might be laying it on a bit thick…but man, his personality couldn’t be any better for this team. To get these guys to buy into his system, and to be able to handle a superstar like Lebron…

    I’m glad to see him barking at the refs a little more…i think it shows that he thinks his team deserves the close calls.

    Cleveland isn’t crashing the playoff party anymore, we are writing the guest list!

  • Harv 21

    Like Mike Brown, but maybe he would get a better reception from the league office before he started his new practice of yapping about the officials at least once every road trip. Just think he has overplayed his hand a little this year.
    Meanwhile, I’m picturing Joe Smith alone in the gym and dresses for the airport, practicing that little 10 footer next to his packed luggage, and checking his BlackBerry every few minutes.

  • http://www.twitter.com/dennymayo IRB?

    I’m picturing Joe Smith boarding a train from OKC to Cleveland, just staring out the window in silence.

  • DCBucks

    Who’s in charge of starting the game clock, because on the last play of the game Johnson caught the ball took 2 steps and was on his way up with the shot before the clock started counting down. Maybe it was ESPN’s clock, but no way can a guy catch step, turn, plant and shoot in 0 seconds.

  • Josh

    I’m picturing Joe Smith crashing on Lebron’s couch because he’s unemployed (wink, wink).

  • http://www.twitter.com/dennymayo IRB?

    @ DCBucks: I can. So can Jerry Rice.

  • Chris M

    @ Hoy – I read that the home team was fined $50k last year when that happened.

    For what it’s worth, i just got done reading Bill Simmons’ (putting his Boston homerism aside, is a pretty solid writer) latest from 2/27. He had a solid paragraph about the officiating, and I have to agree. The officiating this season (as opposed to seasons past) seems like it is absolutely abysmal.

  • Gregg

    According to Windhorst, the mix up came when Z was called for the clear path foul. It was even announced over the PA system as Z’s foul, but the official scorer credited it to Delonte.

  • Matt

    Mike Brown is a dope. If he didn’t hand the offense to another person the Cavs would be in the same place they were last year because he would have screwed it up. How does having LeBron make you the coach of the year? It makes LeBron the MVP and the coach a lucky guy. Shouldn’t he have someone on his staff monitoring the foul counts on his players so he can argue about a mistake as it happens? If this matters so much I think someone on his staff should be on top of it. Forget coach of the year, how about executive of the year for Danny Ferry?

  • Austin Carr

    Matt, Mike Brown did argue about it when it happened, but the scorer wouldn’t admit he had made a mistake.

    And if you think Mike Brown is a dope, you must not have seen the Cavs before he got there. In LeBron’s first two seasons, when Paul Silas was the coach, there was not a single pick and roll they were able to defend. Mike Brown has turned them into one of the best defensive teams in the league.

  • Bryan

    Simmons wrote a bit about the awful officiating this year: http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=simmons/090227 (near the bottom).

    It’s really unbelievable…

  • phil

    The ESPN crew actually took a dig at Brown for “complaining about too many fouls, when in fact the Hawks have gone to the line only five times more than the Cavs.” So, you had an incompetent color commentator backing up a mistaken set of officials. Nice moment, there, everyone.

    Let’s hope this incident keeps the crew from being used in the playoffs.

  • Craig A

    The Raptors were screwed over by that some Atlanta crew a season or two ago. Somehow one of Toronto’s made baskets didn’t make it into the score, until after the game was over.