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Arnovitz: Clippers Not Given Choice on McCollum

One last note so we can put this all to rest.

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Last night, C.J. McCollum sat out of the Clippers' game in Portland due to a clerical error on the active/inactive roster sheet.  It's been well covered--you can read my piece about the details here.

Cutting to the chase for everyone who's already aware of the silly outrage surrounding this issue: the main complaint of many people was not that a) Portland's staff messed up, b) the NBA's rule doesn't allow for stars to play even when their team's staff messes up, or c) the NBA allegedly offered the opponent's coach the authority to decide if NBA rules should be upheld.  No, the issue people chose to take was with Doc Rivers, who allegedly said no when the NBA allegedly offered him the choice.

Note all of the times I used allegedly, because the idea that the league would leave such a matter up to the opponent's coach is almost as silly as blaming Doc had he been given the option and chosen to sit McCollum.  Like I already said on this topic:

Now, it's kind of hard to believe that Doc was actually given the choice. Shouldn't the rulebook outline how to proceed in a given situation, and something is either legal or illegal? The answer is yes. Neither coach mentioned this decision being offered to Doc in their postgame remarks on the matter, with Doc stating: "it's not on us. It's on them." and Stotts said it was his fault for signing the paper without looking at it more closely first. I won't outright state that Oregonian reporter Joe Freeman is wrong in stating that Doc was given the decision, just that I'm at least skeptical.

I'm not well acquainted with Joe Freeman's work or credibility, but this has nothing to do with him.  I'm sure he's a nice guy and he's good at his job, and mistakes happen to anyone.  However, my skepticism last night has been justified, as a national ESPN reporter with far more access and a far stronger reputation has weighed in:

Of course, this doesn't do much good.  The people who judged Doc so quickly will be the same who casually ignore this late correction, and even if they acknowledge it, facts surely won't change their undying anti-Clipper grudge.  The people who will pay attention to this development won't care too much because they were level-headed enough to not get riled up about it in the first place.  It's another story of the day about how evil the big, bad Clippers are--oh well.