Rockets-Knicks drama: 3 times a team successfully protested a call

New York Knicks v Houston Rockets
New York Knicks v Houston Rockets / Carmen Mandato/GettyImages
2 of 4

3. Nets vs. Knicks-1978

The first successful team protest was in 1978 and involved the Philadelphia 76ers. On November 8th, 1978, the Sixers and New Jersey Nets squared off against one another.

The game was the first matchup between the two teams in the 1978-79 season.

Nets head coach Kevin Loughery was a hothead and racked up technical fouls quite regularly.

With 5:50 left in the third, Nets superstar Bernard King was whistled for an offensive foul, which he was in total disagreement over. King, who already had a technical foul from earlier in the game, barked at the referee who made the call and got ejected.

King continued to voice his displeasure with the call to the point where the other official, Richie Powers, gave King a technical foul as well, which gave King three technical fouls in total.

This drew the ire of Loughery, who immediately stormed the floor and was also given three technical fouls from Powers, which was illegal. This forced the Nets to proceed without King, who was their star player, and their coach, which resulted in a loss.

Shortly after the game, the Nets protested the loss as they were unhappy with the technical fouls.

Then-commissioner Larry O’Brien was in charge of handling the Nets’ protest and ruled in favor of them, as the NBA determined the technical fouls were egregious by Powers and suspended him for five games. In addition, the league determined that the game needed to be replayed with 5:50 remaining in the third quarter, which was the time in which the technical fouls were issued.

The teams played again on March 23rd, 1979, as it was determined that the make-up game would be a double-header and both games would be played on the same day. In the end, the Nets lost 123-117, which meant they actually lost both games.