Referees actually stopped play to review this Greivis Vasquez flagrant foul on Reggie Evans last year.
In real time they called a Flagrant 2 on Vasquez, which is about as serious as these things get. Vasquez would have been ejected, fined, yelled at by fans, tut-tutted by the media and maybe even victimized by a snarky David Stern comment or two.
But on review, Vasquez did something that wouldn't have even stopped play in practice. Yes, he made contact with his elbow, but in professional sports that's a love tap -- and nothing compared to the legal but hard contact that Evans laid on Vasquez to start the interaction.
What was egregious, however, was Evans' hilarious reaction: After taking an instant to gather himself, he wound up and threw his body backward, as if attempting a gymnastics move I'm pretty sure is called back walkover.
How dreadful it must have been to have been one of those three referees huddling around the replay monitor. They knew they were had. They knew everyone at home, and in the audience knew the exact same thing. Oh, for shame. That is the moment when referees have the toughest, most embarrassing job in the world -- pride melting into a stinky puddle, like crayons on simmer -- before a global TV audience.
Shame shift: From Vasquez, to the officials.
But don't forget this key point! The shame lived rightly with Evans. And even once what really happened was clear Evans still got free throws for his team.
Chalk it up to veteran trickery, gamesmanship, or anything else. Well played, Reggie.