From the Department of Paradoxes in Sporting Jurisprudence:
Last Saturday night, at the end of the NBA playoff basketball game between the Dallas Mavericks and the Denver Nuggets, Antoine Wright of the Mavericks broke the rules. He intentionally collided with Carmelo Anthony of the Nuggets, who had possession of the basketball, in a play that ordinarily would produce a whistle from the officiating crew and a stoppage in play. That was Wright’s objective. At the instruction of the Mavericks’ coach, he wanted to be called for a foul, so that play would be stopped and the Mavs would have a chance to regroup and capture the ball. (The Mavs had a foul to give at the time, which means that the victim, Anthony, would not have been entitled to shoot foul shots. Instead, the
Mavs Nuggets would have in-bounded the ball.)
As basketball fans know, the officiating crew did not whistle Wright for the foul. Anthony continued onward, shot the ball, and scored the winning basket for Denver.
After the game, the Mavericks were furious that the referees had not called Wright for the intentional foul, and the NBA officially confirmed that the crew on the court had erred.
That prompts this question: Is there a right to be punished? If so, when, and if so, why?