National Basketball League Official Earl Strom, the target of cr
DALLAS (AP) _ National Basketball League Official Earl Strom, the target of criticism by Dallas officials after the Mavericks’ 139-127 double-overtime loss to the Houston Rockets Saturday night, took the unusual step of meeting with Dallas’ majority owner Donald Carter after the game.
Carter requested the meeting, and he said it lasted less than 10 minutes.
″Neither of us had the conversation while we were still heated or at the excited level. It was very cool-headed, and we spoke as gentlemen,″ Carter said. ″He re-assured me that he was very objective.″
During timeouts late in the game, Carter stood at midcourt glaring at Strom. When he got the veteran official’s attention, Carter said he asked that the two meet after the game.
Strom called six technical fouls against Dallas and none against the Rockets in the game. Both Dallas forward Mark Aguirre and Coach Dick Motta were ejected. Strom gave Aguirre his second technical, ejecting him from the game, at the end of the second half when he motioned for Aguirre to meet him at midcourt, in front of Carter’s seat. Aguirre stuck out his arm, waving himself out of the proposed conversation.
Strom accused Aguirre of sticking his hand in his face, but Mavericks’ officials said a videotape showed Aguirre to be several feet away from Strom.
The Mavericks forwarded a tape of the game to the league office in New York.
″You haven’t seen me upset very many times,″ Carter told The Dallas Morning News on Monday. ″I think possibly that the film shows there was a mistake. The film shows it best on Mark.″
Carter said he was unsure whether the meeting would improve relations between the Mavericks and Strom.
″How do you know if someone got your message until you see them in action later?″ Carter said. ″I would hope my conversation, if it had an effect, would be more positive than negative.″