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NBA ref seems to admit his mistake to Tim Duncan

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In the second half of Monday's game, something odd, unusual, and extremely rare occurred.

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

There are times when I really wish I could read lips. And halfway through the third quarter of Monday night's Spurs vs. Pacers game was one of those times -- because it sure looks like the ref is apologizing for blowing the call after whistling Tim Duncan for a foul here.

Upon watching and re-watching the play from several angles, I'm actually of the opinion that Duncan got a bit too much hand, and not enough of the ball, to have an ironclad case for a clean block, but that's actually beside the point.

The deal is that an NBA ref placed his hand over his heart, turned to an incensed Duncan, and said words that really sounded to me like the admission of an error. And that's something that I've never witnessed in all my years of watching basketball.

We can take guesses about what the ref says after the sound is turned down; we can pull film apart looking for a lead-up to this play and whether Duncan had a gripe about other previous calls from this ref; shoot, we could even hire a certified lip reader for their expert opinion on this -- but I think the main takeaway for me is that Duncan has been around long enough in the league to have earned a moment or two of deference from the average NBA official.

And that's pretty cool.