When the NBA gave the Heat a free championship in the '06 Finals.
Dwyane Wade shot 25 free throws --- as many free throws as all the Mavericks combined (a fact that did not sit well with Mavericks head coach Avery Johnson), leading the Heat to their third straight win over Dallas after being down 0–2 in the series.
Officiating Controversies: With 9.1 seconds left in overtime and the Heat trailing by 1 point, they inbounded the ball to Wade, who caught the ball in the air and then landed in the backcourt. Mavericks' team owner Mark Cuban felt Wade had therefore committed a backcourt violation after receiving the ball.
Dallas was then penalized with an incredibly controversial foul call (known later as "the phantom foul") that sent Wade to the line to shoot the game-tying and game-winning free throws with 1.9 seconds left on the overtime game clock. Wade hit the first free throw when Dallas Mavericks coach Avery Johnson signaled to Josh Howard to call a timeout after Wade's second attempt. Howard mimicked Johnson, in order to clarify the coach's orders, and Josh Howard was mistakenly awarded the Mavericks' last remaining time-out, which prevented them from advancing the ball should Wade convert on the second attempt. Wade eventually made the second free throw to give his team a one-point lead after which Devin Harris attempted and missed a hail-mary half-court shot as time expired. Wade set an NBA Finals record for most made free throws in a game with 21.
After the game, a frustrated Dirk Nowitzki kicked a ball into the stands and Mavericks owner Mark Cuban caused many "acts of misconduct" resulting in fines of $5,000 and $250,000, respectively, for the two men.
Jackson said while Cuban has toned down over the years, he believes the outspoken owner's criticism of referees might have cost the Mavericks the 2006 NBA Finals against Dwyane Wade and the Miami Heat.
"That Miami Finals really was a tough one to swallow," Jackson said before the Lakers won 96-91 on Saturday night in Dallas. "I think Wade averaged about 25 foul shots a game. You couldn't even touch him. That was really tough to swallow and I think he understood there's kind of a pecking order in this league and you keep your mouth shut at times.''
By pecking order, Jackson meant coaches can bark at officials from the sideline, but ownership sniping from the courtside seats doesn't help the cause.
Tim Dohnagy flat out states he used the anti-cuban biased to place bets against the Mavs in the 2006 finals because he knew what was up
“I think there was numerous games,” Donaghy said. “Obviously Mark was very outspoken in regard to the referees. Referees have personal vendettas that they take out on certain players, coaches and owners. Mark was certainly one of those people.”
Donaghy claimed that Danny Crawford bragged that the Mavericks rarely won playoff games that he officiated, information Donaghy used to place bets against the Mavs. The Mavs have lost 15 of their last 16 playoffs game that Crawford worked.
If Donaghy can be believed, there were two major officiating factors in the controversial Finals collapse that was fueled by Dwyane Wade free throws. He said referees are trained to favor teams that are down in playoff series. And then there’s the anti-Cuban bias.
“It had been told to me behind the scenes that they were actually happy in the NBA office when Dallas was knocked out from the playoffs,” Donaghy said, “because it was less complaints from Mark, it was less e-mails from Mark and it was less work that they had to do.”
82games.com sums up the calls in the 2006 finals and estimates what calls were dubious or not
Facts are facts.