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Ben Stiller, Knicks fans irate over ‘awful’ foul call on Jalen Brunson in loss

Knicks celebrity fan Ben Stiller was fuming more than White Goodman at the end of “Dodgeball.” 

Stiller was one of many angry basketball fans upset over the questionable foul call on Jalen Brunson that handed the Rockets a 105-103 win on Monday night despite a hard-fought comeback by the Knicks. 

Brunson went up to contest a last-ditch effort 3-pointer by Aaron Holiday and the refs ruled he made contact with the shooter before the buzzer sounded, setting up three free throw attempts to break a 103-103 tie. 

“@NBAOfficial How are you going to deal with the Houston Knicks awful call,” Stiller posted on X shortly after the loss. “Brunson getting fouled entire game by [Dillon] Brooks and then a no call – call to end the game and take it out of the players hands. Brunson is an all star and that was not a foul in this game. Wrong call. Cost overtime.”

Jalen Brunson argues with a referee during the Knicks' loss to the Rockets on Feb. 12, 2024.
Jalen Brunson argues with a referee during the Knicks’ loss to the Rockets on Feb. 12, 2024. AP

Stiller wasn’t alone in his anger. 

“I hope I’m not overreacting when I say the refs who just cost the Knicks that game should not only be fired from the NBA, I want them out of the country,” comedian Sam Morril posted

“One of the worst possible games that could have happen,” actor Jerry Ferrara of “Entourage” fame wrote. “Thibs plays guys the entire 3rd quarter. DDV (Donte DiVincenzo) hurt. We still tie it. And to lose with a horrendous call from 35 feet.”

ESPN analyst Kendrick Perkins also chimed in on X.

“The officials just messed up a good ass basketball game,” Perkins wrote. “That was a BS call on Brunson at the end of the Knicks and Rockets game.”

Neither head coach Tom Thibodeau nor Brunson would directly address the call on the court by the refs. 

“The thing with the officials — this is how I feel that in general — is that I don’t really care how tight the game is called,” Thibodeau said after the loss. “You can call it tight or you can call it loose, I just would like consistency to be the same. They have a job. They have to control and manage the game. That’s their No. 1 responsibility, so they have to use their judgment and I have respect for that.”

Thibodeau also very sarcastically said that the officiating had been “great” when asked about it postgame. 

Brunson responded “great call, next question” every time he was asked about the foul. 

Ben Stiller
Ben Stiller is an outspoken Knicks fan. Rick Davis /

The loss was the Knicks’ third straight as they limp along to the NBA All-Star break. 

They have one final game before then – a meeting with the Magic in Orlando. 


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