Analysis. History. Perspective.

Sports Then and Now




Maybe Locking Out NBA Officials is a Good Thing

Posted on September 24, 2009 by Nick Gelso
Dick Bavetta, who will be 70-years-old this year, has been making questionable decisions for years.

Dick Bavetta, who will be 70-years-old this year, has been making questionable decisions for years.

The NBA has locked out its Officials for the first time since 1995. The league is expected to employ D-League and WNBA refs for the start of the season.

The NBA Official, a recent victim of great controversy and contempt, has been a position marred by game fixing and player favoring. It seems every spring we question the decisions made by the officials and close fan observation provided by detailed taping of each game has made the leagues referees more mortal and subject to blatant mistakes.

In a sport that moves as fast as men’s basketball, it’s easy to understand how referees can make mistakes and miss calls. Slow motion instant replay has made bad call and missed calls more obvious and more subject to public scrutiny.

Modern technology coupled with the aging of veteran referees (Dick Bavetta will turn 70 on December 10th) makes every game a topic of debate.

Lets face it; the NBA Official may be less trusted then our countries politicians at this point.

Considering some of his questionable calls, the revelations about Tim Donaghy were only somewhat surprising.

Considering some of his questionable calls, the revelations about Tim Donaghy were only somewhat surprising.

So, why not bring on the fresh blood? We have been calling for David Stern to clean house since the “Donaghy Debacle” of 2007.

With the start of pre-season coming in less then two weeks, the problem with the league replacing it’s officials for the start of this season is that the timeline given to get them trained is less then adequate.

Wouldn’t it be ironic if less experienced replacement officials actually do a better job then the regular goons in grey? Only time will tell but I can honestly say, though I respect the old time veteran refs, I will not miss watching grandpa Bavetta sprinting up and down the court at 70 years of age.

He may not be the quickest official in the league but Bavetta’s stamina on the court sure makes me look bad.

Nick Gelso covers the Boston Celtics and NBA for Boston Sports Then and Now. You can check out more of his great work on his blog: North Station Sports.

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