Friday, September 11th, 2009 at 9:00 am  |  38 responses

Here Comes the Ref Lockout

by Marcel Mutoni

The NBA and its beleaguered referees haven’t exactly been on the same page this summer. And now, they’re no longer even in the same room. Talks between the two sides have broken off, bitter accusations are flying, and a lockout looms.

With no further negotiations scheduled, the prospect of replacement refs is now very much a reality. The NY Times breaks things down:

After months of negotiations, the N.B.A. continues to insist on cutting 10 percent from the referees’ budget for the 2009-2010 season. The National Basketball Referees Association’s (N.B.R.A.) most recent proposal, which the N.B.A. rejected, offered to cut more than $2.5 million from last season’s budget.

This includes cutting travel costs by 15 percent and per diem by 7 percent. The referees have also agreed to freeze their salaries for the 2009-2010 season. This represents a 10 percent savings to the N.B.A. from the salaries it paid during the 2008-2009 season.

Despite the N.B.R.A.’s willingness to agree to reduce costs, the N.B.A. has begun to contact replacement referees to work at least the early part of the preseason and regular season.

Lamell McMorris, the man in charge of negotiating on behalf of the refs, hasn’t done himself or his clients any favors by dragging David Stern’s name through the mud.

McMorris called Stern’s actions “childish”, and claims that the League is trying to push out the old guys (whose job, strangely enough, is to physically police a game played by men more than half their age.)

It’s obviously a terrible thing whenever someone loses their job, but in this particular case, it may ultimately prove to be for the best.

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  • hillbilly

    Of course they’re gonna hold out for more money.
    Geritol & Depends don’t come cheap, you know.

  • badnewsb8ller

    so we need bouncers with whistles to ref games now or what?

  • http://slamonline.com Brad Long

    Half of these fu(kers need to be locked out. I’m looking at you, Violet!

  • http://www.hibachi20.blogspot.com Hursty

    I sometimes referee with an 87 year old man. He still gets up and down the court alright though. Buutttt, he’s pretty quick with the technical. 16 tech fouls in 3 matches that I reffed with him. For some reason, he seemed to think that the 15 year olds that we were reffing were all ‘draft dodgers’ and ‘communists’. No joke.

  • http://www.twitter.com/nichosmegasport andrew

    Hey Hursty, lay off my dad. He’s a little cranky.

  • riggs

    we need more college refs

  • http://www.mynameinblue.blogspot.com Hisham

    i think you meant less than half. like one third. or even less.. isn’t bavetta, like, 71 or something? and the youngest player in the nba right now is anthony randolph, who is 20. which is 28% of bavetta’s age. which is more like A QUARTER. sorry for this nerdiness. it’s just baffling that an nba ref is almost 4x as old as an nba player

  • ENDS

    Violet Palmer WOAT

  • NJ4Life

    Tony Brothers WOAT

  • http://double-technical.blogspot.com Zee!

    Violet Palmer could catch it though.

  • Yesse

    McMorris is right.They should get rid of every dirty ref and Stern as well.

  • http://www.sonicbids.com/shaemorin doyouwantmore

    Old guys, degenerate gamblers, and middle aged women unite!

  • riggs

    zee!: or you’d catch it.

  • riggs

    whoa that came out extremely wrong.

  • riggs

    well, that came out extremely wrong.

  • http://futureprobe.blogspot.com Future Guy

    It’s not the refs that’s the problem, it’s the system they work under. Even if the NBA fired all the officials in its employ and hired a completely new batch, David Stern would still be a guy who puts profits ahead of the integrity of the game and Stu Jackson would still be an idiot. LeBron would still be allowed to take four steps on his way to the hoop, and anyone who so much as gives Dwayne Wade a dirty look would still be whistled for a foul.

    Taking out the capos doesn’t mean anything if you leave the Godfather in charge.

  • http://myspace.com/showbread Bryan

    Just fire javie, crawford, palmer but keep knick bavetta.

  • http://dfsjklf.com Jukai

    For Chintao: Violet Palmer is a chunky woman

  • http://slamonline BossTerry

    I would ref, but people might get suspicious when the Lakers go 0-82.

  • Josh D

    Well, at least now the League with hopefully lose the reputation for having corrupt refs

  • http:///www.realcavsfans.com Anton

    Relax homies, Violet retired after the end of last season.


    This would be a issue if the refs were any good anyway!!! I’ve seen highschool refs that were better than those bums. Who cares?

  • http://www.another48minutes.blogspot.com Gerard Himself

    poor Dick.

  • http://nationofmillions.ca ciolkstar

    Fine with me. I say bring on the replacement refs. The league should’ve been doing more to train and evaluate younger refs for awhile now…

  • texaspete16

    perfect time to get rid of the dodgy reffs and get a new starless system and have games called the same, none of this loose or tight foul calling. all off the samee page.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Dave

    Last time this happened one of the scab refs called a foul on Bob Cousy. Who’d been retired for thirty years by that time.

  • HangTime Hec

    lmao at Dave. Nice.

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com Blinguo

    ’09-10: Stu Jacks & New Jacks vs. Phil Jax/Stack Jax ?!
    Steve Javie will then change his name to Steve Jackson to stay in the league.

  • http://slamonline.com Jacob J

    Finally. If only David Stern would take out some rules so that defenses can play more aggresive and every time I watch a game there is a foul every minute. Maybe he will allow less commericials.

  • knock

    At least we won’t see lebron averaging 20 free throws a game w/ no fouls if their’s a new batch of refs. You can be sure of that.

  • http://tinyurl.com/c3atn4 Ryan Biddulph

    Negative negotiating tactics rarely work. It’s possible to be on both sides of an issue yet still have respect for the other party.

    If this is the guy representing the refs they are in trouble.

    We don’t see much of a difference with replacement refs. Less experience means less bias. We’ll see a more fairly officiated game.


  • http://staticseth.blogspot.com/ Seth

    I mistook this news for Raef LaFrentz locking out. Now that would have been something.

  • Loyal Fan

    Yes, I hear their vision benefits suck….makes sense

  • flight 9

    poor dick!!!!!!!!

  • chintao

    Thanks, Jukai. LOL. I just got a very powerful erection. Not only did I get a shout from one of SLAMonline’s most (in)famous posters, I also just pictured myself in a three-way with Ms. Palmer and Jukai. Excuse me, while I wipe down my keyboard.

  • chintao

    On the real, though…. I think this whole negotiation with the refs is Stern’s tune-up fight for when the new collective bargaining agreement talks start in earnest.

  • chintao

    On the real, though…. I think Stern is using this negotiation with the refs as a tune-up for when the new collective bargaining talks start in earnest.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Dave

    Seriously, I got the solution for this entire problem.
    1) The NBA outsources the refereeing.
    2) The referees form a collective and sell their services to the NBA on a tendered basis.
    3) The refereeing collectives are to outline their refereeing policies in the tendering procedure, including their stand on make-up calls, the number of steps in a dribble, ‘Jordan rules’ star treatment and so forth. All these tendering policies are publicly transparent.
    Whaddya’ll think?