The NBA has selected Mike Bantom as its new executive vice president of referee operations. Bantom, a longtime league executive and former player from 1973-82, will replace Ronald Johnson, a former U.S. Army General who was hired amidst the Tim Donaghy scandal four years ago. Via ESPN.com: “Bantom’s own playing experience, his long tenure in the league office in a wide range of management roles and his strong working relationships with team officials and players—after more than a decade of heading up the league’s various player programs—were key factors in landing him the new role, according to sources. ‘Mike has been an invaluable part of the NBA for over 20 years and has excelled in leadership positions across both our domestic and international businesses,’ commissioner David Stern said in a statement. ‘That experience, together with his considerable accomplishments on the court and his respect in the basketball community, make Mike an outstanding choice to lead the NBA’s officiating program.’ Bantom will report to NBA president of league operations Joel Litvin and immediately take over the NBA’s officiating program, including the recruiting, training and development of referees.”
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