Posted by: JC on September 24th, 2010The author's views are entirely his or her own and may not reflect the views of the Utah Jazz.
The NBA has announced that 4 veteran referees will be hanging up the sneakers prior to this years campaign; the voids left by them will be filled by none other than 5 NBDL ref’s. Is this a golden opportunity to move forward with updated stances on rules? Can they move forward and clean up the league a little bit?
“Four veteran referees with a combined 72 seasons of N.B.A. experience have retired or moved on: Joe DeRosa, Joe Forte, Sean Corbin and Phil Robinson. The vacancies will be filled by five Development League referees, one of whom will stand out for his size if nothing else. Kevin Cutler, who is 6 feet 8 inches, will be one of the two tallest officials in N.B.A. history. Cutler, 42, became a curiosity in N.B.A. arenas last season when he refereed a half dozen games as part of an initiative aimed at preparing top prospects. Four others who participated in that program — Brent Barnaky, Nick Buchert, Josh Tiven and James Williams — have also been promoted.
The 60-person staff for 2010-11 will be younger and less experienced, continuing a recent trend. The league has lost several seasoned referees over the last half decade, mostly to injury or retirement. Steve Javie, one of the league’s best referees, nearly joined that group but will return for a 25th season … Dick Bavetta, who turns 71 in December, is returning for his 36th season despite persistent rumblings that the league is pushing him to retire.”
When a new official comes into the league they bring a new personality with them, perhaps some younger guys won’t be so easily swayed by certain players that “deserve the benefit of a doubt”. Some expectations seem to be set around the fact that younger guys stick hard-fast to the rules more-so than some of the more wily veteran ref’s in the league.
Or … you could you argue that these younger guys will be slightly star struck. Moving up from the D-League, into the fire that is the NBA. It has to be an exciting transition. Perhaps a few of them will be caught standing around, sort of taking it all in, you know, for their auto-biographies (to be written post-career of course).
And while on the subject of officiating, apparently a “hot button” topic for the upcoming season will be the issuance of technical fouls.
“Players making aggressive gestures, such as air punches, anywhere on the court. Demonstrative disagreement, such as when a player incredulously raises his hands, or smacks his own arm to demonstrate how he was fouled. Running directly at an official to complain about a call. Excessive inquiries about a call, even in a civilized tone.
In addition, referees have been instructed to consider calling technicals on players who use body language to question or demonstrate displeasure, or say things like, ‘Come on!’ They can also consider technicals for players who ‘take the long path to the official,’ walking across the court to make their case.”
Could this be the season where Kobe finally leads the league in technical fouls (as he already leads the league in complaints).
But wait, didn’t the NBA try this a few years ago … to disastrous results? If my memory serves me right, there was a “no tolerance” policy in place a few years back which had the impact of technical fouls being piled up as high as the corn-rows in August. In fact, it seems as though someone once got a technical foul called for needing to tie their shoe (totally unfounded comment on my behalf). Anyone recall last year’s preseason games? Will the league run rampant with whistles like we did early last season? (replacement refs)
But I digress, every year there is a bunch of hullabaloo in regards to rules changes, ways the game will be called, watching for traveling violations: MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING!
Read more on expanded technical foul rules here: http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=5609817
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