Labor talks between the NBA and its refs have broken down. Which means we could start the season with replacement refs.
No further talks are scheduled
between the sides with only 22 days before the league's first scheduled
exhibition game Oct. 1. The likelihood that replacement refs will be
needed for that game — Denver at Utah — has "increased dramatically,"
according to the source.
This is bad, because it takes a lot of training to be an NBA ref. Sure, you can figure out quickly who the stars are and when to give them all the calls… but there are slight nuances they have to learn.
- When do I suddenly stop making the calls I've been making all game?
- At what point in a close game do all the rules change?
- Are there any new guys on the "you have a reputation for mouthing off so I'm going to tech you up immediately" list?
I could go on and on. Bottom line, there's no way they could learn all those things in time for the season. We might be faced with a worst-case scenario here: referees calling the rules as they're written.
I know… I'm scared too.