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Unclebuck
08-04-2007, 07:01 AM
I come from the old school of NBA officiating. The Earl Strom school. When he was working a game, I had every confidence in the world that the game would be well officiated. That did not mean that every travel would be called or every 3 seconds would be called or that every call would be the "right call"

But I knew that he knew how to work a game. And yes I mean that. He did not officiate every game the same. He did not make every call the same by the letter of the rule book. He used his good judgment to "work a game"

I've gotten into many arguments over the years about the NBA officiating. Most of you want it to be more uniform, a travel is a travel and needs to be called everytime. A foul is a foul and needs to be called everytime. I disagree with that that notion. Every game is different every situation is different and I want refs who are good enough to use their judgment. That is the way it used to be in the 80's and part of the 90's.

Some examples. If a player is going in for a fast break dunk, but takes an extra step - I say, don't call traveling. If there is a little contact between the ball handler and his defender - don't call a foul unless it either impeads the ball handler from making his move if it it enables the defender to steal the ball. On rebounds if a guy goes over-the-back, instead of calling a foul just give the ball to the other team - yes even if the ball went off the guy who had good rebound position.

I don't believe in uniform calls across the board - but that is what the NBA wants and that is what the Donaghy situation will force the league into. Refs should be taught the art of officiating not the science of it.

Edit: one other thing, do you know back in the 80's - refs rarely called charges - it just wasn't a call that was made very often - so players rarely tried to take a charge. Big men actually tried to block shots. Today there are so many charging calls I fell like I'm watching college ball.





Interesting article below - rather long but is addresses this situation.
http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/print?id=2957294&type=story

NBA officials see themselves in no-win situations

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By Ric Bucher
ESPN The Magazine

This article appears in the Aug. 13 edition of ESPN The Magazine.


Chances are you've heard that an NBA referee recently resigned, sending a wave of uncertainty rippling through the league and leaving everyone to wonder what the commissioner will do to resuscitate faith in his officials.
Chances are, you're thinking of the wrong ref.

While allegations that Tim Donaghy conspired to fix the NBA games he was officiating rocked the league's foundation, it was the resignation of Bernie Fryer immediately after he worked Game 3 of the NBA Finals that was the summer's first bombshell.


You won't have Bernie Fryer to kick around anymore.
Fryer, a 28-year ref regarded as one of the league's best, is hanging up his whistle because he can no longer stomach the league's current system of managing its officials. And his disaffection is shared by as many as nine other topflight veterans -- about one-sixth of the corps -- who also have talked about stepping down in protest. "It's so bad," says one, "guys buy lottery tickets everywhere they go. If they win, they're just going to leave their shirt hanging in the locker."

In short, the system is neither respected by veteran officials nor, it now appears, capable of weeding out miscreants such as Donaghy.

If referees were losing their taste for the job before, when amateur Oliver Stones found grist for their conspiracy mills despite having not a whiff of hard evidence, imagine how much less palatable it will be if proof surfaces that one of their own was blowing his whistle to affect outcomes. Many of them now expect arenas to be filled with taunters waving dollar bills and shouting Tony Soprano references after each controversial call.

Most refs actually agree that Donaghy was, as David Stern called him, "a rogue, isolated criminal." But unlike the commissioner -- who only recently submitted his referees to the kind of background checks NFL officials have gone through for years -- they aren't just hopeful that Donaghy acted alone. They say it's too difficult to change the outcome as part of a three-man crew. In fact, some have gone back and reviewed tapes of games they officiated with Donaghy and were unable to find any evidence that he attempted to manipulate a game. They're also convinced that Donaghy didn't do this as a way to get back at the league.

Envisioning winning the lottery and abruptly leaving a game a whistle short right before tip-off, however, reflects how some refs would be willing to act out at the league's expense. The refs' dreams of doing something else seems odd, since from the outside, it looks as if they've already hit the jackpot. They're at the top of their profession, enjoying a solid six-figure income with all the perks that come with working on an international stage. What can compare with presiding over a roundball version of Cirque du Soleil, instilled with the power, with only a quick exhale, to bring the entire escapade to a screeching halt?

For good measure, throw in the satisfaction that comes from knowing that you can confidently nail in a split second what the rest of the world often needs seven different camera angles and slow-motion replay to see. Sure, you have to be able to slough off the wisecracks from the cheap seats and the intimidating glares from men twice your size, but all in all, why would anyone quit this one-of-a-kind opportunity even one second earlier than necessary?


Officials say that over the previous two seasons, their decisions have been second-guessed by the league more than ever before and, all too often, erroneously. They are convinced that public or team perception of a call will ultimately dictate whether the league finds it correct.

Problem is, the job is not what it seems. Officials say that over the previous two seasons, their decisions have been second-guessed by the league more than ever before and, all too often, erroneously. They are convinced that public or team perception of a call will ultimately dictate whether the league finds it correct. Several refs say they've been given a thumbs-up on a performance only to be harangued, even reprimanded, by the same people several days later after they've had a chance to view the slo-mo replay. "With every whistle, guys think, Will the tape justify the call?" says one former ref. "Guys aren't being backed up. It's all about PR now."
For the league, the most humiliating aspect of the Donaghy revelation is that its executive VP of operations, Stu Jackson, and director of officials, Ronnie Nunn (both of whom, along with Stern, refused repeated attempts seeking comment), have over the past few seasons taken extreme measures to discount the notion among coaches, players and fans that stars are treated differently or that maverick refs brandish their own brand of justice. An observer at every game files a play-by-play review after watching the action live and again on tape, and refs are then given a detailed critique of every call. Playoff crews actually aren't allowed to leave their locker room until a league office supervisor gives them the all clear.

Jackson and Nunn, sources say, have complained to Stern that if their measures haven't improved the league's officiating, it's only because the league's old dogs won't learn new tricks. According to the refs themselves, maybe it's because they don't trust the teachers. While Nunn was considered a competent official during his 19 years, he certainly wasn't respected enough by his former colleagues to be viewed now as an authority or the ideal for how the job should be done.

His weekly show on NBA TV, in which the rank and file see him pointing out missed calls and then correcting them for the viewing public, hasn't exactly improved his standing. Jackson's undistinguished record at every other position he's held -- Knicks coach, Grizzlies coach and GM -- has him forever fighting to win the respect of his charges, some of whom dealt with him in his previous capacities.



See this story in the current edition of ESPN The Magazine.
Jackson and Nunn have said that they are trying to develop a corps of interchangeable whistle-blowers, each one calling every minute of every game the exact same way. Three seconds in the lane is a violation, be it in the first minute of the second quarter or the last 30 seconds of overtime. Same with a hand check or a moving screen. The league strives for conformity by creating statistical averages and tracking its officials' adherence to them. Refs say they now receive calls from Jackson informing them that they haven't whistled a particular infraction for several games and need to pick up the slack. And that makes them feel like little more than traffic cops filling ticket quotas.

There's no underestimating how much this whistle-by-checklist philosophy sticks in the craw of every accomplished referee, particularly in the context in which the calls are made. How, they ask, can every call be the same when no two teams, no two games, are the same? And then there is this: Officials say that if they actually adhered to the letter of the law, they'd be calling multiple infractions each trip down the court. Still, the league routinely points out inconsequential infractions and hammers its employees for not calling them.

One unintended repercussion is the long-running success of Flopapalooza. Acting as if you've been mauled to get to the line has long been part of the game, but now players do it everywhere, anytime, because they realize that today's refs are more apt to blow the whistle. Blame a better-safe-than-sorry mind-set among officials who don't want to get blasted for not calling what could look, upon league replay, to be a legit foul. "NCI," says one ref. "It's short for 'no call incorrect.' That's what they hit you with the hardest. You're better off getting it wrong by blowing your whistle than by not blowing it."

Strict adherence to the rules -- albeit not by game officials -- resulted in the Suns being punished more harshly than the Spurs for the altercation instigated by San Antonio's Robert Horry at the end of Game 4 of the Western Conference semifinals. The league, Jackson has admitted, chose "correctness" over "fairness." And that's what it always does. But that kind of thinking goes against a philosophy that has been hardwired through generations into every veteran ref: Let the players decide the game. "They've taken the common sense out of the officials' hands," says a former ref.



The pursuit of uniformity, several refs contend, is creating mediocrity, even as isolated focus on every call is creating paralysis by analysis, especially among the younger officials.

The pursuit of uniformity, several refs contend, is creating mediocrity, even as isolated focus on every call is creating paralysis by analysis, especially among the younger officials. And they see an irony in being asked to walk a straight line while they are being issued wildly careening directives from the league office. The 2005-06 season began with refs being told to exercise diplomacy and patience, to allow coaches and players to air their grievances as long as they weren't too demonstrative.
Then they were told to do a 180 a year later, when a zero-tolerance policy was handed down. (Jackson objected to the idea that it was a zero-tolerance policy.) These days, no one is quite sure where the line is or, post-Donaghy, where it will fall. Will players and coaches be permitted to vent, or will the refs be filled to the brim with Donaghy smack and not take a drop more?

For the officials, it would appear that correcting one of the ills of last season would be a good start. Remember Tim Duncan's sarcastic laughing fit following a foul call during a game back on April 15? Joey Crawford ejected the All-Star and followed it up with words that got the ref bounced for the remainder of the season. But multiple sources say that when Crawford asked, "Do you want to fight?" it wasn't a challenge, it was a question, as in, "Why do you keep staring at me? Are you trying to pick a fight with me?"


Although the Duncan incident landed him in hot water, Crawford's toughness is credited with keeping a lid on disputes.
While several refs concurred that Crawford would have been better served ignoring Duncan, his harsh punishment was taken as further evidence that they now toil in a no-win situation. On one hand, Stern doesn't want games marred by altercations or other distractions. On the other, he doesn't believe that in the heat of battle, being "fair" is the best way to ensure that. Crawford had long been known for his short fuse, but he's had a short fuse with everybody, star or scrub. Challenge his authority, and you're going to pay the price.

And his colleagues point to the fact that altercations don't happen in games he works as proof that his approach quells disturbances rather than fomenting them. "What they did to Joey was wrong," said one player. "It's not that I like him, but you know what you're going to get with him. He's consistent. He's fair." Don't shed tears for Crawford. He's asked to return to his job next season, and Stern has indicated that he'll let him.

But even with Crawford and 57-year-old Blane Reichelt, whose planned return after a two-year retirement has been thrown off course by the scandal, the NBA still faces a crisis-provoking exodus of its most experienced refs. The NBDL hasn't turned out to be the hoped-for proving ground for whistle-blowing wannabes, and the NBA has even had to resort to holding an open tryout for its new crop of officials.

In fact, the league has found it so difficult to find suitable replacements that it has six men over 60 still humping it up and down the hardwood, including the respected Joe Forte, Jim Clark, Jack Nies and Jess Kersey. And then there are the fiftysomethings, the next wave of first-rate officials that includes Crawford, Bob Delaney and Bennett Salvatore. "Working a couple of extra years to improve your pension isn't worth it," says one official. Fryer, who is walking away in good health and standing, is clear evidence of that.

The man has to be counting his blessings that he won't be around to witness the Donaghy Effect or be subjected to the suspicions that have crept into the minds of the faithful. But there is one respect in which Donaghy's indiscretions could serve as a benefit to the fraternity. Maybe a chastened Stern will now listen to -- and trust -- what his best referees have to say about how the job needs to be done.

It's pretty clear that if he doesn't, traveling will be the hot new call in the NBA.

Ric Bucher covers the NBA for ESPN The Magazine.




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Kstat
08-04-2007, 07:03 AM
problem is, everyone seems to think the NBA is too lenient on officials, and you won't win any friends by taking that kind of a stance.

Unclebuck
08-04-2007, 07:11 AM
problem is, everyone seems to think the NBA is too lenient on officials, and you won't win any friends by taking that kind of a stance.

Well the system that is now in place doesn't seem to be working. The fans mistrust the refs more than ever, the league isn't grooming good young refs. I wish they went back to the system they used back in the 80's.

JayRedd
08-04-2007, 06:59 PM
I've gotten into many arguments over the years about the NBA officiating. Most of you want it to be more uniform, a travel is a travel and needs to be called everytime. A foul is a foul and needs to be called everytime. I disagree with that that notion. Every game is different every situation is different and I want refs who are good enough to use their judgment. That is the way it used to be in the 80's and part of the 90's.

I don't believe in uniform calls across the board - but that is what the NBA wants and that is what the Donaghy situation will force the league into. Refs should be taught the art of officiating not the science of it.

Couldn't agree more...And thanks for posting the excellent article, UB.

Trying to force an objective system into what is an inherently subjective task is flawed logic in my book.

This is all leading towards a Quest Tec scenario where the refs no longer have any ability to make their own conclusions about what's going on in the game. We may as well put sensors on people's jersey to digitally record whether there's any contact on a drive to the hoop, and put those Wimbledon cameras on the sidelines. Maybe there's something we can put on players shoes for traveling or a compass we can put in the ball for palming.

Basketball is waaaaay too complex for objective metrics that must be adhered to.




"NCI," says one ref. "It's short for 'no call incorrect.' That's what they hit you with the hardest. You're better off getting it wrong by blowing your whistle than by not blowing it."

This is troubling to me. I'd say a no-call is generally better than the wrong call. I'm really dissapointed to hear that no-calls are the things NBA honchos are getting most bent out of shape about.

Easy to see why the League is getting so soft when that very concept is coming down from the top brass.

Eindar
08-04-2007, 09:13 PM
I think the difference between good officiating and great officiating is that bit about asking yourself "did the player gain an advantage because of the violation?". If not, it should be a no-call. I don't agree with not calling fouls when a guy goes over the back but bounces off of him. That guy needs a foul because later in the game it could mean the difference between having to sit and getting to play due to foul trouble. But in general, if there was no advantage gained, it should be a "play on" mentality.

The part I really, really don't like about NBA officiating is the occasional "make up" call, where a guy obviously blows a call to the point that even he realizes it, and within a couple possessions, you'll see him or a co-worker make another headscratcher to "neutralize" the original bad call. Drives me crazy.

Bynum Brigade
08-05-2007, 01:02 AM
I have alway thought reputation was a valid reason to whistle a close call. You know the old "super star call". I have never been sure why the public has been against these type of calls. They seem to think that the "star" is getting special treatment from the refs. When in reality, refs are just giving a player "the benefit of the doubt". That is something a player has earned over his years in the league by developing a rep. The league looks like it is trying to change this. In reallity it is near impossible to change. This game is way to hard to officiate with just your eyes. IMO knowing a players strengths helps refs make good decisions. People have to realize that the call will not be right every time but that the refs made a fair decision.

I'm not sure how it was in the eighties but in the nineties these call were given to Jordan left and right. IMO Jordan earned those calls with his rep. If a ref had a doubt about a call between Jordan and another player, ho should he give the benefit to? Who would you give the benefit of the doubt to?

Does this make sense to any one else?

Peck
08-05-2007, 02:34 AM
I can't state strongly enough how much I disagree with almost everyone in this thread.

I'm sorry but I lived through the era of Superstar calls and yes if you were a fan of Boston, Chicago, L.A. or Philly these "judgement calls" were great.

Be a fan of a team that doesn't have a superstar.

Benefit of the doubt? Nope, sorry I don't want a ref. blowing a whistle in anticipation of a foul.

I hate to keep using this quote over and over but I can't help but remembering the complete and utter demoralization in Hersey Hawkins voice when he said "Michael Jordan touches you it's a steal, you touch him it's a foul."

Yes I know it make take away some of the free flow of the game, but dammit fair is fair.

I don't want fouls called on the opostion to the Pacers because one of our players has a rep. (ok that's a bad example because our entire team has a rep. and it ain't got nothing to do with hoops at this point in time).

There was nothing more frustrating to me than watching the thugz, that's right I said thugz, of the Boston Celtics front line back in the 80's beat the crap out of opposing frontlines. Yet if someone breathed on precious Larry while he was in the act of shooting he was going to the line.

A foul is a foul. If it is committed by Dwayne Wade or Reggie Evans it shouldn't matter.

Now to be hones though I hate the charge call. I have always said that players that intentionally run to a spot with the sole purpose of drawing a charge without making any attempt at a defensive play should be called for a blocking foul even if they are planted on the ground. But that's just me.

Unclebuck
08-05-2007, 07:18 AM
I can't state strongly enough how much I disagree with almost everyone in this thread.

I'm sorry but I lived through the era of Superstar calls and yes if you were a fan of Boston, Chicago, L.A. or Philly these "judgement calls" were great.

Be a fan of a team that doesn't have a superstar.

Benefit of the doubt? Nope, sorry I don't want a ref. blowing a whistle in anticipation of a foul.

I hate to keep using this quote over and over but I can't help but remembering the complete and utter demoralization in Hersey Hawkins voice when he said "Michael Jordan touches you it's a steal, you touch him it's a foul."

Yes I know it make take away some of the free flow of the game, but dammit fair is fair.

I don't want fouls called on the opostion to the Pacers because one of our players has a rep. (ok that's a bad example because our entire team has a rep. and it ain't got nothing to do with hoops at this point in time).

There was nothing more frustrating to me than watching the thugz, that's right I said thugz, of the Boston Celtics front line back in the 80's beat the crap out of opposing frontlines. Yet if someone breathed on precious Larry while he was in the act of shooting he was going to the line.

A foul is a foul. If it is committed by Dwayne Wade or Reggie Evans it shouldn't matter.

Now to be hones though I hate the charge call. I have always said that players that intentionally run to a spot with the sole purpose of drawing a charge without making any attempt at a defensive play should be called for a blocking foul even if they are planted on the ground. But that's just me.


I never said I liked the superstar call, or the "superteam" call. But I do want a referee to be able to work a game and have a feel for when a call should be made and when it shouldn't - because the fact of the matter is a foul could be called on every play and I believe it is the refs job to know when to call it.

Peck, do you remember Earl Strom - he was the best ref ever - he made the tough call against anybody and he made the tough call in Boston Garden

That is what I want

Bynum Brigade
08-05-2007, 12:40 PM
My point was that the game is too fast for refs to see what really happened. They have to make logical judgment call on the spot without the help of video. Every team including the Pacers gets these types of calls. Take a player such as Artest he has earned a rep (while playing for the Pacers) for being a defensive stopper. He is so hard to officiate because of how physical he is. Should he be whistled every time he touches someone? I don't think so. I haven't watched any Pacer games the last few seasons but I bet JO probably gets hammered alot without the calls he deserves.

Unclebuck
08-05-2007, 01:04 PM
My point was that the game is too fast for refs to see what really happened. They have to make logical judgment call on the spot without the help of video. Every team including the Pacers gets these types of calls. Take a player such as Artest he has earned a rep (while playing for the Pacers) for being a defensive stopper. He is so hard to officiate because of how physical he is. Should he be whistled every time he touches someone? I don't think so. I haven't watched any Pacer games the last few seasons but I bet JO probably gets hammered alot without the calls he deserves.

Those are excellent points. JO does get fouled a lot and they aren't called. But in a lot of ways it is his own fault - he get knocked off balance so easily - they just don't call the foul that often.

Artest did get away with a lot during the 2004 season (when he was defensive player of the year) - he was allowed to push, grab, hold, hand check. However, I think one reason why he isn't as good of a defender as he used to be are the new defensive rules - things he used to get away with are now called fouls

JayRedd
08-05-2007, 01:11 PM
A foul is a foul.

That's what I disagree with.

Every game has it's own physicality level and you can't call games over the past few years between Phoenix vs. Seattle the same way you call a Pistons vs. Spurs game.

One is a free flowing, jump-shooting game with out a lot of "battling in the trenches" and the other is a knock-down, drag-out affair where guys like Duncan and Big Ben are going toe-to-toe for every rebound and struggling for positioning on the block.

In the Phx-Sea game, if someone starts trying to push Amare around down low even when he doesn't have the ball, it's a foul. But, because of how the game is being played, Duncan may be receiving a good amount of contact even with the ball as he's beginning to make a move and it's just, as Jamaal would say, "good *** defense."

A foul is not a foul.

The beauty of basketball is that each and every game is different and each has its own nuances. What exactly constitutes a foul is relative. And properly officiating a game requires the judgement of the officials to call it fairly and make sure neither team is getting an advantage by exploiting the rules.

If you start trying to make everything objective, you take that power to their job properly away from the referees and you're essentially dictating how teams should play the game.

Peck
08-05-2007, 02:47 PM
That's what I disagree with.

Every game has it's own physicality level and you can't call games over the past few years between Phoenix vs. Seattle the same way you call a Pistons vs. Spurs game.

One is a free flowing, jump-shooting game with out a lot of "battling in the trenches" and the other is a knock-down, drag-out affair where guys like Duncan and Big Ben are going toe-to-toe for every rebound and struggling for positioning on the block.

In the Phx-Sea game, if someone starts trying to push Amare around down low even when he doesn't have the ball, it's a foul. But, because of how the game is being played, Duncan may be receiving a good amount of contact even with the ball as he's beginning to make a move and it's just, as Jamaal would say, "good *** defense."

A foul is not a foul.

The beauty of basketball is that each and every game is different and each has its own nuances. What exactly constitutes a foul is relative. And properly officiating a game requires the judgement of the officials to call it fairly and make sure neither team is getting an advantage by exploiting the rules.

If you start trying to make everything objective, you take that power to their job properly away from the referees and you're essentially dictating how teams should play the game.

Your examples are fine, but you didn't take them far enough.

What happens when the Suns are playing the Pistons. Who's set of rules do we go by then?

Do we allow the Pistons to be physical or do we call all of the physcal fouls because the Suns don't play that way?

A foul is a foul.

Hicks
08-05-2007, 03:06 PM
I can't state strongly enough how much I disagree with almost everyone in this thread.

I'm sorry but I lived through the era of Superstar calls and yes if you were a fan of Boston, Chicago, L.A. or Philly these "judgement calls" were great.

Be a fan of a team that doesn't have a superstar.

Benefit of the doubt? Nope, sorry I don't want a ref. blowing a whistle in anticipation of a foul.

I hate to keep using this quote over and over but I can't help but remembering the complete and utter demoralization in Hersey Hawkins voice when he said "Michael Jordan touches you it's a steal, you touch him it's a foul."

Yes I know it make take away some of the free flow of the game, but dammit fair is fair.

I don't want fouls called on the opostion to the Pacers because one of our players has a rep. (ok that's a bad example because our entire team has a rep. and it ain't got nothing to do with hoops at this point in time).

.....

A foul is a foul. If it is committed by Dwayne Wade or Reggie Evans it shouldn't matter.

I agree with all of this. The rules are there. Follow them. Either players will adjust, or they can't earn their reputations as "stars". "The flow of the game" is great, but I don't want it when it's artificial; fake. Screw that. I can go watch WWE if I want fake entertainment. The players and teams should have to EARN those moments.

The counter-argument has a point, but you can't put anyone above the game, and putting a player, even for one play, above the rules puts them above the game. That is wrong. It's myopic and damaging in the long term.

.....

As a secondary question, how can anyone be OK with Stern and co. going by the letter of the law with the Phoenix suspensions, but be OK with breaking the rules for "the flow of the game" or what have you? It's a contradiction.

Unclebuck
08-05-2007, 04:37 PM
Your examples are fine, but you didn't take them far enough.

What happens when the Suns are playing the Pistons. Who's set of rules do we go by then?

Do we allow the Pistons to be physical or do we call all of the physcal fouls because the Suns don't play that way?

A foul is a foul.

Peck, what is the definition of a foul. I'm not trying to be a jerk, but I think that is maybe where are are differing

Unclebuck
08-05-2007, 04:42 PM
I agree with all of this. The rules are there. Follow them. Either players will adjust, or they can't earn their reputations as "stars". "The flow of the game" is great, but I don't want it when it's artificial; fake. Screw that. I can go watch WWE if I want fake entertainment. The players and teams should have to EARN those moments.

The counter-argument has a point, but you can't put anyone above the game, and putting a player, even for one play, above the rules puts them above the game. That is wrong. It's myopic and damaging in the long term.

.....

As a secondary question, how can anyone be OK with Stern and co. going by the letter of the law with the Phoenix suspensions, but be OK with breaking the rules for "the flow of the game" or what have you? It's a contradiction.

That is not during the game and it is a clear rule with a lot of precedence.

I'm not suggesting refs allow players to step out of bounds and not call it, so I don't want players leaving the bench area during an altercation and by any definition the Suns players left the bench area.

When I say I want a ref to "work a game" I want a ref to have a "good feel on how to call a game" I'm talking about the many judgment calls during the game. If a player steps out of bounds with the ball - the other team gets the ball every time. So when a player leaves the bench during an altercation he is suspended every time. I really don't see any contradiction at all

Kstat
08-05-2007, 04:59 PM
the best referees were not robots.

Earl Strom is the gold standard for basketball officials, and he ALWAYS went outside black and white guidelines.

When a player had a breakaway layup and was barely grabbed from behind, Strom would never call it, even though %99 of the referees in the NBA would. he did not reward the other team for a cheap foul, he let the man have his two points. Players universally loved him for being that kind of a referee.

There was ALWAYS a distinct flow when Strom reffed a game. He was a master at keeping games clean.

That's the way a proper basketball official acts, impartially, in the best interest of the game he's officiating.

If all you had to do to be a good referee was know the rule book, the NBA would be a very easy job.

Hicks
08-05-2007, 05:05 PM
When a player had a breakaway layup and was barely grabbed from behind, Strom would never call it, even though %99 of the referees in the NBA would. he did not reward the other team for a cheap foul, he let the man have his two points. Players universally loved him for being that kind of a referee.

Someone grabbed a player from behind? That's a foul. He doesn't want a whistle, he learns not to grab.

I also believe that if it's OK for a ref to bend "this" rule or "that' rule, then he has a lot of leeway he shouldn't have because ultimately, as I said before, the short-sighted gain ignores the long term negative effect of altering the results of games.

Kstat
08-05-2007, 05:06 PM
Someone grabbed a player from behind? That's a foul. He doesn't want a whistle, he learns not to grab.

read it again. It was a situational call.

Strom was liked because he did not bail out a defense when it was trying to get a foul whistled.

Likewise, when a player from a team that was losing tried to get himself ejected, Strom would say, "I'm going to punish you by making you watch the rest of this," and just ignore him.

Amazingly, there were very few incidents in game that Strom officiated.

Kstat
08-05-2007, 05:11 PM
I also believe that if it's OK for a ref to bend "this" rule or "that' rule, then he has a lot of leeway he shouldn't have because ultimately, as I said before, the short-sighted gain ignores the long term negative effect of altering the results of games.
Once again, the bad refs have always been the robots.

The best refs ere the ones that worked in the best interests of the game, and commanded respect. They did it through impartiality, not whistling every little foul.

The NBA is turning into a league where refs are so scared of not going by the book, that they're calling anything they see and it's ruining the game. I miss the days when the refs had more control over the game.

Hicks
08-05-2007, 05:14 PM
read it again. It was a situational call.

Maybe you should read my post again. The rule is there for a reason, and either follow it or get rid of the rule.

Kstat
08-05-2007, 05:15 PM
Maybe you should read my post again. The rule is there for a reason, and either follow it or get rid of the rule.

In case you didn't notice, the NBA DID get rid of the rule. We have breakaway fouls now. Strom was 20 years ahead of his time. I wish he were still alive.

The refs in the 80's were probably the best officials in basketball history. Many of the subtle changes the NBA made to their rule book were due to the way refs were calling the games in the 80's, and they found it made the game better.

To be honest, I think the rules committee should be made up entirely of former referees. Those are the real expects on the flow of a game.

Hicks
08-05-2007, 05:18 PM
Once again, the bad refs have always been the robots.

Disagree. The bad ones are the ones that make a spectacle of themselves, or worse, they're so awful they show no shred of consistency.

The best are the ones we don't even know the names of. That comes from lack of controversy, and from consistency. The only way to be that consistent and non-controversial is to follow the rules.



The best refs ere the ones that worked in the best interests of the game, and commanded respect. They did it through impartiality, not whistling every little foul.

No, the refs that command respect are the Joey Crawfords and the Steve Javies who just act like Napoleon-esque jerks by calling T's when you look at them wrong, so everyone knows they'll get burned if they don't act respectfully.


The NBA is turning into a league where refs are so scared of not going by the book, that they're calling anything they see and it's ruining the game. I miss the days when the refs had more control over the game.

To this day we have refs who ignore fouls. That's always going to be at the expense of one of the teams. It hasn't gone anywhere. The only thing that's changed recently is they finally started calling hand-checking on the perimeter. That's the "ruining of the game"; fouls are being called as fouls, and players aren't smart enough to stop fouling.

Kstat
08-05-2007, 05:20 PM
problem is, no player, coach or owner in the NBA agrees with you. Nobody wants robots calling the games, which is close to what we have right now.

And in case you haven't noticed, nobody respects Crawford or Javie. The games the ref suck, because any little outbusrt is whistled as a technical foul.

That point should have been made a season ago when Crawford got suspended for half the season for picking a fight with Tim Duncan...

Hicks
08-05-2007, 05:23 PM
In case you didn't notice, the NBA DID get rid of the rule. We have breakaway fouls now. Strom was 20 years ahead of his time. I wish he were still alive.

I thought you meant the player was in the process of laying it in, was fouled from behind, and no call was made. Since you apparently meant he was simply ahead of the other 9 players and running free towards his basket, then yes that's now in the rules and it's a good rule.


problem is, no player, coach or owner in the NBA agrees with you. Nobody wants robots calling the games, which is close to what we have right now.

I'll wait for you to provide the poll results. I don't buy that.


And in case you haven't noticed, nobody respects Crawford or Javie.

During the game they sure do.

Kstat
08-05-2007, 05:27 PM
I'll wait for you to provide the poll results. I don't buy that.





I don't need poll results. The most respected refs in the history of basketball were men that called the game the way Earl Strom did. You can ponder exactly why that is.

When we have robots coaching the game and robots playing the game, then it will be appropriate to have robots officiating the game.


During the game they sure do.

If the players respected those refs, they wouldn't be leading the NBA in technical foul calls. Players that respect the guy calling the game don't tend to show them up.

Kstat
08-05-2007, 05:32 PM
Adding to the Strom legend, not only was he voted the best ref in the NBA repeatedly, but in 1990 he was voted the best referee in professional sports.

Naptown_Seth
08-05-2007, 06:10 PM
I understand Buck and JayR's point of view and sort of share it, not every "foul" is the same or affects the situation the same at the time.

BUT there is a huge problem that Peck is right to say "a foul is a foul" about. If you let a player have the right to SOMETIMES go over the back then he can play super-aggressive. Sometimes he really won't foul and therefore won't get called for it. But he only tried it because he was never taught that it was a foul risk (since he never got to the ball enough to have a foul called previously).

Meanwhile another guy who has been called for it because it happened to help him more is being taught by the "adjustable" rules that he must stop taking risks. Thus when the opportunity to make the same AGGRESSIVE NON-FOUL play shows up, he hesitates where the other player doesn't.

Why? Because for the previous 10 times one guy has had fouls called and the other guy has just seen the refs make "bad out of bounds calls". One doesn't realize he's been fouling, the other does. One has adjusted his game, the other hasn't.


So the lure is to see a single game and single moment as unique, but each of those moments is a learning lesson for every player on the court. Let guys come over the back on David Harrison because he still gets the rebound then what's he supposed to think when he goes over the back and it's a foul??? Oh, it's wrong because I gained something from it? He won't know that's what's going on.


Plus there is also a false sense that some fouls don't affect plays as much because it isn't as obvious. That's about the same as saying some outside strikes don't affect the game because they are near the plate.

Call it however you want, but it's gotta be consistant. Players are counting on the rules to always be the same. One fast PG might have a quick move that gets slowed up by a "foul" that isn't called, simply because it's not as obvious to the ref that this is a setup move for the next fake and go. To the ref it looks incidental and to have not affected the outcome, but to the PG that first attempt was part of his parlay to establish a disadvantage that he will later exploit an entirely different way...perhaps he shows that he can get the step to the left in order to get the defender to overplay when he comes back with a crossover that ends up going right. That's ruined if he's bumped off the first move with no call.

Players may not see this stuff overtly, and I'm sure many fans don't, but players do pick up on it at least subliminally. They sense where those boundries are, and if they are sensing different locations than other players get they are going to play the game differently.

Naptown_Seth
08-05-2007, 06:16 PM
I have always said that players that intentionally run to a spot with the sole purpose of drawing a charge without making any attempt at a defensive play
Our agreement ends :)

That IS a defensive play. It's denying court position. If you can get there before the other player it's the same as the Oklahoma land rush. Sure in the NBA it's split seconds but the point is the same. If another player beats you to a spot, it's his spot. Come with a quicker move next time and it won't be an issue.

Kstat
08-05-2007, 07:23 PM
taking a charge is fine with me. it's the play-acting that bothers me.

Unclebuck
08-05-2007, 07:37 PM
I knew everytime Earl Storm was reffing a game it was going to be a good game. He was just a special ref, the kind that cannot be taught and sadly in todays NBA that type of ref would not be alloowed to be an NBA official.

The game was better officiated back in the 80's when they only had 2 refs, but almost all of them were good, and they knew what they were doing.

Kstat
08-05-2007, 07:39 PM
I knew everytime Earl Storm was reffing a game it was going to be a good game. He was just a special ref, the kind that cannot be taught and sadly in todays NBA that type of ref would not be alloowed to be an NBA official.

Exactly.

The refs are too controlled by the NBA now. They feel pressured to be perfect on every little call, and it turns most of them into guys that nobody can work with.

Not to mention, most of them have egos, and turn every game into a tech-fest, because they think the only way you can keep order is by ejecting anyone who disagrees with you.

Referees need to be more empowered, and trained better. They need to be more diplomatic with players, and they need to have the security to make an unpopular call, no matter what the 20,000 people in the stands think of it.

I remember Earl Strom's last game. It was game 4 of the 1990 finals in Portland, and Danny Young hit an incredible 50-foot shoot at the buzzer to tie the game. The whole building was standing and going crazy.

Strom waived the shot off. With no replay to fall back on, and immense pressure to let the game go to overtime, he called the shot no good and shrugged off the 18,000 or so protesters on his way to the locker room.

After further review on replay, Strom was right. The shot was late by two tenths of a second. I imagine most NBA refs without the benefit of replay would have continued on instead of taking the abuse.

Unclebuck
08-05-2007, 08:00 PM
Exactly.

The refs are too controlled by the NBA now. They feel pressured to be perfect on every little call, and it turns most of them into guys that nobody can work with.

Not to mention, most of them have egos, and turn every game into a tech-fest, because they think the only way you can keep order is by ejecting anyone who disagrees with you.

Referees need to be more empowered, and trained better. They need to be more diplomatic with players, and they need to have the security to make an unpopular call, no matter what the 20,000 people in the stands think of it.

I remember Earl Strom's last game. It was game 4 of the 1990 finals in Portland, and Danny Young hit an incredible 50-foot shoot at the buzzer to tie the game. The whole building was standing and going crazy.

Strom waived the shot off. With no replay to fall back on, and immense pressure to let the game go to overtime, he called the shot no good and shrugged off the 18,000 or so protesters on his way to the locker room.

After further review on replay, Strom was right. The shot was late by two tenths of a second. I imagine most NBA refs without the benefit of replay would have continued on instead of taking the abuse.



I remember that play very well. That took a lot of guts to make that call, but Strom was not afraid to make any call at anytime.

Hicks
08-05-2007, 08:17 PM
I don't know much about Strom, but it sounds like he truly was a special, gifted official. I just strongly disagree that calling things differently at different times was one of those special qualities. I like the guts to call it as he saw it with the 50-footer.

Unclebuck
08-05-2007, 08:20 PM
I just strongly disagree that calling things differently at different times one of those special qualities.


That is where we just disagree.

Kstat
08-05-2007, 09:10 PM
Strom has the highest road win percentage in NBA history to this day. I think %45 or something like that. He called games the same for both teams in every arena.

His crew was the only crew I've ever seen ref games in the old boston garden without fear or awe.

He and officials like him are famous because they called the game differently, and most importantly, evenly.

The interpretation of the rules isn't as important as applying them evenly to both teams, no matter the circumstances.

Unclebuck
08-05-2007, 09:18 PM
[b] I just strongly disagree that calling things differently at different times was one of those special qualities.


My last response was very good. What I should have said. What about the judgment calls - often times there is no "right call" or "wrong call". There is no way it is possible to make the same calls on all the judgment type calls

grace
08-06-2007, 12:54 AM
I was going to keep my opinion to myself, but I can't take it anymore.

A FOUL IS A FOUL IS A FOUL!!!!!!!!!!!

I know it's too much to ask that every play not within the rules be called. All I really want is the game to be called consistently for both teams. I'm not against "letting them play" except for when it ends up in a fight, or worse a brawl.

Do I think all the NBA refs are horrible? No. There are about 2 that I think are pretty good. I won't say who they are because when I do they invariably call a hideous game and I wonder why I ever thought they were any good in the first place.

Peck
08-06-2007, 02:57 AM
To me the best refs. of all time are the ones you don't know.

Why do we know Joey Crawford? Is it because of his great, down the middle, calling of the game?

Hell no, we know Joey because he makes sure we know who he is. He is very much a "look at me" ref and has made himself into part of the show.

Javie used to be as bad if not worse than Crawford but I believe the NBA slapped him down several years ago to the point he is now just a face in the crowd and that's the way it should be.

Yes, I know due to the nature of the game the refs. will be known after so many years.

But there is no way in hell that any of us should look at who the refs. are before a game and care, other than if they are incompetant.

Everybody acts like because Crawford had an iron fist that nobody incidents ever broke out while he was on the floor.

I don't know if it's true or not, to be honest I wouldn't even begin to know how to go and look.

But is his way the only way to maintain order? That would be like saying that Bob Knight was the only successfull coach because he yelled. That would discount Dean Smith or other coach's who never raised thier voices.

I don't know if that is a good example or not.

While Earl Strom was a great ref., no doubt about it, he also blew some game ending shots over the years as well. Wasn't he the ref. who blew off the Billy Ray Bates rebound dunk with almost 1.2 sec. on the clock? I'm pretty sure he was.

I guess what I'm saying is that while I understand the ebb and flow nature of the game I think giving the refs. power to choose when and when not to call a foul is just inviting abuse.

You guys keep saying the 80's were great? Really???

To me that was the era of the superstar call if there ever was one. Now you can say that they let players be more physical back then and you would be right. I do miss that, but that was not a judgement call by each ref. at differant times of the game in differant games. It was a league wide edict and that all changed the day that the Knicks and the Bulls went rolling on the floor in the playoffs in front of Stern.

Again if you were a Piston fan or Lakers fan or Celtic fan, yes those refs. were outstanding.

Come to MSA and say with a straight face in 1985 while watching the F'n Celtics beat and abuse us but the bruiser Herb Williams would be called for a touch foul.

Kstat
08-06-2007, 03:10 AM
the refs had very little to do with the pacers being a bad team in the 80's.

Peck
08-06-2007, 05:15 AM
the refs had very little to do with the pacers being a bad team in the 80's.

No doubt.

Take out the word Pacers and insert the word Cavaliers and it would all be the same.

Good teams and superstar players do not need the "benefit of the doubt" calls.

No team needs this, IMO.

Kstat
08-06-2007, 05:41 AM
they also didn't get benefit of the doubt calls. At least not like today's players do.

Show me the 1980's series where a guy lived at the FT line like Wade did in 2006.

Unclebuck
08-06-2007, 07:32 AM
To me the best refs. of all time are the ones you don't know.

Why do we know Joey Crawford? Is it because of his great, down the middle, calling of the game?





I completely disagree with you that the great refs are the ones we don't know. Not in the NBA - it just doesn't work that way. The best refs work the most important games and make the most important calls, so we are going to know them. At least any die-hard fan of any type.

I know Joey Crawford because in todays NBA he is one of the very best refs, and I believe that because of the way he calls a game. (Sure he lets his emotions get the better of him, he's to blame for that, but the next important Pacers playoff game, I pray that Joey is reffing the game.

Right now the three best officails in the NBA are: Joey Crawford, Steve Javi, and Danny Crawford. Dick Bevetta is right there also, although I think he makes too many calls some times. But I know one thing when I saw Dick Bevatta was reffing game 3 of the Pacers vs Bulls ECF - I was very, very happy - because I knew he wasn't going to let Pippen mull Mark Jackson like he did in games 1 and 2. And Bevetta called a very early foul on Scottie and that had a huge impact on the entire game.


Peck, OK let me say something there is one ref who was an alltime great who wasn't really well known. Hugh Evans - he worked all the big game - he didn't call a lot of technicals - players and coaches really liked him. (Don't confuse Hugh Evans with Hue Hollins, Hollins was a pretty good ref, but he often times made very strange calls).


I guess my point is Joey Crawford is a great ref not because of his temper and tendency to call T's - he a great ref because he makes good calls - controls a game. If he didn;'t have his temper - he'd be an even better ref.



Edit: and this idea that a foul is a foul is a foul is just wrong. There is a foul on every play - there just is - so the officials must use their better judgement to know when to call them. That is why they judgement calls.

Unclebuck
08-06-2007, 07:35 AM
Come to MSA and say with a straight face in 1985 while watching the F'n Celtics beat and abuse us but the bruiser Herb Williams would be called for a touch foul.


I guarentee you Earl Strom wasn't working that game

BillS
08-06-2007, 09:37 AM
The problem is that the game has gotten so physical that fouls become judgment calls. In the Golden Age That Lives In My Mind (GATLIMM), the only reason a foul would not be called would be that the contact was incidental - two players going for the same loose ball and banging into each other is a big example. During GATLIMM, contact with a defender to make space was a charge - period. Lowering the shoulder to push the defender out of position was a charge. Altering a shot with hands, arms, or body is a foul. Altering a player's path without being in control of the spot on the floor (or by leaning or reaching out while in control of the spot) is a foul.

Of course, I realize GATLIMM never really existed. But if they could just call any contact that changes the outcome of a play (whether on or off the ball), then it would reduce some of the ridiculous levels of physical smackdown (and probably reduce the levels of physical confrontation) and yet still (as soon as players actually adjusted to it) allow for a free-flowing game. The best part is there would still be room for case-by-case decision-making by the refs.

The other thing, though, that seems to set people off is the perception that the entire game is not being called consistently. How many times have you seen a game where a trailing team seems to be given a chance by the refs to get back into it by suddenly getting to the line more often or by offensive foul turnovers against the other team? While momentum and aggressiveness can cause this to happen legitimately, it often seems that the consistent level of aggressiveness by the leading team is downplayed due to a changing level of aggressiveness on the part of the trailing team.

Kegboy
08-06-2007, 09:47 AM
But I know one thing when I saw Dick Bevatta was reffing game 3 of the Pacers vs Bulls ECF - I was very, very happy

Funny you don't talk about him ref'ing game 7.

During the Finals season, we had a 25-game home winning streak, and we were playing Miami. Dick Bavetta walked onto the court and I said to Grace, "We just lost this game." Guess what?

Peck's right, you shouldn't care about who the ref is when the game starts. Unless it's the NFL and we're talking about Ed Hochuli. He gives detailed explanations of calls, and the girls swoon over his physique.

Kegboy
08-06-2007, 10:00 AM
I guarentee you Earl Strom wasn't working that game

Well then here's one for you. Game 4 of the 2000 finals. Shaq picks up his 5th foul early in the 4th, and Phil Jackson tells him to play like he's not in foul trouble. He proceeds to knock around our big men (not to mention body-slamming Travis Best) while the officials keep calling fouls on Dale, Rik, and Sam. They finally give Shaq his 6th a minute into OT, after a too-blatant foul on Rik.

The officials of that game: Dick Bavetta, Steve Javie, and current head of officials Ronnie Nunn.

Unclebuck
08-06-2007, 10:08 AM
Well then here's one for you. Game 4 of the 2000 finals. Shaq picks up his 5th foul early in the 4th, and Phil Jackson tells him to play like he's not in foul trouble. He proceeds to knock around our big men (not to mention body-slamming Travis Best) while the officials keep calling fouls on Dale, Rik, and Sam. They finally give Shaq his 6th a minute into OT, after a too-blatant foul on Rik.

The officials of that game: Dick Bavetta, Steve Javie, and current head of officials Ronnie Nunn.

Well, Shaq did eventually foul out right? That had to surprise some people. (although looking back now, I kinda wish he hadn't fouled out, we might have won the game) I never thought Ronnie Nunn was a very good official - I mean he was OK, but I was shocked to find out he was the head of officials

Hicks
08-06-2007, 10:46 AM
Well, Shaq did eventually foul out right?

I don't know whether to :laugh: or :suicide4:

ChicagoJ
08-06-2007, 12:12 PM
Shaq eventually fouled out, on his 13th foul of the game.

Reminds me of great debate I had with a good friend that was a Knicks fan back in '94, after Game #7 and referring to Patrick's over-the-back in the last thrity seconds. He said,

"The no-call was right, that wasn't Patrick's sixth foul. Now, I'm not saying it wasn't his eighth or ninth foul, but it wasn't his sixth foul."

And yet, that's what is maddeing about this. The inconsistency.

By the way, I don't say this very often, but I agree completely with Peck.

Call it by the rules, or re-write the rules.

Good to see we've got proponents of "situational ethics" on here. Make the rules fit the situation. Nice...

:D


http://www.kansasheritage.org/people/naismith.html

Rule #5:

No shouldering, holding, pushing, striking or tripping in any way of an opponent. The first infringement of this rule by any person shall count as a foul; the second shall disqualify him until the next goal is made or, if there was evident intent to injure the person, for the whole of the game. No substitution shall be allowed.

grace
08-06-2007, 12:35 PM
I completely disagree with you that the great refs are the ones we don't know. Not in the NBA - it just doesn't work that way. The best refs work the most important games and make the most important calls, so we are going to know them. At least any die-hard fan of any type.

I know Joey Crawford because in todays NBA he is one of the very best refs...

I got this far and my head exploded. Kind of like this :suicide4:

If Joey Crawford is one of the NBA's best refs no wonder I don't attend games any more.

grace
08-06-2007, 12:38 PM
I don't know whether to :laugh: or :suicide4:


I slapped my head so hard it left a mark.

arenn
08-06-2007, 02:07 PM
I always found the 80's game to be better officiated. Of course, it was a different game back then. But the league really seemed to take a step back when they went to the three man crew.

JayRedd
08-06-2007, 03:11 PM
I always found the 80's game to be better officiated. Of course, it was a different game back then. But the league really seemed to take a step back when they went to the three man crew.

It seemed to take a big step back when we got instant replay too.

Not surprisingly, this latest rash of "NBA referees are all horrible and this is a problem of epic proportions" arguments began right around the time YouTube came out.

Coincidence?

FrenchConnection
08-06-2007, 03:13 PM
It seemed to take a big step back when we got instant replay too.

Not surprisingly, this latest rash of "NBA referees are all horrible and this is a problem of epic proportions" arguments began right around the time YouTube came out.

Coincidence?

Good point. The fact that every controversial call ends up on Youtube, where fans of the "wronged" team can watch it over and over, usually in slow motion, does not help the perception that the refs in the NBA are bad.

ChicagoJ
08-06-2007, 07:03 PM
I wouldn't mind instant replay in either the NFL or NBA, but not slow-mo instant replay. Watch the tape at real speed.

These officials get a lot more calls right at real speed than they get credit for.

Hicks
08-06-2007, 07:16 PM
I wouldn't mind instant replay in either the NFL or NBA, but not slow-mo instant replay. Watch the tape at real speed.

Isn't that kind of like saying you want CSI to investigate a murder, but only if they keep at least 3 feet away from all the evidence as they examine it?

ChicagoJ
08-06-2007, 07:54 PM
No - these guys may need to view "it" from another angle but they don't need the benefit of slow-mo.

:twocents:

Air23
08-07-2007, 02:42 AM
I agree with all of this. The rules are there. Follow them. Either players will adjust, or they can't earn their reputations as "stars". "The flow of the game" is great, but I don't want it when it's artificial; fake. Screw that. I can go watch WWE if I want fake entertainment. The players and teams should have to EARN those moments.

The counter-argument has a point, but you can't put anyone above the game, and putting a player, even for one play, above the rules puts them above the game. That is wrong. It's myopic and damaging in the long term.

.....

As a secondary question, how can anyone be OK with Stern and co. going by the letter of the law with the Phoenix suspensions, but be OK with breaking the rules for "the flow of the game" or what have you? It's a contradiction.


Total agreement with Mal and Peck.

Yes, as you can tell, I'm a huge MJ fan, but even I don't like (and never liked) superstar calls. I hated when stars got calls against the Bulls, so I could understand when opposing fans hated it when MJ got star treatment (though I do think lots of folks exaggerated how many calls he got).

Call it like it is. That's what the rules are there for. If notm, why have any rules at all?

This is why the NBA is in the sorry state that it's in today. This is why I stopped watching it in the middle of the playoffs when the Suns got screwed over (I watched maybe 30 seconds of the 4th quarter of Game 1 of the NBA Finals--that's it).

Air23
08-07-2007, 02:50 AM
Exactly.

The refs are too controlled by the NBA now. They feel pressured to be perfect on every little call, and it turns most of them into guys that nobody can work with.

Not to mention, most of them have egos, and turn every game into a tech-fest, because they think the only way you can keep order is by ejecting anyone who disagrees with you.

Referees need to be more empowered, and trained better. They need to be more diplomatic with players, and they need to have the security to make an unpopular call, no matter what the 20,000 people in the stands think of it.

I remember Earl Strom's last game. It was game 4 of the 1990 finals in Portland, and Danny Young hit an incredible 50-foot shoot at the buzzer to tie the game. The whole building was standing and going crazy.

Strom waived the shot off. With no replay to fall back on, and immense pressure to let the game go to overtime, he called the shot no good and shrugged off the 18,000 or so protesters on his way to the locker room.

After further review on replay, Strom was right. The shot was late by two tenths of a second. I imagine most NBA refs without the benefit of replay would have continued on instead of taking the abuse.



And I also agree with Kstat and Uncle Buck re: refs from the 80's compared to today.

Strom was the best, period.

Damn, there's great arguments on both sides of this discussion.

JayRedd
08-07-2007, 01:31 PM
Call it like it is. That's what the rules are there for. If notm, why have any rules at all?

Should NFL officials call holding on every play too then?

There is way too much gray area in regards to most physical contact on an NBA court to take such a black and white view.

Do they call every moving screen? Every travel? Every palming violation? Every 3 seconds? Every loose ball foul that has nothing to do with the play? Every hand check? All yall on "the rules are the rules are the rules" side can't believe these should all be called in every instance...Unless yall want 4 1/2 hour free-throw shooting contests between inbounds passes.

So where does referee judgement start and by-the-book robot whistling end?

Hicks
08-07-2007, 01:38 PM
Should NFL officials call holding on every play too then?

That depends. Did the player hold on every play?

The rules aren't there to be enforced when someone "feels like it."

JayRedd
08-07-2007, 01:53 PM
That depends. Did the player hold on every play?

The rules aren't there to be enforced when someone "feels like it."

It's pretty widely regarded that holding could be called on most every play from scrimmage.

So line judges (is that there name?) only call it to a certain degree based on their own judgement of the individual play.

ChicagoJ
08-07-2007, 03:20 PM
I continue to believe that professional athletes are good enough to adjust to however the referrees make the calls, as long as there is some consistency.

Be it the extra step in basketball, the holding in football, whatever.

In football, once you get the sense of the speed of a particular pass rusher, it isn't all that hard for NFL officials to determine if he offensive player gained an advantage or not by holding.

Also, the most clever OLs know how to hold a guy for *just* long enough while keeping their hands entirely out of view.

MagicRat
08-07-2007, 03:31 PM
Dick Bavetta walked onto the court and I said to Grace, "We just lost this game." Guess what?

I'm guessing you say that before every game.....

JayRedd
08-07-2007, 03:53 PM
Also, the most clever OLs know how to hold a guy for *just* long enough while keeping their hands entirely out of view.

Exactly.

And the most clever rebounders know how to go over the back just enough to maybe get a hand on the ball but not get whistled.

And guys like Reggie, Dwyane Wade and Rip know how to draw just enough contact to force the ref to blow the whistle. Are these ticky-tack calls actually fouls according to the NBA rulebook in each situation? Should the marginal over-the-backs actually be called fouls according to the book?

The answer is that it doesn't matter.

All that matters is that the ref is consistent enough in his judgement of what constitutes a foul that the players can rely on this consistency and adjust their play accordingly.

If DWade goes to the hoop and feels a lot of contact on his hip and he knows that the ref working the baseline watches for that closely and generally considers the defenders knee slowling his dribble progress to be a foul, then he can elevate and lean in for a shot and be pretty sure the foul will be called.

If there's a different ref working the baseline that doesn't concentrate so much on the lower body contact, he will know to take one more dribble and go up strong and try to draw contact on his shoulders, arms and hands because he knows this guy generally calls a foul on anything above the shoulders near the rim.

Which one is actually a foul according to the NBA rulebook? Both? Neither? One and not the other?

Don't matter.

All that matters is consistent judgement and interpretation of the game that's being played. Good refs have a subjective consistency that the players can depend on. Bad refs are all over the place trying to make a completely objective ruling on each and every play of an 82-game season, plus playoffs.

Kegboy
08-07-2007, 04:28 PM
I'm guessing you say that before every game.....

No, in 7 years that's the only time I remember saying that. The next time I said it was when Mikki Moore dunked on Baston in that preseason game with you.

Naptown_Seth
08-07-2007, 06:14 PM
All that matters is consistent judgement and interpretation of the game that's being played. Good refs have a subjective consistency that the players can depend on. Bad refs are all over the place trying to make a completely objective ruling on each and every play of an 82-game season, plus playoffs.
I can agree with that. Just like you can play baseball going from stadium to stadium despite the wide variance in layout, dimensions, turf/grass, wind, day/night, etc.

As long as you know going into the game what you can COUNT ON and that the other players will be dealing with the same circumstances.