PDA

View Full Version : Former Pacer Haywoode Workman hired as NBA ref



Basketball Fan
10-10-2008, 11:30 AM
http://blogs.orlandosentinel.com/sports_nothingbutnet/2008/10/former-player-w.html


Former player Workman hired as NBA ref
posted by Kyle Hightower on Oct 9, 2008 10:25:58 AM
Discuss This: Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | Linking Blogs | Add to del.icio.us | Digg it
Former NBA player Haywoode Workman has officially made it in his second career after being hired to referee his first season in the NBA in 2008-09, Vice President of referee operations Joe Borgia confirmed to the Sentinel.

Workman played eight NBA seasons for five teams from 1989 to 2000 (averaging 5.5 points per game as a point guard). A second-round pick by Atlanta, he didn't stay long with the Hawks before becoming a league nomad.

Now 42, Workman has been coming up through the ref ranks the past five years and was on NBA referee roster in '06-'07 and '07-'08 as preseason ref, while working both of those seasons as a NBA Development League official.

Workman is one of three NBA ref hires this season.

He was on the court working Orlando’s 118-80 preseason win over Atlanta Wednesday.

Borgia, who in July was promoted to his current post, worked with Workman in his former post as a manager in the league’s officiating program in which he was responsible for the training and development of the officiating staff in the NBA and overseeing the WNBA and NBDL ref staffs.

Now Workman’s finally getting his shot at the top level.

When he refs his first regular season game he will become the third former NBA player to become a ref, joining Bernie Fryer (now retired) and Leon Wood.

I first noticed Workman when I first got to Orlando in 2004 and on one of my first assignments recognized him refereeing in the Orlando NBA Summer League that year when he was basically a ref rookie.

I sat down with him and wrote a story about his journey that summer which I posted after the jump.

(Sentinel story from 2004...)

WORKMAN HAPPY TO BE BACK ON COURT

By Kyle Hightower
Sentinel Staff Writer
Clad in a referee jersey, the man was somewhere between anonymity and naivete as he watched wannabe and soon-to-be NBA players do layup drills at the Pepsi summer pro league.

After an errant dribble bounced off the foot of Cleveland Cavaliers guard Dajuan Wagner within a backbend of the man, he trudged over to the loose ball and handed it back to Wagner.

"Thanks, ref," Wagner, 21, said coyly, barely cutting his eyes in his helper's direction.
And that was exactly the way former NBA player Haywoode Workman likes it.

Workman was in Orlando last week as part of a special NBA program that hires groups of minor-league referees, mostly from the National Basketball Development League (NBDL) and Continental Basketball Association (CBA), to serve as officials at its summer leagues around the country.

"Most of the guys don't really know, because they're younger," Workman said. "I'm a referee first. Either I give them a call, or I didn't give them a call. But then as the game progresses, it'll be like, `Oh, you used to play,' or something. Other than that, I'm just a referee."

Workman, 38, played eight NBA seasons for five teams from 1989 to 2000 (averaging 5.5 points per game as a point guard). A second-round pick by Atlanta, he didn't stay long with the Hawks before becoming a league nomad.

He started 52 games for the Indiana Pacers in the 1993-94 season, averaging almost eight points and 6.2 assists during the Pacers' first trip to the Eastern Conference finals that year. But a torn knee ligament in 1996 derailed his playing career.

Then two years ago, after a few chats with current NBA official Bob Delaney, he decided to pursue a second career as a referee. He is entering his third year officiating, having done one-year stints each in the CBA and NBDL.

Aside from the young players who don't know his past, the Orlando summer league is a family reunion of sorts for Workman among NBA coaches. Wagner said later that he didn't realize Workman was an NBA alumnus until Cavaliers Coach Paul Silas introduced him.

"I had no idea he used to play [in the NBA], but I guess I should have guessed with his size," Wagner said.

Wade Morehead, CBA deputy commissioner and officials supervisor, said about 80 percent of the NBA's current referees have come through the CBA's doors. He liked Workman from the beginning.

"He brought a lot of experience and has a vivid understanding of the pro game," Morehead said. "It seemed like a natural fit."

Workman said spending his post-playing days near a court was a no-brainer.

"To me, too many other guys want to be coaches, general managers or administration," he said. "I'm a guy who feels like I need to be on the court.

"It was an opportunity, and now that I've got into it more, it's the same as when I was trying to become a NBA player. I had a chance; I paid my dues and got in. . . . It's the same thing as a referee. My process might be faster than the average referee, so that's just to my advantage because I played. But I still have to pay my dues."

There have been two other former NBA players to make the transition to officiating. Both are still among the league's 59 current refs.

Bernie Fryer, who will enter his 28th season (tied for second among active referees) as an official next year, averaged 6.3 points in two seasons for three teams (1973-75). Leon Wood played from 1984-91 for six teams and averaged 6.4 points.

But the fact that so few former players have made the switch to the other side doesn't surprise 27-year veteran official Joe Crawford.

"You're very skeptical because you don't think a player of today, you wonder if they know what's involved and the hard work that's involved, because we don't make what the players make," Crawford said. "I didn't initially give him a lot of credit."

Crawford and other current refs are serving as "clinicians" during the summer leagues. He said a group of 7-10 current NBA officials are selected randomly to help screen and critique the summer-league referees.

His skepticism waned once he saw Workman make a few calls on the court.

"I am pleasantly surprised," Crawford said. "For a guy who has just started to referee . . ., he really, really handles himself well. He's not ready for the NBA yet, but he's a very, very talented guy."

Workman said he remembers "complaining" to Crawford and other officials when he was a player but added with a laugh that all is forgotten as he is "on their side now."

Their days begin promptly at 8:30 each morning and consist of classroom-format dissection of the rulebook and NBA referee's manual as well as breaking down individual performances via game tapes.

"It's wonderful; it's a great, great learning tool," Crawford said. "How these guys grow in a week is just fascinating."

Workman lives in Tampa with his two children, ages 4 and 5. Since embarking on his newest journey, he has taken the reins of a once-fading local summer league just to get some experience and to stay close to home. He recently has started to travel.

Though Crawford and Morehead have been impressed with his early strides, Crawford isn't shy about the road that lies ahead of Workman and others.

"As much as you train as a referee, there's only 59 jobs, and the likelihood of somebody getting hired out of these guys [at the summer league] is not that great," Crawford said. "But that doesn't mean that they're bad referees. In most cases, it's just like our players; it's a numbers game."

Crawford said some go on to officiate in college, though the success of Fryer and Wood is a big confidence boost.

"We're just out there trying to improve on what we're trying to do," Workman said. "Maybe you won't make it to the NBA, but if you're an official, maybe this process will better your skill, your trade. Either you make it or you don't, but at least you got the best advice to the highest level you can get about being a referee."

Shade
10-10-2008, 11:59 AM
Good for him. He certainly couldn't be any worse than the other refs in the NBA.

Is there any chance he took Violet Palmer's job? :rolleyes:

Unclebuck
10-10-2008, 12:03 PM
Good for him. He certainly couldn't be any worse than the other refs in the NBA.

Is there any chance he took Violet Palmer's job? :rolleyes:

No, I saw her doing a game last night between the Heat and the Nets

NuffSaid
10-10-2008, 12:19 PM
Is there any chance he took Violet Palmer's job? :rolleyes:
I cringe everytime I see here reffing a Pacers game. I kick you not; I have yet to see the Pacers win a game that she officiates. N-E-V-E-R!!

I don't know if it's her doing a bad job or if she's just a jix for my boyz, but whatever it is you can count on a tic-mark in the "lose" column for for the Pacers whenever she's out there. It's gotten so bad that my wife has even taken notice.

Before sitting down to watch Wednesday's preseason game, my wife noticed Violet on the floor and shouting to me (I was in the kitchen gathering snackage for the game), "That woman's reffing again. You're boyz are gonna lose!" And sure enough, they did!

Major Cold
10-10-2008, 12:29 PM
<object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/uKnaJZFXUEY&hl=en&fs=1"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/uKnaJZFXUEY&hl=en&fs=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object>

Major Cold
10-10-2008, 12:35 PM
http://static.flickr.com/55/135534897_f6a59b0ef9.jpg


http://cache.gettyimages.com/xc/57424864.jpg?v=1&c=ViewImages&k=2&d=17A4AD9FDB9CF1939847EC77F5F8D1CE33392198CADA1900 A40A659CEC4C8CB6

game two of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2006 NBA Playoffs

Hicks
10-10-2008, 12:42 PM
She was also officiating Wednesday's loss to New Orleans.

Jonathan
10-10-2008, 01:02 PM
Didn't Heywood once pick up a technical foul for holding/grabbing a New York Knick while on the bench in the playoffs for our beloved Pacers?

Hicks
10-10-2008, 01:14 PM
Don't know, but in NYC Rick Carlisle was "caught" "tripping" Sprewell once.

Justin Tyme
10-10-2008, 01:28 PM
She was also officiating Wednesday's loss to New Orleans.


I saw a female ref ref'ing the game. I never heard the female refs name mentioned, so I just figured it was her.

grace
10-10-2008, 01:36 PM
I'd go to a game he was reffing, but since I highly doubt he'll ever do a Pacers game I guess I'll never get to see him in person again. :(

BillS
10-10-2008, 01:40 PM
I saw a female ref ref'ing the game. I never heard the female refs name mentioned, so I just figured it was her.

No, that was <i><b>definitely</b></i> not her. The ref on Wednesday for the NO game was good.

Shade
10-10-2008, 01:43 PM
Did anyone else notice Palmer rolling her eyes after one of the bad calls she made in the Nawlins game?

I think even she knows she sucks.

Shade
10-10-2008, 01:46 PM
No, that was definitely not her. The ref on Wednesday for the NO game was good.

It was her. And she wasn't good. Better than usual, maybe, but hardly "good."

Kegboy
10-10-2008, 01:53 PM
It's too bad they don't announce who's ref'ing games beforehand, so we'd know when to go see him. If only Donaghy hadn't gotten caught. :(

ABADays
10-10-2008, 02:36 PM
No, that was definitely not her. The ref on Wednesday for the NO game was good.

She was listed in the box score as one of the refs.

BillS
10-10-2008, 04:07 PM
She was listed in the box score as one of the refs.

Could have fooled me - she actually made a couple of very good calls right in front of me.

I'm not sure why I didn't recognize her - maybe I was just too close. :)

grace
10-10-2008, 05:16 PM
Could have fooled me - she actually made a couple of very good calls right in front of me.

I'm not sure why I didn't recognize her - maybe I was just too close. :)

Kegboy didn't recognize her until he saw her butt.

indygeezer
10-10-2008, 06:21 PM
Woodie was a very popular hardnosed player while here. Wonder what the league reaction would be if we gave him a huge welcome cheer the first time he walked out to ref a game here?

Eindar
10-10-2008, 07:16 PM
It's only going to get worse for us this season regarding Violet Palmer. I think she had a huge crush on JO, and he's not here anymore, so we won't even get the benefit of those favorable calls.

As for Workman, I'm very happy he made it, and I hope he has a long career in the NBA. I think if he worked a game here and the fans cheered (which I wouldn't doubt), the league office's reaction would be interesting, but it would also send a message to our current players that we don't forget players who gave their all here in Indy.

Shade
10-10-2008, 07:27 PM
Woo! We're gonna get select Pacers games in HD! :yay:

So, could November 1st be the first such broadcast game?

Shade
10-10-2008, 07:28 PM
Josh Davis not looking too bad so far.

ABADays
10-10-2008, 09:39 PM
Good for Workman. He's worked hard for everything he's gotten.