Tag: NBA referees

Jeffery Taylor, LeBron James

Video: LeBron gets called for a technical for… I’m not sure


I was watching at home when this play happened and I rewound it about five times trying to see whatever the referee that called the technical saw, and I was stumped. The broadcasters were stumped and confused.

LeBron James is bringing the ball up court and the Bobcats, in a very Bobcats way, seem to lose track of the fact the best basketball player in the planet has the ball and they might want to defend him. So with nobody between him and the basket LeBron just straight-line bolts for the rim. At the last second Gerald Henderson stepped in to try and draw the charge and there was contact. Henderson got called for the blocking foul.

And LeBron got a technical for.. I have no idea what.

Embellishing contact (flopping)? First I don’t see it, second he didn’t draw the main foul. If you’re going to give him a technical for being bigger and stronger than the guy he runs into it’s going to be a very long season for everyone. I get why Erik Spoelstra got a technical, he earned it, but not LeBron.

It’s preseason for the referees, too. It happens.

But sure, the flopping rule will be enforced even-handedly this season.

Hat tip to Royce Young of Eye on Basketball for the video.

Winderman: Replay officials in NBA — an idea whose time has come

NBA referees instant replay

The comment came during one of those informal pregame chats NBA referees have been conducting with the media over the past month.

“I think that replay is only going to be growing,” the veteran referee said.

He wasn’t commenting on whether it was a good thing or otherwise, but rather that it was an inevitable reality, based on what he had witnessed in the NFL and even during baseball’s ongoing postseason.

This season, the NBA will utilize late-game replay on calls involving the restricted area beneath the basket and goaltending, make replay mandatory for flagrant fouls, and continue to utilize replay on the timing of end-of-period shot release, 24-second violations and out-of-bounds situations.

That’s a lot of time to be huddling at the scorers’ table amid typical late-game mayhem, almost as silly as baseball’s umpires running off the field in midgame to review homerun calls.

The NFL, of course, is ahead of the game, with replay officials already on site, able to assist with business away from the mayhem. The NHL takes it a step further, with all replay issues handled out of their hockey-central office in Toronto.

In the NBA, though? Mayhem at midcourt, where players, coaches, fans can at least attempt to influence the decisions.

As it is, the NBA already has referee evaluators at every game. The support staff and support system already are in place.

And in most years, quality officials are forced to step aside because of the rigors of the game, making for the perfect pool of NBA “video officials.”

Unlike regular referees, such replay officials would not have to deal with the rigors of travel, simply assigned to a single city. While some might be concerned about home-team and hometown bias, as it is, those who monitor shot clocks work a team’s schedule throughout the regular season. At some point, integrity has to win out.

The NBA has proven forward-thinking with its increased use of replay. Even during the regular season, there are enough important calls to warrant the use of such technology, as well as prepare the systems for the playoffs.

The last thing a referee after 46 minutes of action on his feet needs is to stare into a small monitor courtside and begin requesting replay angles. Such work could be accomplished far more efficiently in a television truck, where multiple monitors are available.

A ruling could be rendered. An announcement could be made. And the referees on the court would be spared direct derision over the final verdict.

Upon further review, the NFL and NHL have decided that an extra pair of eyes makes sense on the game’s biggest calls. The NBA would be wise to follow suit.

Ira Winderman writes regularly for NBCSports.com and covers the Heat and the NBA for the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. You can follow him on Twitter at @IraHeatBeat.

Referees to enforce “Reggie Miller rule” on shooters trying to draw fouls

Reggie Miller

You know the play were are talking about — the jump shooter goes up and gets his shot off as the defender comes out to challenge the shot, then just as the defender arrives the shooter kicks his legs forward, makes contact with the defender and goes down like he was shot. It’s about trying to draw the foul.

The league is going to be looking out for that specifically this season and calling it, according to the Boston Globe, which had a few notes on officiating this coming season (hat tip to SLAM).

Also, officials will emphasize the “Reggie Miller rule” for a shooter who kicks his legs out during jump-shot attempts to create contact and draw fouls. Officials plan to call offensive fouls on shooters who blatantly kick out their legs to initiate contact.

Dwyane Wade, you’ve been warned.

This is a good thing, part of the league trying to crack down on flopping. In an ideal world this is a “no call” situation, but if calling a few fouls on the shooters gets in their heads and guys stop doing it, all the better.

On the flip side, the league needs to also crack down on defenders coming out to challenge the shot then intentionally getting their feet under where the shooter lands. We’ve been seeing that more lately it seems and it’s another trend that needs to end.

One other note on referee focus from the Globe:

Officials will also be more aware of the “Respect the Game” rule, being more stringent on players who show an excessive amount of emotion arguing calls or attempt to delay the game while protesting. Finally, officials will lighten up on calling technical fouls for players who throw the ball against the stanchions.

Winderman: New NBA head of officials doesn’t mean change, technology does


Since the Tim Donaghy fiasco, we’ve had the NBA offer up a former referee and a retired two-star U.S. Army general to oversee officiating. Now, former NBA player Mike Bantom, a long-time NBA executive, takes over.

Granted, Ronnie Nunn (the former referee) and Ronald Johnson (the retired general), mostly remained in the background as officiating supervisors, with Johnson taking over shortly after the Donaghy gambling revelations.

But the greatest advances in officiating are not “people” issues. And that means the Bantom hire ultimately will not alter the landscape.

Where the NBA has made its greatest strides since Donaghy are the technological advances, extending replay to include out-of-bounds and flagrant-foul situations, now moving into the goaltending realm.

While there can be no guarantees that another rogue official doesn’t make his way into the pipeline, or turn rogue while in the system, the greater the amount of secondary oversight, the greatly diminished chances of a referee unduly influencing the outcome of a game.

Or even trying, knowing his whistle might not be the ultimate whistle.

For those concerned about the “fix being in” (yes, that is David Stern’s blood you hearing percolating at the very mention), what the NBA has done is largely eliminate the chance of a game’s “ultimate” call being influenced by a referee’s personal influence. The camera, the NBA hopes, doesn’t lie.

If anything, establishing a “replay official” on site would go even further to diminish concern about bias, perceived or otherwise. Instead of having the officials who make the calls review the calls, there instead could be a qualified, perhaps older, official, one not necessarily up to the rigors of full-court sprints, making the ultimate decision. Retired referee Steve Javie showed us the value of an outside officiating view during the NBA playoffs on ESPN and that experience certainly could be brought back into play, even with the knees no longer willing.

Mike Bantom likely will do just fine as an officiating administrator, just as Ronnie Nunn and Ronald Johnson did.

But officiating questions don’t start in the executive suite, they start on the court, with the whistle.

The best way to clean up that whistle, or, in fairness to the current officials, keep that whistle pure, is to layer enough at-the-moment oversight so such issues don’t fester.

Ira Winderman writes regularly for NBCSports.com and covers the Heat and the NBA for the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. You can follow him on Twitter at @IraHeatBeat.

NBA referees Javie, Delaney to retire, Bavetta stays

Cleveland Cavaliers v Dallas Mavericks

Sorry Lakers fans. And Celtics fans. And the fans of the 28 other NBA teams that thought Steve Javie had it in for your team. You will not have Javie to kick around anymore.

After a few seasons of battling through knee issues, Javie is retiring after 25 years as an NBA referee, according to Ric Bucher at ESPN.

“I would like to stay at it and end it on my own terms, but in a way I feel as if I’m doing that in that I got to work that 25th year,” he said. “Adrenaline is an amazing drug. The two weeks after the season, the knee was so painful I couldn’t believe it. My doctor said it was because the adrenaline from the season had finally worn off. Every time I start to think maybe I still could do it, my knee has let me know, one way or another, that I can’t.”

Veteran official Bob Delaney also is stepping down, although he announced that would be the case prior to the start of last season. However Dick Bavetta, at age 71, will be back.

Right now a bunch of you are smiling and saying good riddance. But why fans hated Javie is he was one official unafraid to make a big call against the home team late in a game. Refs will not admit fans sway them, but it feels that way. Not with Javie.

And when you watch the guys that replace him, you are going to miss Steve. Trust me.