A Worn Plotline

Posted by Rob Mahoney on October 2, 2009 under Commentary | 2 Comments to Read

The NBA is currently engaging what could best be described as a B-Side plotline to Goosebumps, an early episode of the X-Files (but maybe just after it found its comedic rhythm), or really any episode of a generic “Monster of the Week”-type show. Many moons ago, the Mavs were, shall we say, creatively prevented from taking certain key victories in a particular NBA Finals series. Curses and hexes galore were heaved at the NBA officiating crews on said games, and one message board comment concerning the job status of all NBA referees must have been taken a bit too seriously by a genie, a witch, or an enchanted urn. The whole cache of NBA refs has been cleared out, with unionized labor as the mechanism to fulfill the task that could only have been the product of black magic.

This is about the time where I should be saying (cue fog machine): “BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR.”

But I’m not.

Seriously, I’m not.

Matt Moore makes a bagful of cogent points on the topic, among them the advantages of having D-League refs compared to those unfamiliar with the pro game. It’s definitely worth reading, and the early reviews on the replacement refs seem to confirm Moore’s position. The moral of the story: the dark arts bear little in the way of negative impacts, even if they do suck the jobs of a certain job subset into a black hole. But as far as the effects on the NBA game, I’d expect relatively smooth sailing despite the forecasted monsoon.

  • Brian D

    Interesting HP article. I’m wondering how much things will change for the stars of the league. Will replacement refs lead to less “star calls” or more? On the one hand there’s no rapport between the two sides, so possibly they’ll call the game the same for everyone (which would amaze me). On the other hand, these refs are human, and they’re obviously basketball fans. So will there be some initial culture shock for these guys who have been reffing D-League and WNBA games? Like some “Holy hell, I’m about to throw up a tip-off between Kevin Garnett and Tim Duncan” moments?

    Also, this entire situation should forever put to rest those “the nba is rigged and the refs are shilling for whoever the league wants to win” comments I constantly see on message boards, which were moronic to begin with.

  • Cynthia

    I guess ultimately we’ll have to wait and see, but personally I don’t see how the replacement refs could possibly be any worse than say a… Bennette Salavatore or a Violet Palmer. Most people bitch and moan about the (regular) refs and now they’re bitching and moaning about the replacment refs. Imop, the only way to go is up. You can’t get much worse than we just had. The economy is down the refs for the most part suck…I say WELCOME replacement refs!