(Edit: My initial plan was to write an article about our human nature to feed into the hype of unknown quantities, such as, say, Serge Ibaka, and believe that our scouts lucked into a rare talent who escaped the radar of every other team…then I watched him play against the Suns on Monday, and can’t consider myself above the fold. Chewbaka for Defensive Player of the Year! On another note, make sure to read the OU/TX rivalry breakdown that Royce posted over at TheLostOgle.com.)
Throughout my life, I have been pretty tough on referees. When playing intramural/rec league basketball, I have been known to blame the guys in black and white stripes for everything from a blown call to world hunger. Watching games on television, without the risk of getting T’d up, I have been even less kind.
Now that you know this about me, it will come as no surprise to you that my initial reaction to news that the NBA referees union was being locked out by the league offices was less than sympathetic. “Good riddance,” I thought to myself, “how could the replacements be any worse?”
Then, dread spread down my spine as I began to realize, “they could be a lot worse.”
As infuriating as the NBA referees can be, see here, they do have a ton of training and experience that scabs called up from the D-League/CBA/NCAA, or wherever they find replacements, cannot replicate. And that shortfall is only the biggest problem assuming the league was able to get the best non-NBA referees available…but that is not the case. Guys who have the objective and talent to eventually officiate NBA games for a living probably turned down the opportunity to fill in. If they did cross the picket line, they would lose out on future benefits afforded by the referee’s union.
So we aren’t talking just about replacement referees, we are talking about bottom of the barrel referees. Oh, joy!
On the flipside, some of that experience that the seasoned zebras possess, can actually be a detriment that these green, over-their-head scabs could actually improve upon the normal product. Because of these conflicting ideas, I have a pro/con list regarding this lockout after the jump.