Is inaccurate officiating a "legitimate" problem in the NBA?
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  1. Blazer247
    Posts: 591

    Posted 11/28/2012 7:44 PM

    We were having a great discussion tonight in the game-chat, and unfortunately it was cut off before the post-game show, didn't realize it wouldn't continue through... I thought I'd bring it on here!


    The conversation was focused around poor officiating. It sounds like we can all agree on the following as a given:


    "NBA officials make mistakes in their calls (not just in Blazer games, but across the NBA! Not just bein a homer here), and the minor allowances for the few times when they can use the assistance of million-dollar camera technology is not enough to ensure accurate officiating, especially in close-game situations."


    So if we all agree with that, the next question that comes up, the debate we had before the abrupt end of the game-chat, is about how serious of a problem this is...

    In my opinion, it's a SERIOUS problem. When it comes professional sports, refs should be the closest thing possible to athletic "judges"; there is ZERO acceptable bias, and no room for personal judgement. Their goal, throughout the history of Sport, is to ensure that all players in the game are playing by the same rules and standards of conduct. Period. That's it.

    The NBA refs should be no different; their job is not to protect certain players more than others, or to give benefit in any way to any player or team. This includes making sure that all calls affecting the outcome of the game are accurate within reason (and in the end of the game, it is reasonable to say it MUST be accurate), and the absence of ensuring such is as offensive and as biased as blatantly making a wrong call in the first place.


    The other side of the discussion seems to be that, in the NBA, this has been the status quo for too long (approximately the length of Stern's reign, maybe?), and to argue about changing the acceptance of biased officiating is probably equivalent to me trying to make full-court shots on a daily basis.

    But hey, if making full-court shots will never happen, maybe I should change the standards I'm going by, and give myself a fair chance by taking shots in a realistic range... sort of the same way we could change the standards that we judge NBA games by, and give the players a fair chance to compete in a realistic contest?

    The other argument you hear sometimes is that "reviewing plays would slow down the game too much", and I'm not gonna spend time on this cuz it's simple: WHO CARES. The NBA gets more actual game-play time during their broadcasts than football or baseball, and those sports don't seem to be losing fans if the games take a while! Basketball games also go far shorter on average, so it seems like even more of a moot point. And I'm sure advertisers would LOVE additional breaks in play to cram a few more commercials in, so they won't care. Did someone say the league needs more money coming in?

    So really, by reviewing more plays with the available cameras, I'd say it sounds like it would literally help EVERYONE;

    -Officials benefit by the pressure (and fiery hatred) being taken off them because they're backed by visual evidence more consistently

    -Fans get fair games

    -Advertisers get more space without sacrificing game coverage, and last but not least...

    -the NBA gets more cash. 


    So I'm sayin the Given statement should look more like this:


    "NBA officials make mistakes in their calls, and the minor allowances for the few times when they can use the assistance of million-dollar camera technology is not enough to ensure accurate officiating, especially in close-game situations. This is unacceptable, and Officials need to be encouraged (or REQUIRED) to use video technology often, to ensure more accurate performance of their duties; namely, making sure that all athletes involved in a game are being held to the same rules and standards of conduct, and that bias or inaccuracy is not a factor in the outcome of a professional athletic event."


    Ok, last thing and I'm done! I wouldn't want to bring all this up and sound like I'm just complaining without an idea for how to move forward, so here are some options I think would be viable for the NBA to institute over time and change the issue to the point that we can all be confident that games are being decided SOLELY by the performance of athletes, not influenced by the performance of Officials or the lack of using video evidence.

    -NBA Officials should be contracted by an outside body like FIBA, instead of owned by the NBA. (Thanks, Kass. I know soccer does it that way, do any other major sports contract their officials from an outside body that we can use as precedence?)

    - Coaches should be allowed to contest a call and ask for review if they feel it's necessary, instead of depending on the clock and the type of play for when refs can use the video review.  (NFL obviously does this, with a limited number per team)

    -If a call is controversial, use a 3rd party of Officials to review video and make a decision (NHL does this: believe that refs can call a "Ref HQ" that is watching video for all games that night, and makes a decisions based on RULES). This would help ensure time is not wasted by organizing reviews mid-game, as well as ensure that the final decision falls to an outside party that is less likely to be biased from being involved with the immediate action.

    -Performance from each individual Official MUST be reviewed post-game. Any suspicious trends in controversial calls going the same direction can easily be addressed quickly, and refs who can't perform their job accurately with the assistance of cameras have no excuse and will be in danger of losing their jobs, or at least losing position at certain games. Likewise, trends that indicate consistent unbiased performance, or making correct calls in tough situations, can be a way to ensure that only the BEST most accurate officials will oversee the important games like playoffs and finals.


    I'm not saying all this just because of one bad blazer game; like Erik said, we let ourselves get far behind and give the Wiz a chance, that should've never happened in the first place. But if we were going to climb out of the hole tonight, it would be far less likely to happen if every one of those clutch situations is being decided with even a slight bias against us, whether that's because of rooks vs vets, hometeam vs away, big-market vs small, or anything else. None of that has to do with who is playing better basketball, and it just has no place in the decision-making of Officials. That's all I care about with this, it's been brought up many a time before so after the way that game ended tonight, it seems like a fair time to bring it up again.


    Ok, sorry for the rant (tried to break it up in pieces there so it's easier to get through), but I'd really like to hear from you guys. Hope I'm not alone on this, but even if you disagree PLEASE lets talk about it; I'm not trying to get more people complaining, I'm just trying to get a logical discussion about substance and the purity/corruption of the Game.



    I am a fan of BLAZER BASKETBALL. Not drafts, not business, not trades, not David Stern. Just BLAZER BASKETBALL.
  1. riverman
    Posts: 1431

    Posted 11/28/2012 9:33 PM

    I've been saying for years that refs also need to be held accountable for poor officiating of games. Mark Cuban has his staff compile video of obviously wrong calls and sends it every game to the League for review. Since he's been doing that, refs are more careful calling the Mavs games. I think the NBA needs to adapt the coaches challenge rule and risk a timeout to challenge a call. Especially a call that determines the outcome of important games. The Blazers are not getting calls much this season and particularly LaMarcus. Most allstars get and 1 calls if there is any doubt but he just hasn't been getting calls in the paint. He's gotten a lot of charge calls when he drives the lane which could be why he prefers to shoot jumpers, they can't take them away from him. Still refs are not the reason we're losing most of our close games. It comes down to missing freethrows and shots and not getting stops on defense when they are needed. We are really relying on 5 guys to do all of our scoring and play most of the defense. 

    I am a fan of A team that plays like Tower of Power on a big stage on a good night
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