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Refs: NBA management got raises during recession

Posted on: September 18, 2009 5:47 pm
 
At some point in the next month, it would seem logical that cooler heads will prevail, the sniping will stop, and the NBA and its referees will do what makes sense for both sides: End the lockout imposed Friday and agree on a new two-year contract. Until then, it's open season on animosity.

Lamell McMorris, the referees' lead negotiator, reacted angrily to the NBA's decision to cite the starting and senior salaries of referees in its news release Friday announcing that it will begin recruiting replacement referees.

"Did they put David Stern's salary in there?" McMorris told CBSSports.com. "Did they put Joe Borgia's raise, Ron Johnson's raise, and Bernie Fryer's raise?"

McMorris stated that Johnson, the NBA's senior vice president of referee operations, received a $50,000 raise this summer -- in the midst of the longest recession in decades -- plus a bonus for his work last season. Fryer, the vice president and director of officials, and Borgia, vice president of referee operations, each received a $25,000 raise and bonus, according to McMorris. The NBA declined to comment on McMorris' assertions and would not discuss the salaries of its employees. But clearly we have ourselves a good old fashioned case of class warfare and mudslinging on our hands.

If McMorris' assertions are true -- it isn't clear how he'd have access to such sensitive, internal information -- then it would seem to fly in the face of the league's argument that the referees should accept the same wide-ranging cost cuts that are occurring throughout the NBA. McMorris also took issue with the referee salary figures, taken from last season, that were publicized by the league Friday: $150,000 for entry-level refs and $550,000 for the most senior officials.

McMorris stated that the starting salary is $91,000 and that the only way a referee could make $550,000 would be to have upwards of 30 years experience and officiate the playoffs all the way through the NBA Finals. He placed the top salary for most senior refs in the $350,000 to $400,000 range and said the top figure cited by the league is no longer valid because it includes playoff money that the refs agreed to reduce in their latest proposal.

Despite the ugliness, McMorris said he is open to continuing negotiations while the 57 active officials are locked out.

"Our phone lines are open," McMorris said. "We're the ones who got kicked out of the meeting last week. We're not the ones who ended the call (Thursday). It's not on us."

But until the two sides cool off and get back to the negotiating table, it's on all of them.
Category: NBA
Tags: lockout, referees
 
Comments

Since: Sep 20, 2009
Posted on: September 20, 2009 7:12 am
 

Refs: NBA management got raises during recession

These posts are hilarious.  Never knew the ref were worthy of this much attention.   Truth is, this whole process will probably give them their most attention in years.  I love though, myself.  See I'm a Knick fan.  Adn there are many, long suffering Knick fans, maybe one's prime to be replacemant refs, who might not be above a little favoritism...there's more of us out there than people think, most are just seclusive about their allegiance because my team is truly embarrassing and often disappointing.  But...a few foul whistles swallowed here, a few travel calls missed there, maybe the Garden could be rocking in June...



Since: Jun 25, 2009
Posted on: September 19, 2009 9:21 pm
 

Refs: NBA management got raises during recession

The calls will not materially different

Hummmm. Not too sure exactly what you meant, but I'll take a stab at this.  Are you saying that there won't be much of a difference between these refs and replacement refs? If yes, you are a fool. That is not even a valid opinion because the difference will be incredible.

Just wait and see.  It's going to be a catastrophe and I for one hope when the star players and management start complaining to the league that the refs hold out and not only go back to the table and stay firm, but I hope they actually ask for more then they ever did.

The replacement refs will destroy basketball if this lockout lasts too long. The sport is already on the decline according to ratings, popularity, etc.... it's about to get way worse....  stay tuned.



Since: Jan 24, 2007
Posted on: September 19, 2009 5:17 pm
 

Refs-Replace them all

I am tired of the incorrect calls and the grandstanding of refs like Joey Crawford,Steve Javie,etc. Those clowns think they are the ones that the fans pay to see. It is time to replace them all and start afresh. The calls will not materially different.



Since: Sep 14, 2008
Posted on: September 19, 2009 4:41 pm
 

Refs: NBA management got raises during recession

Another consideration... how many games do these officiating crews have to work each year?  Each team plays 82 games; do they officiate more games than teams play each season?  Any official not working the playoffs is free to do as he pleases from about April to September. Even those who work through to the finals get three months off.  Plenty of time to make a killing conducting clinics, etc. 

So, what do we have?  All travel and expenses included, at least three months off a year, and $100K-300K of income.  I don't care if Stern's cronies make millions of dollars a year, these refs still have it made.  And despite what Kornheiser and Wilbon say, the refs just aren't that good.  Any number of ACC or Big East officiating crews could do better.



Since: Sep 19, 2009
Posted on: September 19, 2009 4:40 pm
 

Refs: NBA management got raises during recession

deificus, you are under arrest. if you think their job 'isn't particularly difficult'...then you try getting out of your mom's basement, and do it.  Have you ever given any thought to maybe why it 'looks easy', is that it's because they make it look that way?  You have no idea what you're talking about.  You are about to see the difference.



Since: Jun 25, 2009
Posted on: September 19, 2009 2:15 pm
 

Refs: NBA management got raises during recession

 Describe how they aren't in our world

Ok then, I will.  If I lose my job, I don't pay my bills. At most I have a few months of pay put aside but if I end up with a lousy job after that eventually I'm screwed, and so are you if it happens to you.  If they lose their job, half of them have enough money to live the rest of their lives.   How many examples do you want??  ok, here's more.   Most of us have to work pretty late in life, we can't retire at 30 or 40, they can.  If interest rates ever double like they did in the 80's where I am in Canada, people lose homes and end up renting or in shelters.  They at most sell their mansion and buy a house like mine cheap for cash.




Since: Aug 23, 2006
Posted on: September 19, 2009 1:39 pm
 

Refs: NBA management got raises during recession

A few points...
It makes me laugh when people say that. I know uneducated people that can hardly speak english in the auto industry doing 100 grand a year. And oh yeah, they STILL make 100 grand a year or close to it.
Qualifying your statement by saying "... in the auto industry... " all but completely neutralizes your point.  The auto industry is completely unionized.  You probably know people in the auto industry who don't even work making 100 grand a year.  The UAW forces the auto company to keep paying employees after they've stopped working.  That's one of the large reasons auto companies have such high deficits.
With all do respect I have no idea what you mean by "the same field" but you're not anywhere near an NBA ref.  There aren't many of them. If you work hard enough, are good enough and lucky enough to become an NBA ref you SHOULD make that kind of money.
My guess is that, by same field, he means he's a ref on a smaller scale (maybe in organized community sports, or high school).  I just want to know what makes you think these NBA referees are so special?  They're people too... they come equipped with the same fallacies as the rest of us.  The only difference is they have been touched by the holy hands of the NBA to be a referee.  Just because a referee is an NBA ref does not give them some charge as an the ultimate authority on all things referee.
Yes. Some are corrupt but NBA fans saying they all suck sound like my 9 year old when he gets made playing a video game.
My guess is a lot of them are corrupt, but everyone isn't going to be as stupid as Tim Donaghy and make his corrupt ties noticeable.  In fact, a lot of them probably locked down their corruption ties when Donaghy got caught because they don't want to be next.
Personally, considering how few of these jobs there are and how tough it is to get in I think 150,000 grand is low.
People should be paid equitably for the difficulty of the job and not for the scarcity of the job.  There are thousands of referees in this country, many of which would probably love to referee the big babies of the NBA... it's great for recognition.  The job isn't particularly difficult, like I said, there are thousands of referees in this country... it just happens there are less job openings.  If anything, that fact alone means they probably don't have to offer as much as they do.  Lots of applicants, very few openings... supply and demand, my friend.  Another case of a union inflating salaries.
And everybody needs to stop with "the economy" crap.  The NBA has its own economy... they are not in our world.
Did you seriously use the "not in our world" argument?  Describe how they aren't in our world.  Better yet, let me put up a few awesome examples.  They need the money to pay the mortgage on their new mansion.  They need the money to go out and buy a new BMW, Mercedes, AND Porsche.  They need the money to have a red carpet gala at their new mansion for all their friends in Hollywood.  Oh wait, that's right... they're referees.  The A-List doesn't care about some referee... and my guess is some referee doesn't care about dancing with the stars (except maybe to TiVo the television show at night, but that's another topic).
You can't possibly come up with a legitimate reason that these guys need this kind of money for a job that they don't have to slave over and that doesn't take a great deal of higher education... I mean, it's not brain surgery either.  The only reason they get this kind of money is because they are in a union.  For the sake of the NBA operating budget, maybe David Stern and company has the good sense to stay the course, bypass the union, and get the replacement referees started until the union backs off.



Since: Jan 3, 2007
Posted on: September 19, 2009 7:53 am
 

Refs: NBA management got raises during recession

This guy must be a ref....



Since: Aug 21, 2006
Posted on: September 19, 2009 2:36 am
 

Refs: NBA management got raises during recession

you sound like you have been drinking



Since: Jun 25, 2009
Posted on: September 18, 2009 9:13 pm
 

Refs: NBA management got raises during recession

A starting salary of $91k is still more than I make and I've been working in same field over 30 years, so I don't have a lot of empathy for these "deprived" refs

It makes me laugh when people say that. I know uneducated people that can hardly speak english in the auto industry doing 100 grand a year. And oh yeah, they STILL make 100 grand a year or close to it.

With all do respect I have no idea what you mean by "the same field" but you're not anywhere near an NBA ref.  There aren't many of them. If you work hard enough, are good enough and lucky enough to become an NBA ref you SHOULD make that kind of money.

Yes. Some are corrupt but NBA fans saying they all suck sound like my 9 year old when he gets made playing a video game.

Personally, considering how few of these jobs there are and how tough it is to get in I think 150,000 grand is low. 

And everybody needs to stop with "the economy" crap.  The NBA has its own economy... they are not in our world.


The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com