Blog Entry

NBA and refs agree, and it's real this time

Posted on: October 20, 2009 7:11 pm
Edited on: October 20, 2009 7:36 pm
The NBA and representatives for its locked-out referees quietly resumed long-distance negotiations last Friday, with the goal of reaching an agreement that will bring the officials back to work in time for the opening of the regular season. The talks resulted in a face-to-face meeting in New York Tuesday in which a new contract agreement was struck in less than an hour, a person familiar with the situation told

Pending a vote scheduled for Friday night in New Jersey, the NBA will be spared the controversy of using replacement referees in regular season games for the first time since 1995.

The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, cautioned that nothing is certain until the 57 referees vote on the agreement. But unlike a handshake agreement that was overwhelmingly rejected by the referees last month, this truce has the blessing of commissioner David Stern and the referees' executive board, which agreed to recommend ratification to the full body of 57 referees. In fact, NBA officials agreed to the face-to-face meeting, the source said, only after given assurances that the executive board would strongly push for a yes vote from the full membership.

The agreement must be approved by a majority of the 57 locked-out referees -- or 29 yes votes -- before the refs can go ahead with a belated version of their preseason training camp this weekend in Jersey City, N.J.

UPDATE: Sources were not willing to discuss details of the agreement, but the two sides had been stuck on proposed changes to the referees' retirement and severance benefits. Initial rounds of negotiations were contentious, with so many accusations flying both ways that both Stern and Lamell McMorris, the referees' lead negotiator, removed themselves from the process when talks broke down last month. The low point came on Sept. 27, when the referees rejected an agreement that had been reached three days earlier by negotiators for both sides. The next day, the NBA announced it was moving forward with plans to use replacement referees culled primarily from the WNBA and D-League ranks. 

Members of the executive board -- comprised of veteran refs Steve Javie, Bennett Salvatore, Bill Spooner, Joe Crawford, and Bob Delaney -- urged McMorris to try to spark a resumption in talks last week. Once assured that the executive board would back any agreement reached, Stern agreed to return to the negotiating table.

McMorris was joined Tuesday at the meeting in New York by general counsel Brian Lam and three members of the executive board -- Javie, Delaney, and Salvatore. Stern was accompanied by deputy commissioner Adam Silver, president of league and basketball operations Joel Litvin, lead counsel Richard Buchanan, and other lawyers.


Category: NBA

Since: Aug 15, 2009
Posted on: October 23, 2009 2:58 pm

NBA and refs agree, and it's real this time

...actually i was being facidious, it wasnt funny at was extremely pathetic

Since: Aug 15, 2009
Posted on: October 23, 2009 2:57 pm

NBA and refs agree, and it's real this time


if push come to shove if they dont like what they see, then get the fug on and move along and let the new ref's in. I'm sorry, but these guys locking out wanting a huge lump sum and larger pay scale almost as funny as the US congress helping themself's to a pay increase 2 years ago while the rest of us still sit in a recession.

Since: Oct 5, 2006
Posted on: October 23, 2009 2:01 pm

NBA and refs agree, and it's real this time

Sorry, no sympathy for the refs.

Their agreement expired.  Changes will be made.  No one will like them.  It is the way it is.

The Widow Ref argument is lame.  She acts as if folks do not understand refs; but apparently she doesn't understand how many other jobs do the same thing for far less than what they are being offered NOW...let alone the ridiculous amount they were offered prior years.  At least she can afford to be home without her husband with the kids.  Most wives must be in work too...and kids are home alone.  The entire family sacrifices in any job.  Some are just more compensated than others.

EVERYONE MAKES SACRIFICES.  Few get paid as the refs do.

So please; stop.

Being a ref, ball player, president:  whatever.  You take the good with the bad and the good generally involves alot of money.  If the ref doesn't feel it is enough anymore; get another job.

Now, I realize sacrifices people make everyday and unless you are a solider; don't waste my time crying.  Want to talk about fairness and tough about being a solider.  And they make far less than refs.  They make far less than most jobs including my own. Now those guys; I would like to see make more money. 

I think the Refs need to see the big picture.  Not the other way around.

Since: Oct 21, 2009
Posted on: October 21, 2009 5:10 pm

NBA and refs agree, and it's real this time

Severance for NBA officials being cut from $585k to $319k... virtually in half. Try reading Julie Davis' letter to the NBA to see if you still think these are just greedy people with cushy jobs.  They're hard working refs who work day in and day out to make the right calls.  To think they all have an agenda is absurd.

"These past few weeks have been a very trying time for our family, as I am sure they have been for the families for all of the 57 NBA referees. The stress of worrying about a lockout has been, at times, overwhelming. We have three small children to feed, clothe, and educate. Like most American families, we have a mortgage and bills to pay. These bills do not know what the word "lockout" means.

"What has been most disheartening, however, is accepting the fact that the sacrifices that all of our families make year in and year out appear to be meaningless to the NBA and . The 'offers' made by the NBA are insulting to our families.

"The NBA has repeatedly stated that their goal this year is to bring the referees compensation and benefits more in line with the rest of the NBA office employees and its administrative staff. But referees are not office and administrative staff. They do not wake up at home each morning and see their kids off to school before heading to a job from which they get to return home each night, if not for dinner, then to tuck their kids in and kiss them good night. They do not get to sleep in their own beds with their spouses by their sides.

"While I don't know for certain, I would guess that most of the NBA office employees do not miss their kid's school plays, parent-teacher conferences, sports practices and games, graduations, Christmas mornings, and other holidays. Their husbands and wives do not have to explain to their children each morning and night for 10 months of the year that daddy or mommy will not be coming home again today and won't be home again for the next ten days either. I can tell you from first-hand experience that three, four and five year olds do not get that concept very well. All of this is not to diminish the value of the NBA office and administrative staff. They obviously play a crucial role in the day-to-day workings of the League. But in reality the jobs of an office worker and an NBA referee are not the same. Comparing the two is not comparing apples to apples, but instead it is trying to make an apple an orange.

"By even making the comparison in the first place, David Stern runs the risk of changing a 'craft' into a job. Though the NBA office staff is some of the best in the world, you can find anyone to do a job, not everyone is a true craftsman. The men and women who work this job are true craftsmen. Though frequently criticized by fans and the media, they are the best in the world at what they do and I am proud to be the wife of one. They cannot be replaced by placing an ad in the classifieds and picking out a new hire from the folks who line up at the door. If they could, then perhaps the deal the NBA is offering makes sense.

"It does not, however, make sense given the sacrifices our families make every day. I would even go so far as to say that the sacrifice we make is larger than that that made of anyone in the NBA, including the players. Whatever the public perception may be, the referees do not have huge contracts, fly on private planes, or get to work half of their games at home. They are regular people, who trek around from city to city, airport to airport, arena to arena, and practice their craft to provide for their families.

"In any given season, we are lucky if my husband works three home games in a 75-game schedule. We are lucky if he is home more than five 24-hour periods a month. Who else on the NBA staff can say they do the same? Players can't. David Stern can't. Office staff can't, nor can anyone else who works for the NBA. Referees are unique in what they give to and what they give up for the game.

"And so what are all of these sacrifices for? Why are we missing holidays together and games and school events? So that the NBA can tell all of us that our sacrifice is meaningless and that it is worth no more to them than what the office worker, who jumps on and off the train, each day does? That seems ludicrous by any rational measure.

"It was not my dream to be an NBA referee. It was not our kid's dream to have a father who is one either. But it is a dream we are fully committed to supporting because it is my husband's dream. I take on single parenthood and being a 'referee widow' because I love my husband and believe in him and his dream. All that has happened with this contract just has me questioning whether the NBA realizes the sacrifices 57 families of their employees make to continue to put out the 'best product in the world.'"

Since: Aug 15, 2009
Posted on: October 21, 2009 3:16 pm

NBA and refs agree, and it's real this time

** Note The recent post of knowing your facts was directed at MLG624 **

Since: Aug 15, 2009
Posted on: October 21, 2009 3:11 pm

NBA and refs agree, and it's real this time

might want to know what YOUR talking about before you try and correct someone else in telling them that their wrong.

Since: Aug 15, 2009
Posted on: October 21, 2009 3:08 pm

NBA and refs agree, and it's real this time

Whoosh you prooved a good point homie, give or take i dont watch much more Basketball than the normal person and wont pretend to know what i am talking about like the idiot there you corrected who was throwing percentages out.

In reality, the Ref's are bitching about their benefits and retirment being cut. Ok cool, that happends alot ESPECIALLY in this economy. But i think what had happend is that the Seasoned Ref's had finally realized that Pre-season is almost over and that the majority of the teams were "Ok" with the replacements.

No i am not saying the replacements where perfect, or tremendous but at the same time they wheren't Terrible. In Every sport you will find calls that were botched, because like most sports you usually have anywhere from 2-5 ref's at all times watching the game and not all 5 Ref's are watching the same thing which is why you see alot of these guys calling a huddle to discuss the call and the events before throwing around their weight.

Give or take some groups of ref's do it more than other's, my in my personal opinion and professional output i would tell you in a heartbeat " It's clearly time for a change, you can support our actions and come back in for the ride or you don't" end of story. Give them the option of coming in to work with the replacements as a joint effort in bringing some new face's in so the game doesnt continue to fall lower than it has in recent years.

Honestly this is change that is much needed and as much as it will hurt this year replacement ref's is what they need and if the season ref's want to come back they are welcomed. But at the same time new face's calling the games and a steady rotation so not to bring up the issues where the refs are calling the games for what they are and not for who's playing in them. On a side note i hope any and all officials from CBS and NBA look at these thread's. These are coming from the very people that watch the game.

Since: Oct 5, 2006
Posted on: October 21, 2009 12:01 pm

NBA and refs agree, and it's real this time


Where does it state anywhere that half their benefits would be cut?  I'd say if anyone was "very wrong" it is you.  A percentage would be cut and it wasn't half and the end result is likely far more than most jobs.  So I'm not sure they have a reason to cry.

First off, being a ref is a cushy job.  You get paid alot of money to do those trips away from your family.  You don't have to face much scrunity when you fail to do your job; you are protected by that Union and never have to face the media.  Lots of folks do that travel with half the money and half the benefits.  I'd take that job in a heartbeat.

Refs are back because they now know they can be replaced.  The replacement refs were fine.  Not perfect but neither are the seasoned refs.  And the replacements were under a microscope.

The refs were hoping they could stop the NBA season with their crying and realized it wasn't going to happen.  Everyone in today's economy is taking cuts in retirement and benefits they thought would be here.  What world do you live in?  Why are the refs an exception?  The players are taking cuts for goodness sake.  And they are valuable to the game.

I think this experience opened the eyes of the refs and personally, I wish several don't return.  Let the majority rule and weed out the refs that are issues.  Then get back to work.

Since: Oct 21, 2009
Posted on: October 21, 2009 11:30 am

NBA and refs agree, and it's real this time

The sound of your ignorance is deafening.  You have no idea what your talking about and almost everything you said was wrong.  You call their jobs cushy with tons of benefits.  These guys are away from their families for 9 months out of the year traveling form city to city.  And it's not like they get to enjoy each city.  After each game they go to the airport and head out to another city.  Not to mention, these "old guys" are subject to army standards when it comes to conditioning.  The replacement refs were embarrassing to the point that they threw out the Jewish coach during the Knicks vs. Tel Aviv CHARITY game. 

The refs recognized the current economic climate and already agreed to a pay cut and to trim down there budget, but they wouldn't sign the deal because their retirement benefits and severance were literally being cut in half.  If you worked for 20 years expecting to receive a certain severance when you retired, only to find out that it was going to get cut in half, you may have a problem with that too. Get your facts straight before you trash people. 

Since: Sep 26, 2006
Posted on: October 21, 2009 10:18 am

NBA and refs agree, and it's real this time

I'm sick of these refs who think they are bigger then the game and were just shown once again that the game would go on just fine without them.  The refs love themselves so much and you can see it when they are in the games.  The smug looks, the blank stares when they know they have messed up but can't afford the blow to their own ego to actually admit it.  The so-called pro refs are no better then the replacement refs.  The only thing they have on them is tenure.  Just like any job that loses someone who has been there for years/decades and you have to replace them; there is a learning curve but in due time, everything is up and running smoothly.  Why not give the fans some time to enjoy the game and not have to put up with the old refs trying to make sure they are in the spotlight with erroneous calls and such haughty attitudes they can't correct the calls when they know they are wrong?  The locked out refs knew they were screwed if they didn't come to an agreement.  We all know they caved.  There was too much money for them to lose for such a cushy job with lots of benefits and they saw they were about to be part of the recession and good luck getting a job when all you have to go on is that you were a referee in the NBA.  You know a lot of companies wouldn't bring you on because they already know they can't trust you to do the right thing, just the thing that will bring the most attention to you and you will never own up to any of your mistakes.

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