Unfortunately, one of the main storylines of the first half of the 2017-18 NBA season has been the heightened tensions between the players and referees. Numerous star players have been ejected, Shaun Livingston and a referee went forehead-to-forehead, and players have made plenty of comments in the media.
In order to try and help ease those tensions, the players and refs agreed to hold a summit during All-Star Weekend. Now, following the conclusion of their meeting, the two sides have released a joint statement regarding their plans going forward.
The meeting apparently went well, and the players and refs agreed to a four-point action plan. Via the National Basketball Referees Association:
A variety of issues were discussed in the meeting and both sides agreed to the following action items:
- Enhanced education and clarification around the Respect for the Game rules
- The opening of an additional channel of communication for future conflicts
- Plans for future meetings and discussions
- A broad review of existing rules and regulations and developing joint recommendations to enhance them
These all seem like pretty simple and smart ideas, and truly both sides have room to grow here. The refs have certainly made some bad calls -- remember the Christmas Day controversy -- but the players also whine about extremely obvious foul calls.
Enhanced communication should be especially helpful, as should a review of the rules. Everyone watching basketball often believes they have a strong understanding of the rules, but it can never hurt to get a better understanding.