Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The NBA's clean Up operation

Believe it or not but this guy will be more important then Stern next year

Never mind the controversial dress code, The Sonics moving to Oklahoma or the image problem the real problem that is facing the NBA is officating. Because of the Donaghy scandal and the accusations that game 6 between the Lakers and the Kings in the 2002 Western Conference Finals was fixed the League has been pressurised into making steps to avoid this. Just a few days ago they took their first steps by hiring retired 2 Star General, Ronald L. Johnson. For a sport that on it's way to becoming like WWE hiring a guy who's served his country. His title is Senior Vice President, Referee Operations, and it’s probably safe to say that this ‘Army of One’ will not only ‘Be All He Can Be,’ but when it comes to the integrety of the game he’ll follow the Army motto, “This we’ll defend.”

His first job is to most importantly convice the NBA Players that corruption doesn't exist not easy when you have Doug Christie speaking out against it.

I am devastated to the point of feeling physically sick! Not just for myself, but for my teammates (who put their true heart and soul on the line), the fans in Sacramento (and worldwide) and the players out there on the floor right now. What’s “real” and what’s fake? So many and so much has been effected by these turn of events, not to mention that the fans didn’t get a chance to see the “true champions

Well said. NBA officiating has always been a difficult prospect simply because the quick nature of the sport means the Umppire only has a few seconds to make a call. Yet something is wrong when the Celtics have a 38-10 Free throw advantage in the NBA finals, Something is wrong when a Playoff game was supossedly rigged in the Lakers favour just for ratings. While no accusations have arisen in the NFL or MLB the officating is questionable as well and the prospect of a general being hired to solve the NBA crisis can only help these other sports.

The first step he took was to shake up his office was by restructuring the Referee Operations Department. Bernie Fryer will be the Vice President and Director of Officials, Joe Borgia will be the Vice President, Referee Operations, and Ronnie Nunn will be the Director of Development. Here’s how the NBA defines their roles:

Fryer, who served as the NBA’s Assistant Director of Officials and Crew Chief Coordinator during the 2007-08 season, will be responsible for the day-to-day management and on-court performance of NBA referees, reporting to Senior Vice President of Referee Operations, Ron Johnson. Borgia, who has served for the last four years as the league’s Director of Officiating Programs and Development, will be responsible for administering all other aspects of the officiating program, including recruiting, training programs, team communications and oversight of the D-League and WNBA officiating programs, also reporting to Johnson. Nunn, who served as the NBA’s Director of Officials for the past five seasons, will be responsible for the teaching and development of the NBA’s less-experienced referees and the transition of referees from the D-League to the NBA, reporting to Fryer.“

One hopes that whenever Shaq or any other center plays good defense they won't get called for a phantom call, Perhaps Kobe or Dwayne Wade will get called for travelling a little more?. Either way the NBA's rush to fix a problem that could have ruined the League for years is a step in the right direction

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