NBA Ref Lockout May Start the Season

September 20, 2009

An NBA ref lockout looms as a possibility for the first time since the 1995-96 season. Keep reading for the latest details on the fast developing story below.


If an agreement is not reached, there is the possibility that the NBA will use replacement referees in the 2009-2010 season; possibly during both the exhibition and the regular season. Time is running out as the first pre-season games are scheduled for October 1st.

The L.A. Times quotes unnamed sources who detail points of impasse arise from negotiations over:

[The] future of retirement bonuses, a proposal to mix D-League and WNBA officials on a limited basis into early season assignments for training purposes, and the conversion of pension benefits.

The L.A. Times quotes a statement from Rick Buchanan, the NBA’s Executive Vice President and General Counsel:

“It is extremely disappointing that the NBRA has ignored the economic realities, rejected our offer, and left us with no choice but to begin using replacement referees.”

Dating back several days to mid-September, negotiations have been ongoing, as the New York Times, notes, but now the latest result, is the above-cited impasse.

Pointing out how close to reality the NBA ref lockout might be, reports via an internal memo it has obtained that the NBA has invited 45 replacement referees to a meeting in New York from September 24-27. According to the memo obtained, among these 45 is Michael Henderson, the ref involved in the 2004 showdown between the officials’ union and David Stern. The news organization further reports that the 57 active refs will not attend training camp in Jersey City, New Jersey, as previously scheduled.

At present that is all that is known about this developing story of the possible NBA Ref lockout. Readers, please share your comments.


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