There was a very good interview on NPR last week about Mark
Cuban, and it got me thinking…
Mark Cuban, owner of the
Dallas Mavericks, has often criticized NBA referees for years. He has had frequent run-ins with NBA
commissioner, David Stern, about this, and has been fined hundreds of thousands
of dollars. His outspoken voice is
refreshing, and generally on the money; referees generally do a good job, but
blown calls can affect the outcome of games. Cuban has even blogged about how
to improve officiating in the NBA playoffs:
“NBA should rank its
officials, seed them if you will. Top 12 get playoff assignments. Thats it. If
an official does a great job and rises to the top 12, he or she gets the
reward. If not, not.
Giving less qualified
officials an opportunity to officiate playoff games as a reward gives the
official a nice attaboy, but it risks the quality of our product.
It makes absolutely no
sense to do it the way it is currently done. If the league wants the best
officiating in every game, only use the best officials. Anything less cheats us
certainly agree that there is an hierarchy of referee ability in any
sport. Why not try to improve the
ability of the referee pool, in that way we might be able to chose from the top
20… There are many things that go
into making an excellent referee including knowledge of the game, reflexes,
physical fitness, vision, and demeanor.
Some of these we can control, and some we can’t. We can certainly improve a ref’s
vision, as I have publicly offered before, I will provide free LASIK surgery
on any NBA ref that is deemed a good candidate and needs it. Maybe Mark Cuban can do his part and
fly these refs to me on his jet for their treatment! Or maybe he should start refing the games himself.
BTW, I also wish him luck with his upcoming legal issues, and hope he puts it all behind him quickly!!