Erik Spoelstra understands the transition part of the referees turnover
The tension between the referees and NBA players have reached a breaking point in this season. Coaches, players, and league executives have noticed the drama between the two parties and are desperately trying to formulate a solution to the toxic situation. Meanwhile, Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra believes that some of this tension is because of the influx of inexperienced referees, according to Tom D’Angelo of the Palm Beach Post.
“I went marching up to half court and said, ‘Now you made that bull**** call down there. …,” Spoelstra said. The official chimed in, ‘”I’m hearing you but listen how you started out this conversation. …’“ “As soon as he said that I said, ‘You know what. You’re right. Forget about what I needed to say, I’m just out of my mind right now.’ That communication actually worked. It resonated with me. Start from just a place of respect and you can work from there.”The veteran officials, most of them have retired or been hired by the NBA or moved on and you’re going to take a hit as that happens. The same thing would happen in our league if all the players with over 10 years experience all of a sudden weren’t playing next year. You’d feel it, you’d notice it. It doesn’t mean that there’s not young talented, committed officials coming up through the ranks right now but they just need more experience.”
With the statement, the Heat coach might have provided one of the best insights thus far in this developing saga surrounding the game officials. In fact, Spoelstra’s realization also bears so much weight not only on the court, but it also extends far beyond basketball.
Spoelstra seems to admit that the dialogue with players can improve, but he makes an interesting point of how the maturity of referees can affect the game. This is definitely a peculiar stance that the league might have to look at soon.
This transition phase is part of the growing pains that the league, coaches, and players have to endure because in the end, no one wants to see 90-year-old referees running up and down the court trying their best to be eagle-eyed at all times.