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NBA news: League announces new official communicative initiative

The NBA released a statement regarding player-referee issues this season. The Celtics Wire’s Jared Weiss shared the official release through Twitter. This new program was announced by NBA President of League Operations Byron Spruell. In the statement, he said:

“As a league, we take great pride in standing for the best things about sports: competition, teamwork, respect, sportsmanship, diversity, and inclusion. Recently we have seen instances in which we have not lived up to our own collective standards with regard to sportsmanship. It is important for us to place a renewed emphasis on proper communication and respect to make sure we are meeting the standards expected from all members of the NBA family.”

Said program will be developed by NBA Senior Vice President Michelle Johnson and NBA Head of Referee Development Monty McCutchen. A summary of what the program deals with is detailed below:

  • Meetings with all 30 teams to discuss rule interpretations, on-court conduct, and expectations of NBA referees. These will start before the All-Star break.
  • Re-emphasizing the league’s “Respect of the Game” rule to referees, players, and coaches.
  • The NBA Referee Operations department will expand its rules education initiative for coaches, players, and team personnel to further clarify rule interpretations and proper interpretations.
  • Johnson and McCutchen will conduct training sessions with referees on conflict resolution, plus closely be monitoring the interaction between players, coaches, and referees to ensure referee decorum meets league standards.
  • Through the NBA’s Officiating Advisory Council, the league will try and get all key stakeholders in common ground for everyone.

This is yet another encouraging sight for the league, as player and coaches issues with referees have become a common topic in today’s games. You can read the full statement here.