NBA referees expected a lockout to be "imminent" after negotiations
Wednesday between their union and the league failed to produce a new
After rejecting the league's latest offer
by a vote of 57-0 at their meeting in Chicago on Wednesday night, the
union and league exchanged further counterproposals Thursday, with the
union claiming to have made $1 million in additional financial
First, I have to say that it takes a lot of balls for the NBA refs to not concede to the NBA's demands whatever they are. Especially if things are close. First, you're a ref. Regardless of what type of education you had going out of school, unless you've been working full time in some other profession and reffing part time, then you're not going to have any practical job experience.
Next, it's a terrible economy where high paying jobs aren't overly plentiful, and refs make considerable salaries. According to the powers of google:
National Basketball Association (NBA) referees earn anywhere from $90,000 to $225,000 for their hard work.
I have a hard time envisioning that ref making 200 grand a year finding a job where he makes 200 grand a year when he's got 20 years of experience being a ref and nothing else. If he can, then let me know where those jobs are.
This isn't to say I blame the refs or feel they're being unreasonable. I have no idea over what particulars they're fighting over, but the NBA is losing money big time. They're laying off workers all over the place, and the refs are making a crapload of money with no way to replace it. They may not be wrong in their demands, but they've definitely got some serious balls if they lockout the season.
Between this and next year's possible lockout, the NBA could be in an NHL like situation where the owners, players and refs hurt the league so much that they ultimately kill themselves in the process by shrinking the total pot of money available by such a large amount that everyone is screwed.
So, how does this effect the Bulls? This is purely theoretical, but you have to think replacement refs are going to help out superstars and home teams. There's considerable pressure and anxiety when these superstar guys are screaming in your face, and the inexperienced refs are for more likely to be biased than the experienced ones in my opinion.
I also think that more so than anything else, the refs may call the games a little looser. I think you get less blame for missing a call than you do for making a bad call. I think this could result in a bonus for nastier defensive teams.
So how does this fit with the Bulls? Probably not so well.
First, the Bulls don't have a superstar to get that extra benefit of the doubt that already has his status permeated throughout the new refs minds. Second, the Bulls aren't a big strong physical team to benefit from playing tougher defense.
There is one shining light in the potential bias of bad officiating and that's the Bulls home crowd. Say what you want about the UC being quiet as a grave, but the Bulls typically pack the house, and a louder crowd might be able to sway a nervous ref more so than a quiet one. The Bulls aren't the loudest arena, but it's not half empty like a lot of them.
All in all, bad officiating probably helps the better teams and hurts the worse teams. I'd expect a rich get richer and poor get poorer type of response if this comes to pass. Given the wide range in expected achievement for the Bulls, they could end up on either side of that battle.