Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Think your job's tough? What if the person judging your performance was someone who failed when he tried to do your job?

That's what NBA referees have to deal with.

"First of all, there's incompetence from top to bottom," [former referee Hue] Hollins said. "You have Ronnie Nunn at the top, who was never a top referee, and he is not respected by any ref in the field today. From there, the referee observers in each city are not competent -- I know of one who is a high school football coach -- and some of the group supervisors were failed referees.

"Sure, we make mistakes. But when I left the league, refs were in the 96th to 97th percentile of getting calls right. But it was always the same second-guess -- by incompetent people. From a mental standpoint, it's brutal. Most guys get gun-shy and can't take it. I'm a professional referee for 27 years, and some supervisor who proved he couldn't do it is telling me how to do my job? That's like sending an auto mechanic into O.R. for heart surgery."

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