NBA executive Monty McCutchen believes that the relationship between the NBA players and league referees has not fractured to the point that it is not salvageable.
McCutchen, the NBA head of referee development, has been on a roadshow to meet with the different teams to get their side in rising tension between game officials and the professional basketball players. He said that he got some constructive criticisms while listening to the grievances, and that’s exactly the point why he opened up the line of communication in the first place.
“What we are trying to achieve is the sense of how to disagree respectively, how to disagree with an empathy and understanding,” he told ESPN.
The former referee has been tag-teaming with Michelle Johnson, the NBA head of referee operations, to come up with a plan that will limit all the antagonism on the floor.
Players have been complaining that the game officials are engaged in some sort of power-tripping. When they try to explain their side, the referees turn their backs or give them a tech.
Last January, Warriors All-Star Draymond Green had harsh words for the officials, whom he accused of ruining the game.
He told The Athletic that some of the officials are taking things a little too personally.
“It’s horrible. It’s really bad. I don’t know why it is,” he said. ‘But I think it’s ridiculous. It’s ruining the game. It should be one of, if not the main priority, to be solved. It definitely should.”
The Defensive Player of the Game said that if it were up to him, he would replace the whole crew with a new set of officials.
The NBA then fined Green $25,000 for comments critical of the game officials.
The NBA Players Association and the referees association met during the All-Star break and they all agreed to meet once again in the summer to thresh out all their differences.