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News » Inexperienced replacement refs do well

Inexperienced replacement refs do well

Inexperienced replacement refs do well The number on the back of an NBA referee's jersey, as a general rule, tells a story about them. Those with single digit numbers or teens and even 20s are veteran, experienced officials. Those refs with numbers in the 50s or higher usually aren't as experienced in the NBA way of doing things. So the fact that the three referees working the Utah Jazz vs.

Denver Nuggets exhibition game on Thursday night were wearing the numbers 110 and 129 and 158 showed just how little NBA experience they had between them. In fact, they had no experience. Deldre Carr, Tre Maddox and C.J. Washington were working their first NBA games as replacements for the real referees, who are currently being locked out by the NBA while they work out a new labor deal with the league. It was the first NBA game played with replacement referees since 1995. Yet, all things considered, the replacements did a respectable job during the Jazz's 103-87 victory at EnergySolutions Arena. "I thought (the referees) did fine," said Jazz coach Jerry Sloan. "We can't spend our time worrying about those guys because they're learning and we're learning and you've got to give everybody a chance to move forward." Added Jazz point guard Deron Williams, "The officials were good. I thought they did a good job and they didn't look like replacements to me." Nuggets coach George Karl didn't see the officiating being a problem, either. "They'll have a month to get ready for the season just like we will," said Karl. "They'll learn some stuff. Right now I don't see it being a problem." That's probably not what the veteran officials want to hear from coaches and players. The 57 refs in the National Basketball Referees Association are trying to iron out a new deal with the NBA and would probably like to see the replacements fail in order to expedite the talks. While there were no terrible calls to speak of, it became clear early on that the replacement referees would call a close game. Jazz forward Andrei Kirilenko was whistled for a questionable traveling call with the game barely a minute old. The new refs also weren't shy calling fouls, either. A combined total of 69 fouls were called leading to 88 free throw attempts. Jazz center Mehmet Okur didn't think the fouls were called because of having new refs. "(The excess fouls) were because we were active and really attacking the basket," said Okur. "We did a good job getting into the paint and we were active." Whether all the fouls were warranted or not, it made for a longer than usual game. "Preseason games always seem longer to me," quipped Williams. Sloan is famous for his sometimes profane yelling at officials ? a fact he even joked about in his recent Hall of Fame speech ? but he seemed to be giving the new guys a break. The veteran coach sat quietly on the bench for the most part. Few players spoke to the replacement referees either. Williams offered a couple of reasons why he didn't talk the referees. "I don't know their names," Williams joked. "(But) I'm trying not to talk to refs as much. I'm trying to just play and not talk to the refs. I want to save my money this year." e-mail:

Author: Fox Sports
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Added: October 3, 2009


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