The new NBA collective bargaining agreement that was just ratified has been notable because of its many new player-friendly aspects, but one thing the Players Association could create on their own isn’t even in there — players can now complain about referees monthly, by name. It could give them an unprecedented amount of power over how games are officiated.
It’s not surprising the Players Association looked for an alternative way to voice their concerns about officiating, and this continues the trend of the players and owners working creatively to make the game better in every way possible. The labor negotiations were a fair bit less contentious than back in 2011, when the owners locked out players and managed to drive down their split of revenue from 57 percent to 51. That revenue split hasn’t changed, but there’s so much more to split that a lockout was never even a rumor this time around.
We’re still going to see players (and coaches) complaining about refs publicly. But the hotline might have its benefits. If there are certain trends, it could be enough to lead to potential rule changes, an improvement in how games are called, or even a decline in technical fouls. As with anything else, more communication is never a bad thing.
(Via Sporting News)