NBA officiating is a thankless job. On a nightly basis, NBA referees are an easy target of harassment from NBA players, fans, coaches, and even franchise owners, while good officiating often gets overlooked, and bad officiating can be headline news, depending on the time and the place.
It’s the nature of working in professional sports officiating, so in some ways, that harassment is just part of the job. Do players, fans, coaches, and owners take their criticism too far sometimes? Certainly, but at this point, if you’re going into the officiating profession, you should know what you’re getting yourself into. Besides, sometimes the criticism that doesn’t cross the line is deserved. NBA officiating, in particular, is far from perfect.
Former NBA All-Star turned ESPN analyst, Paul Pierce, was the latest member of the NBA world to lob some criticism in the referees’ direction. During an episode of NBA Countdown, Pierce talked about NBA officials’ halftime routine. A common NBA referee practice is that when or if they make a controversial call, they’ll tell the angered player or coach that they’ll go back and watch the film at halftime to determine if they missed something or got the call wrong.