The deep-seeded and mutual antipathy that players and officials feel for one another has seemingly reached its tipping point. That “seemingly” is a crucial qualification, however, being that the raw data reveals that the number of technical fouls and ejections is right on par with where it was last season around this time.
Nonetheless, there have been several high-profile run-ins involving superstar players like LeBron James and Kevin Durant that have ushered this issue to the forefront. So in an effort to extend the olive branch, the Players’ Association and the Referees’ Association scheduled a summit during All-Star Weekend in Los Angeles for an airing of the grievances.
Everyone agreed that this gesture toward healthy conflict resolution was a good idea, at least in theory. But the reality was that only two NBA players actually showed up for the meeting, which understandably didn’t sit well with the referee’s union.