Fans may be split on the idea of a refs strike — (frankly, I’m in favor of giving some newer, younger refs a shot, but I can see why others would disagree) — but players are probably pretty much in agreement with Derek Fisher’s comments from earlier this month, summarized quickly as: replacement refs suck.
“We feel strongly (as players) that the quality of our games will be better with the officials that have been out there for years, who understand the flow of the game, they understand the personalities of the coaches and how to let the players decide the game. We feel strongly that this season, when you think about the number of teams that are going to be shooting for an NBA title this year that are really good enough to win, one game could be the difference between (getting) home court advantage throughout the playoffs. I don’t think anyone wants to lose a game while people are trying to figure out how to get it done out there. It’s nothing personal. We don’t know many of the replacement referees and who they may be, but feel like our game is much better with the men and women we’ve become accustomed to working with. It doesn’t mean we’re going to get along with them every night, but we respect and appreciate what they do.”
Makes sense, though if I was a rookie, would I want to play with referees who “understand the personalities of the coaches and players” if I wasn’t one of those players? Maybe not. Everyone else can probably agree, though.