NBA to grade referees in crunch time

Lionel Hollins

Starting Tuesday, March 2, the NBA will start “The Last Two Minutes” initiative, grading referees on their calls — and non-calls — in the last two minutes of regluation, and the entirety of overtime games, the league announced.

“Our fans are passionate and have an intense interest in understanding how the rules are applied,” Mike Bantom, Executive Vice President of Referee Operations, said in a prepared statement. “NBA referees have the most difficult officiating job in sports, with so many split-second decisions in real time. We trust this consistent disclosure will give fans a greater appreciation of the difficulty of the job and a deeper sense of the correct interpretations of the rules of our game.”

The reports will be posted the day after games on Yahoo! Sports reports that NBA referees were not consulted on this decision.

The NBA had only discussed crunch-time referee calls internally before this decision. Transparency is always a good thing, but I expect that when a team’s fanbase thinks they got jobbed, the NBA’s ruling isn’t going to change their minds.