David Stern in the first part of his career did an excellent job of increasing the popularity of the NBA. Over the last 10 years though Stern has done a terrible job as commissioner and keeping fans interested in the NBA.

The NBA has never recovered from the officiating scandal from 2002 with Tim Donaghy. Though Stern tried desperately to distance the officials from Donaghy and tried making it appear that Donaghy was a rogue referee with his own agenda.

Well if Donaghy was a rogue referee working on his own how come the officiating in the NBA has gotten substantially worse?

What's even more interesting is the fact that on the nba.com website there's a place to contact the league about the officiating. Trying that gets a response that looks like this:

Thank you for contacting the National Basketball Association with your concerns regarding officiating. The NBA’s highest priority is to ensure that every game is determined on its merits. We take seriously the performance of our officials. They are subjected to incredible scrutiny by the league, including tracking every call they make and holding them to the most rigorous standard in all of sports. Not only is their past performance measured, charted, and evaluated, but we employ a system of stringent metrics designed to continually hone their skills and improve their overall ability. We strive to ensure that NBA games are officiated at the highest possible level with the understanding that perfection is an unattainable goal. Thank you again for your concern. We appreciate your feedback regarding this issue. Sincerely, NBA Fan Relations

It doesn't take long to realize why the NBA needs to have a generic e-mail in response to fans complaining on the referees. Youtube is filled with numerous examples of missed calls.

But, maybe with enough reaction from the most recent event in the NBA change is going to come. The missed call came at a crucial time in game one of the Denver Nuggets versus the Oklahoma City Thunder game.

Kendrick Perkins went up for a tip-in on a shot by Russell Westbrook as Perkins' hand came up to tip the ball in, his hand went through the net hit the rim with the ball in the cylinder. Instead of the call being basket inteference, the play stood.

The play in question wasn't a difficult call to make. It's stated clearly in the NBA rulebook that this is an example of offensive basket inteference. George Karl of course was rightfully complaining and yet to no avail.

Sure, there was still plenty of time left in the game and the Nuggets ultimately lost because plays weren't made down the stretch, but what would happened if the call was made correctly? Would the Thunder have lost the momentum? Could the Nuggest have stolen one on the road?

Even the NBA admits that the call was wrong, but still doesn't take away from the fact that the call should have been made correctly! This call is the icing on the cake of how badly the referees are in the NBA.

After the season the collective bargaining agreement expires along with the agreement with the referees. It's time for Stern to take action and fix the referees once and for all, if not then Stern needs to step down as commissioner and in his place should be one who will not tolerate incompetentce.

For Stern he could have put a stop this long ago, yet decided that he much rather defend the referees. Prior to this season Stern pretty much showed he was in the referees corner by creating rules to stop the complaining by NBA players and if it went on for too long a techincal would be coming.

Instead of fixing the problem and holding the referees accountable, Stern decide the blame should go on the players for actually questioning a call or showing emotion after a bad call.

It's time for NBA fans and NBA players to say enough is enough and oust Stern as he is the one to blame for the referee problems because he refuses to do his job as commissioner as he has not come close to fixing the issues.

By Steven Resnick


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