Talking Things Out

Ref-Player Relationship Tensions Rise

Meeting Held Between Players, Referees as Tension Grows

Have you noticed more surprising ejections this year?


Well, that’s simply because there have been a ton of surprising ejections this season. LeBron James was ejected for the first time in his career earlier this year, while Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry, and Anthony Davis have all received some very quick hooks as well.

DeMarcus Cousins? Well, he’s still getting ejected at his usual pace, so that isn’t much of a surprise.

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Lee Sahem, the general counsel for the National Basketball Referees Association, met with Michele Roberts, the executive director of the NBPA, to discuss the rising tensions between the players and the league refs.


“There have been four or five occasions when a player has gone to say, ‘Hey, what’s up with that?’,” Roberts said. “And the official holds his hand up like a stop sign, like, ‘I don’t have time to talk to you.’ … Lee [Seham] told me, ‘That’s what they’re trained to do.’”

A solution is clearly necessary as the NBA shove the conflict under the rug.

“We need to sit down over a cup of coffee or even a can of beer and get some things off everyone’s chests and hear the other side’s perspective,” Roberts said. “We talked about this a couple of years ago. I thought it would be interesting. Now I think it’s something that’s necessary.”


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