On Mark Cuban, Integrity, and our Commitment to #RespectTheGame

While we did not intend for this conversation to go public, we now hope it will move the conversation forward and help to address issues that are threatening to undermine the sport we all love. Mark Cuban’s threats and intimidation are an attempt to exert undue influence, and the fact that this has continued is a symptom of the problem — a culture that is eroding the integrity of the game.

The NBA asks and expects us to enforce the rules, and as professionals and officials at the very top of our sport, we do, with an extremely high degree of accuracy. All we ask in return is for the league to enforce its own rules, and to do so evenhandedly and consistently. The officiated must not gain influence over the officiating.

With respect to Mark Cuban, the league knows there is a problem, as has been documented in the memos published by Yahoo’s The Vertical, but they have not acted urgently or effectively to curtail a growing problem.

The manner in which officials are managed is not at issue here, and any comment suggesting differently is simply wrong. Referee management, education and development must be provided by former referees, as they are uniquely qualified to understand the science and the art of officiating at the professional level. Every major professional sport manages officials in the same manner. These experienced and exceptional former NBA officials make our officials better.

We want to work with the NBA, and with all owners, players and coaches to protect what is great about the game we all love. We must stop this race to the bottom before it further threatens the integrity of the game.

#RespectTheGame

In the end, there needs to be change. The NBRA calls for:

· Strict enforcement of the April 15th memorandum calling for enhanced penalties
· Publishing a schedule of penalties related to the 4/15 memorandum and publicly announcing when penalties are imposed
· Instituting new penalties that will be more effective in deterring abusive and intimidating owners, including technical fouls against their teams, expulsion from the arena and prohibitions against being near the court
· Abolishment, or significant reform of the L2M policy, which promotes a disproportionate emphasis on missed calls and more stat-oriented officiating versus game-oriented officiating

Press contact: Mark Denesuk, Mark@CommerceHouse.com

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