Are NBA Referees as Bad as They Seem?

March 10th, 2010 by Patrick Harrel Leave a reply »
From Dick Bavetta and Bob Delaney's famous "creative" refereeing in Game 6 of the 2002 Conference Finals between the Kings and Mavericks, to Tim Donaghy's utter stupidity in betting on the sport he officiated, referees in the NBA have been a constant source of anger from fans of the sport.

However, except from counting the number of times you screamed at the television at a puzzling call against your favorite team, there has never been an analytical way of looking at the true performance of referees.

Until now.

With a new groundbreaking look into officiating in five sports, Tobias Moskowitz and L. Jon Wertheim presented their results using over 1.5 million plays worth of data. The NBA has reportedly done in-house studies that contradict this study, but unless the study is published, it has no credibility.

The Moskowitz and Wertheim study revealed many officiating problems in all sports, however given the NBA's myriad problems with referees recently, that section of the study garnered the most attention. Unfortunately, the study supported many of the things fans have said criticizing NBA referees over the years.

As tim ...

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