Referees union calls for end of NBA's 'Last Two Minute' reports

ByOhm Youngmisuk ESPN logo
Wednesday, June 8, 2016

The National Basketball Referees Association has called for the NBA to stop releasing its Last Two Minute Reports.

In a statement released Tuesday, the NBRA says the NBA's effort to "promote so-called transparency will cause more harm than good for the officials and the game."

"Transparency does nothing to change the outcome of the game," the NBRA statement cites. "Transparency encourages anger and hostility towards NBA officials."

Commissioner Adam Silver has "strongly" maintained his support to try to be transparent with the reports.

"We understand the referee union's desire to protect its members," NBA spokesman Mike Bass said in a statement. "But the fact is that in today's world, transparency is necessary for any organization. The NBA is no different and we are committed to protecting the integrity of our game."

The league's Last Two Minute Reports have been a hot-button issue at times this postseason. The "L2M" provides the officiating crew's fouls and rulings that were accurate or inaccurate in games within five points at the two-minute mark at the end. The outcome of those games, however, does not change.

"Efforts to promote transparency have encouraged the idea that perfection in officiating is possible," the NBRA states. "Perfection is neither possible nor desirable; if every possible infraction were to be called, the game would be unwatchable and would cease to exist as a form of entertainment in this country.

"Transparency has been misused as a catalyst by some teams to mobilize fans against the officials in an attempt to coerce more favorable treatment. While the goal of transparency was to promote understanding and credibility, there is no evidence that progress against these goals is being made."

The NBRA suggests changes to the "L2M" process that include identifying and revealing the qualifications of the individuals who review and edit the reports. The NBRA also wants to see the rules interpreted the same way as the referees are "instructed by the league on how to interpret the rules" while also establishing an appeal process.

At his news conference during the NBA Finals last week, Silver reiterated his support for the reports.

"In terms of building confidence in the public, they want to see consistency," Silver said. "So they want to understand if we call something a foul, why we called it a foul, and we often give explanations for why we believe something was a foul, whether it was correctly called or incorrectly called. ... I just think we're seeing more transparency in all of society now.

"It's our hope that you take the Last Two Minute Reports together with using a certain amount of replay that we're building to build trust and integrity in the league. That people are going to recognize that we are going to make mistakes, the officials are going to make mistakes. Human error is going to be part of this game, just as it is with players. ... I'd say largely what these Last Two Minute Reports are showing is that the referees get it right about 90 percent of the time."

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