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NBA: Players and Refs to discuss growing animosity during All-Star Weekend

130   //    11 Jan 2018, 15:28 IST

Players and Referees to hold a meeting during All-Star Weekend

What's the story?

The NBA players and the referees are all set to meet and clear the air between the two parties during the All-Star Weekend.

In case you didn't know...

LeBron James was adamant that he was fouled by Kevin Durant while driving towards the basket late into the 4th quarter in the Cavaliers’ 99-92 loss against the Warriors on Christmas.

Three days later, Giannis Antetokounmpo made a game-winning dunk against Russell Westbrook and the Oklahoma City Thunder. The league’s last-two-minute reports later confirmed that the Bucks superstar had stepped out of bounce right in front of the official.

The heart of the matter...

The NBA has arranged a meeting between the players and the referees. Three representatives from each side will attend the meeting, possibly with the aid of a moderator.

"I’m looking forward to it," National Basketball Players Association executive director Michele Roberts told USA Today Sports’ Sam Amick, "I think it will be both spirited and enlightening. Even the conversations I’ve had with Lee (Seham, general counsel for the National Basketball Referees Association), there have been things that I have not, frankly, been aware of in terms of the kinds of pressures that (officials) are under. So, I think it’s a useful step."

The players have found that displaying their dissatisfaction with the judgments of a referee has been a costly affair. Thunder big man Patrick Patterson was fined $10,000 for coarsely calling out officials on Twitter after a loss to the Bucks. The Warriors forward Draymond Green faced similar problems as he was fined $25,000 for his comments about the unraveling relationship between the players and referees.

Green said: "It's ruining the game. It should be one of, if not the main priority, to be solved. It definitely should. A lot of it is personal. When you give someone so much authority and they make it me against you, you can't overcome that."

What's next?

The meeting is on 17th Feb in Los Angeles during the All-Star Weekend.

Author's take

A meeting seems like a good decision on part of the NBA management to mitigate the growing animosity between the players and the referees.

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