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It's Official: NBA Referees Locked Out

By George Thomas Published: September 18, 2009

If you're like a lot of sports fans who subscribe to the belief that the worst officiating can be found in the NBA, that supposition gained even more credibility moments ago when the league announced that they were going ahead and formally training replacement referees.
From the league's general counsel:

“The  proposals  we  have  made  to  the  NBRA are extraordinarily fair and reasonable,  given the current economic circumstances,” said Rick Buchanan, the  NBA’s Executive Vice President and General Counsel.  “Since late 2008, the league and our teams have made far deeper cuts in non-referee headcount and  expenses  than  we are asking for here.  It is extremely disappointing that  the  NBRA has ignored the economic realities, rejected our offer, and left us with no choice but to begin using replacement referees.”
This may very well be a precursor for what we could see in other sports league's as the reality of the allegedly ending economic downturn continues to take its toll in real incomes and bodies.  It's difficult to muster any type of sympathy on either side of this issue when the nation's unemployment rate hovers near 10 percent and the NBA continues to enjoy healthy revenue.
There's little denying that recession had an effect on the league as many teams were forced to borrow cash from a line of credit the league as some teams saw attendance and revenues head south. 
Given that the NBA and NFL both have player agreements expiring soon.  It could get hairy in the near future.
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