This is great news. I felt the replacement refs stopped the flow of the games way too often by “calling it by the book.”
NBA.com: An agreement in principle was reached in New York on Tuesday between the league and its veteran referees on a new two-year contract that will end the lockout of the NBA’s 57 regular officials and get them on the court in time for next week’s regular season opener, according to a source with knowledge of the discussions.
The agreement came after the referee’s union indicated to the league that if it would accept the officials’ latest proposal, the union’s five-member executive board would recommend to the rank and file to ratify the deal, and that the union could assure broad support among the membership, the source said. The NBA agreed. The executive board will recommend passage of the new contract on Friday in a meeting of the officials in New Jersey, with the expectation of approval that would lead to all referees reporting to a brief camp on Saturday before the start of games a week from today.
“I think it’s great,” players’ association director Billy Hunter said. “We’d welcome them back.”
Tuesday’s meeting included NBA Commissioner David Stern and the union’s attorney, Lamell McMorris, who hadn’t met face-to-face in more than a month, since acrimonious negotiations between the two led to each recusing himself from further negotiations between the sides. Also at the meeting, according to the source, was deputy commissioner Adam Silver, the NBA’s president of league and basketball operations, Joel Litvin, and the league’s executive vice president and general counsel, Rick Buchanan.
McMorris was joined on the referees’ side by officials Steve Javie, Bennet Salvatore and Bob Delaney, all members of the union’s executive committee.
The New York Times first reported the tenative agreement between the two sides.