Culture of Hoops

NBA releases internal referee memos to public

Image courtesy of Michael E. Lee/Flickr.

Image courtesy of Michael E. Lee/Flickr.

Baller Mind Frame’s No Layups brings you the hottest NBA stories on the web mixed with personal opinion from our very own Aaron Lanton

A trove of confidential, internal memos on NBA officiating became public Monday afternoon, revealing new insight into the league’s enforcement of rules this season. No privacy laws were breached in the process.

The memos were released by the NBA itself, as part of Commissioner Adam Silver’s push for greater transparency. Fans will be able to review the documents at

The goal is to give the public a better grasp of how certain rules are applied, and in some cases, how the league is adjusting as the season progresses, according to Rod Thorn, the NBA’s president of basketball operations.

“There’s a hope on our part that the media will be more informed, and thus the fans will be more informed,” Thorn told Bleacher Report. “And maybe if there are certain things people are not entirely sure about…that maybe it will help answer some of those questions.” Bleacher Report

Whoa! This is a monumental deal. There’s no way this happens while David Stern was still the commissioner. 

Per, we are allowed access to not only the memos themselves but the video examples given to referees. These video examples are thorough and really emphasize what the league office expects when reviewing tapes of questionable calls. I have to admit, I missed a lot of this stuff while watching the games myself.

I can’t stress this enough: Check this out when time is available in your schedule. At the very least, it gives tangible evidence that the league does it’s due diligence in conveying what refs should be looking for. It also proves, once again, that being a referee is an incredibly difficult job to do well. – AL

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