With all the negative news surrounding its referees - from gambling charges to cheating allegations - the NBA is taking steps to put some order into its officiating. And who better to maintain discipline than an army general.
ESPN reports that the league has hired Ronald L. Johnson to its newly created position of senior vice president of referee operations. The recently retired two-star general will be responsible for “all aspects of the NBA’s officiating program, including recruiting, training and development, scheduling, data management and analysis, and work rules enforcement.”
Seems like a lot to keep track of. But Johnson’s many years’ experience of hooping it up on the courts should help, right? It would if he had any:
“Although I don’t have a basketball background, other than as a lifelong fan, I am confident that my experience as an Army commander and engineer has equipped me to bring leadership and innovation to the NBA’s exceptional officiating program.”
Johnson had previously been deputy commanding general of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, who are the guys that build dams, levees and such. If Johnson does as good of a job with the refs as the Engineers did with Hurricane Katrina, expect NBA games to turn into the Wild Wild West.