The NBA recognizes the deteriorating relationship between players and refs, and the league has a plan to fix it.
The NBA announced a five-point program aimed at improving the deteriorating relationship between players and referees.
"As a league, we take great pride in standing for the best things about sports: competition, teamwork, respect, sportsmanship, diversity and inclusion," NBA president of league operations Byron Spruell said in a statement. "Recently we have seen instances in which we have not lived up to our own collective standards with regard to sportsmanship. It is important for us to place a renewed emphasis on proper communication and respet to make sure we are meeting the standards expected from all members of the NBA family."
The growing tension between players and refs has been a storyline throughout this season, with a number of the league's stars saying that officials have a quicker trigger than in years' past. Players have complained about not being able to have a dialogue with referees.
The league's plan, which will be headed by the league's head of referee operations Michelle Johnson and former referee Monty McCutchen, calls for meetings between officials and all 30 teams to discuss on-court conduct and expectations of referees. The goal will be to reinforce clarity of the game's rules and what proper interactions between players and referees look like.
The announcement says the league will "reassess the expected professional standards of coaches, players and referees and the penalties associated with falling short of those expectations."