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NBA: Educating fans

Oklahoman Published: June 7, 2009
NBA considering Q&As with fans
Educating fans won’t alleviate the inevitable criticism NBA referees receive, but Ron Johnson, senior vice president of referee operations, believes it’s a tool the league needs to explore.

The league is considering scheduling question-and-answer sessions in most, if not all, of the 30 NBA cities where fans could ask a veteran NBA referee any question, receiving clarification of specific rules.

"We need to do a better job of proactive communication, chalk talks,” Johnson said. "We wanted to implement those this (past) season but the season got away from us.”

Johnson said the league also would like to add a "referee’s section,” on It would include a complete copy of the NBA rule book. Videos on the Web site would explain certain calls.

"Where I come from, I’m a former soldier,” Johnson said. "We always say people understand things better when they hear it, when they see it and when they do it. It’s something we could use to where fans would be more educated.”

By Mike Baldwin


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