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Thunder notebook: News of NBA's referee deal pleases the Thunder

By MIKE BALDWIN, Staff Writer, mbaldwin@opubco.com Published: October 25, 2009
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News of NBA’s referee deal pleases Thunder
The NBA and NBA Referees Association on Friday officially finalized a deal on a two-year labor agreement that ends a lockout and will bring regular refs back in time for the regular season. On Saturday, Thunder players and coaches were relieved to have the regulars back.

"You don’t ever want anybody locked out of a job,” said Thunder coach Scott Brooks. "I think it’s a great opportunity for all of us to get back to being the best league in the world. We have some great officials, and I’m very excited for them that they’re back.”

With replacement referees working the entire preseason, several games were called tight and marred by a high number of fouls. Veteran center Etan Thomas said having the union refs back should help the league have a better regular season.

"I think anybody that you ask will say that,” Thomas said.

"I’m not criticizing the replacement refs at all, but I think it’s good for the regular refs to come back. I know they’re eager to come back and we’re eager to have them back. The entire game will just have a different flow.”

Bowen lands final roster spot
Ryan Bowen is the last man standing among a group that started with four players fighting for the Thunder’s 15th and final roster spot. The Thunder waived Mike Harris on Friday after parting ways with Tre Kelley and Michael Ruffin.

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