Monty McCutchen, NBA Vice-President of Referee Development and Training, offers his thoughtful insights on a wide-range of issues. Yahoo!Sports got to Monty for an interview after the recent events surrounding the controversially refereed first game in the playoff series Golden State vs Houston.
It’s well worth excerpting some of the interview, which can be read in full here:
“Spend half an hour talking to NBA vice president of referee development and training Monty McCutchen…you get the feeling that conspiracy theories so often floated by fans, players, coaches and even general managers (regarding NBA referees) are mostly laughable.”
Of course, McCutchen’s comments come on the heels of significant criticism that was directed at the referees in game 1 of the Golden State – Houston series, a lot of it captured below in this youtube from “Coach Nick”.
McCutchen says: “What’s on the inside is much more normal and mundane than human. We’re trying to get plays right. We want to serve the game well. We have the same desires individually for success in our careers that other people do in their careers, and you do that by being impartial and upholding standards with a certain resolve and will. You most certainly don’t do that by being vindictive and living through your emotions. I’m proud of our group that they consistently do good work.”
Removing the emotion
McCutchen is also working to remove emotion from refereeing and getting the best people on the floor for the playoffs. “If people can’t remove themselves from those emotions, then they’re not capable of working this time of year or they expose that they’re not capable if given the opportunity and can no longer handle this, and they go backwards instead of forwards.”
It’s all about the training, he says. “If we don’t train well, then we have to live with the results of giving into our emotions.
Playing and refereeing are hardly the same
Playing and refereeing are certainly not the same thing, McCutchen says. “Playing is a much different emotional experience, because you’re banging, you’re playing a physical game. It’s much different as a referee, where your job is to rise above emotion and get to standards. If we can uphold standards, then we’ve had a successful night, which is sort of the antithesis of emotion. You’re saying to yourself, ‘It doesn’t matter what the situation is, I have a standard to uphold.’”
Some good food for thought and with the hope that people outside the officiating experience can get rid of the conspiracy theories that often run through their heads.