Now Hiring – One NBA Referee

Now Hiring – One NBA Referee

With the NBA most likely being minus at least one ref, they’ll be needing to pick up another official.  Think you qualify?  It takes more than just knowing the ins and outs of basketball.  It’s much more complicated than memorizing a rulebook.  You must now the subtle nuances of the NBA.  To see if you are a likely candidate, please complete the following quiz…


1. A player driving to the basket performs a jump stop as he picks up his dribble, then takes two steps towards the basket before laying the ball up.  This move is:

A. Perfectly legal within the rules

B. Traveling

C. Erotically breathtaking

D. Legal only for players that have made a minimum of one All-Star appearance, three commercial endorsement deals, or one shoe named after them.

2. A player gets the ball in the post, turns towards the basket, dropping his shoulder into the upper chest of his defender to create space for his shot.  This move is legal if:

A. The defender is moving his feet.

B. The defender made first contact

C. The defender is weak and deserves to be bullied

D. the player’s name is Shaq

3. In the closing seconds of a game, the visiting team has the ball and is down by one.  Their PG dishes the ball to a streaking SG, who gets to the ball at the exact same moment  as the home team defender.  The two collide with great force and the ball sails out of bounds as the clock expires.  The correct reason the ref blows his whistle is:

A. To signal the end of the game

B. To call a foul on the defender

C. The silence is uncomfortable

D. It doesn’t matter.  A ref’s whistle will not function in the closing seconds of a game. 

4. Kobe Bryant approaches you after you whistle him for an offensive foul for elbowing his defender in the neck while shooting.  The move was blatantly intentional, but Bryant argues the call quite aggressively, using foul language and making statements about how your mother likes it.  Your course of action should be:

A. To whistle him for a technical foul

B. To eject him from the game

C. To do nothing or he’ll get mad and rape you.

D. To listen intently, apologize and the next time the exact same situation happens, call a foul on the defender. 

5. You obviously blew a call, giving the ball to the visiting team on an out of bounds call that resulted from a visiting player dribbling the ball off his own foot.  You knew who the ball should go to, you just forgot and pointed in the wrong direction when you blew the whistle, signaling that the visiting team would keep possession.  You should:

A. Correct the error by explaining your mistake and awarding the ball to the home team.

B. Have one of those exciting little ref huddles and then overturn the call, pretending one of your coworkers had a better view of the situation which led to the reversal. 

C. Pretend nothing was wrong as your ego is more important than doing the right thing.

D. Go on with your call, but create a phantom turnover seconds into the next play to get the ball back to the home team without losing face.

6. A melee breaks out after the visiting PF punches his defender in the face after being elbowed during a rebound attempt.  The defender punches back and an additional 7 of the 8 players on the court jump in a throw limp-wristed and poorly targeted punches (The remaining player is French and ran as soon as the fight started).  Several players come off the bench and get involved, as well as an assistant coach.  After several minutes, the fight is broken up.  The next thing you do is:

A. Eject both the initial fighters, anyone who came off the bench, and anyone you witnessed throwing a punch or kicking. 

B. Review the footage to know exactly what players need ejected

C. Have on of those exciting ref huddles and decide on a double technical foul so as to not take sides in the scuffle.

D. Ignore any memories of what happened after the initial punch, ignore the possibility of reviewing a replay of the incident, and only eject the player that threw the first punch.  Leave everything else up to Stern to deal with three days later.

7. You make a call that the home coach takes issue with and he leaves the coach’s box to come argue the call.  What is your response?

A. To Whistle a technical Foul

B. Assertively warn him about a repeated action resulting in an ejection

C. Bean him with the basketball as he is now fair game since leaving the safety of the coach’s box. 

D. What the hell is a coach’s box?

8. The home team captain is a perennial All-Star and a household name.  He approaches you during a timeout and informs you he is tiring of his defender grabbing his jersey as he comes off of screens, stating it has happened every time he’s had a pick set for him during the game.  You should:

A. Whistle the captain for a technical foul as it is against the rules for a player to approach a referee during a timeout. 

B. Listen to his complaint, but carry on the game as you were before the complaint.

C. Explain to him that the officiating team knows their job and he doesn’t have to tell them how.  Then remind him that you don’t go around telling him how to have dozens of illegitimate children and fire off guns at strip joints.

D: Devote 100% of your focus to watching for the accused action of jersey-grabbing, then whistling the defender for the infraction during the next play whether it happens or not.

9. You get the honor of being assigned to the NBA All-Star Game, which is being played in Cleveland.  During the game, you should:

A. Minimize your whistle-blowing to allow for a higher scoring, flashier game.

B. Call the game as you always would.

C. Ask the veterans at tip-off which rookie they are shunning and assist them in making the youngster a pariah.

D. Put LeBron on the free-throw line as much as possible, allow him 3 extra steps on drives, allow him an extra 12 seconds in the lane, and make any other efforts to ensure the hometown star gets the MVP.


10.  The Commissioner David Stern sends all NBA officials a memo that the league is cracking down on players “flopping” (pretending they were fouled by dramatically over-reacting to minimal contact).  You respond by:

A. Conferring with your colleagues about the most reasonable and sensible manner to discourage flopping.

B. Simply not calling the “phantom fouls”

C. Warning players during warm-ups that this flopping practice will result in technical fouls for violating the spirit of the game and of fair play, then following through with your warning when Steve Nash ignores your advice. 

D. Cracking down for a week or two, then resuming calling the fouls when players put in the acting performance.


Questions 1 through 10:  D