The Sydney Kings’ Andrew Bogut raised an important issue when he was speaking with regard to his club’s first loss of the NBL season to Melbourne United.
He compared the officiating in the NBL to the officiating in FIBA, while expressing a preference for the referees to more closely emulate those in the NBA.
Bogut was actually supportive of the officials to an extent that was mildly surprising, telling reporters, that the ejection of coach Will Weaver, “Was (the correct call) by the rule … I don’t blame the refs for the position they’re in with unsportsmanlikes,” said Bogut. “I would definitely (look at changing from the FIBA ruling to an NBA ruling), but not just because I get pinged for them all the time.”
The NBL is having a banner season to this point and Bogut would like to see the league elevate its officiating.
“I don’t blame the officials, but we’ve got two, maybe three (full-time referees) in a professional league,” he said.”If we want to establish ourselves in a professional league we need full-time officials.”
Surprising words coming from Bogut, especially after he himself was called for an unsportsmanlike foul in the final moments of the game, a foul that effectively sealed the game for United.
Bogut might have been the one point of calm in an otherwise stormy evening of NBL basketball.
Kings’ coach Will Weaver was ejected after the first half for a heated exchange where he lost his composure over their missing a foul that he perceived as a blatant push. He was on the receiving end of back-to-back technical fouls and a $500 foul, although the league will not collect the $500.
Bogut later said he did not agree with the ejection, because Weaver was walking away from the confrontation with the referees when he drew the second technical.
Officials, not matter how well-paid or experienced, are always going to miss some calls, but that is true in all team sports involving officials who often need three sets of eyes to come anywhere near seeing everything going on at all times.