NBA refs come to their senses and agree to deal with league

Marcus Henry | 4/12/2011, 4:40 p.m.

So the NBA referees reached a deal with the league and will be on the job on opening night. Big deal.

Referees of professional leagues need to understand one thing; sports fans could care less about them. That may sound harsh, but facts are facts. The only time you hear about referees is when they make mistakes. Referees are at their best when we don't notice them.

Just check out the MLB playoffs. The umpires have been terrible. Everyone is calling for MLB management to do something about it.

If the NBA and the officials didn't reach an agreement commissioner David Stern was ready to go with replacements. Fans and media weren't too thrilled about that idea. But to be perfectly honest, we probably wouldn't have noticed the difference after the first month or six weeks of the season.

It happened in baseball in 1999 when then-umpire union chief Richie Phillips tried to strong arm MLB management by having his umpires submit their resignations. Phillips' plan backfired as MLB management accepted most the resignations and replaced them.

The umpires voted to decertify the union and start a new one.

That's just an example of how little leverage referees have. Fortunately for the NBA's refs they buckled. If not, they'd all be on the unemployment line.

Would anyone have noticed?