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NBA REPLACEMENT REFS TAKING A BEATING FROM THE PLAYERS
Published October 23, 1995
NBA players say the officiating during the NBA preseason has been "inconsistent at best." They are having a hard time adjusting to the college and CBA refs filling in for locked-out NBA officials. The primary problem cited is the number of fouls called. Michael Jordan: "They're trying to be helpful and make all the little calls, but I don't think they understand the game to a point where the ticky-tack fouls don't always have to be called" (Terry Armour, CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 10/23). Celtic Dino Radja: "We have to get them back. We have to start saying it." Guard Dana Barros: "I never thought I'd be saying it, but we do miss the (regular) guys" (BOSTON HERALD, 10/23). Nugget Dikembe Mutombo: "Things are getting worse, and it's not in the players' interest. I mean, it's a league problem. You can't get mad at these guys" (BOSTON GLOBE, 10/23). FREE AGENT TAMPERING: Two teams with big-name free agents in '96 -- Denver (Mutombo) and Charlotte (Alonzo Mourning) -- have put the league on notice for "potential tampering violations. Their primary target? [Pat] Riley and the Heat" (Mitch Lawrence, N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 10/22). NOTES FROM LONDON: In New York, Harvey Araton writes, "While the NBA tones down its domestic act, it was pumping up the volume over here." But Araton notes that the British are not as excited about the NBA as the rest of Europe. "More than professional basketball, they also prefer the World Series, judging by Times of London coverage." The paper offered a lengthy preview of the Series while "relegating its hometown basketball event to six well-hidden paragraphs" (N.Y. TIMES, 10/22)....Marv Albert called NBA Commissioner David Stern "more visible today on the world scene than Warren Christopher" (NBC, 10/21).