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News » News of NBA's referee deal pleases Thunder


News of NBA's referee deal pleases Thunder


News of NBA's referee deal pleases Thunder The NBA and NBA Referees Association on Friday officially finalized a deal on a two-year labor agreement that ends a lockout and will bring regular refs back in time for the regular season. On Saturday, Thunder players and coaches were relieved to have the regulars back.

"You don't ever want anybody locked out of a job," said Thunder coach Scott Brooks. "I think it's a great opportunity for all of us to get back to being the best league in the world. We have some great officials, and I'm very excited for them that they're back."

With replacement referees working the entire preseason, several games were called tight and marred by a high number of fouls. Veteran center Etan Thomas said having the union refs back should help the league have a better regular season.

"I think anybody that you ask will say that," Thomas said.

"I'm not criticizing the replacement refs at all, but I think it's good for the regular refs to come back. I know they're eager to come back and we're eager to have them back. The entire game will just have a different flow."

BOWEN LANDS FINAL ROSTER SPOT

Ryan Bowen is the last man standing among a group that started with four players fighting for the Thunder's 15th and final roster spot. The Thunder waived Mike Harris on Friday after parting ways with Tre Kelley and Michael Ruffin.

"I'm happy to be here and help in any way I can," said Bowen, who received the news after Thursday's game against Sacramento. "I don't know what to expect as far as opportunities go other than practice. But to come in every day and work hard and be a good team guy and locker room guy, that's something I've done my whole career. So I'm just trying to bring that work ethic to the team."

OLLIE LEADING BY EXAMPLE

Kevin Ollie spent more than 20 minutes in isolation after Saturday's practice. Hunched over, he stared at a wall at the far end of the team's training facility and put himself through dribbling drills with two basketballs in an attempt to improve his ball-handling.

With no one else on the court, the scene illustrated what the Thunder likes about the 12-year veteran.

"That's why we have him here," Brooks said. "He's a great example for all of our players to watch.

"To see him doing that (12) years into the league at age 36, is he really improving his ball-handling? I don't know. But in his mind he wants to get better. And the day that you stop trying to get better you're going to be out of the league. He's a high-character man that's committed to getting better at every opportunity."


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Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website: http://www.foxsports.com
Added: October 28, 2009

 

 
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