The Rundown: 5 Things To Know About Life As An NBA Referee

The NBA playoffs are in full swing and since we’ve been yelling at them from our couch, it has us thinking…what do these refs actually do in their day job besides cause coaches and fans a lot of frustration?


We’ve seen better eyes on a potato,

The Last Night’s Game Team

Five Things To Know About Life As An NBA Referee

  1. While you’re going to have to work your way up through the system, the 64 NBA (National Basketball Association) referees on payroll make anywhere between $150,000-$550,000, depending on experience. They receive bonuses for officiating playoff games at the tune of $4,500 - $24,000, depending on the importance of the game (i.e. you make more money working the finals).
  2. Remember Billy Crystal traveling the nation as an NBA referee in the movie Forget Paris? It wasn’t his best flick but like his character, referees travel every two days, working 25 days a month. That equates to calling 65-70 games in an 82 game season, not including playoffs.
  3. Imagine being called out by your boss every time you present in a meeting. That’s what happens to the referees in the NBA’s two minute reports. The report critiques the referees’ calls within the last two minutes of the game and overtime. 
  4. It's not all mental. They have to be physically fit too because they’re running up and down the court for the entire 48 minutes alongside the players. Referees work on their fitness regimen in the off-season like any athlete would.  
  5. Instant replay is a big part of the game. The referees have a centralized replay command center in Secaucus, NJ that provides them with assistance in tough situations. They’re efficient even from afar, averaging a result in a quick 42.1 seconds.


Sideline stat

  • There were a whole “lotto” surprises at yesterday’s NBA Draft lottery. Usually the worst teams get the first pick in the NBA Draft but thanks to a massive trade with the New Jersey Nets, the Boston Celtics (who finished with the best record in their conference and are in the playoffs) will receive the #1 pick in the upcoming draft.  Here’s more on the lottery.

Coaches’ Corner

  • Nico Marley, grandson of music legend Bob Marley, signed with the Washington Redskins (NFL – National Football League). Hopefully the underdog can sing a “Redemption Song” and make the final roster.