Summer league is a proving ground for referees as well as players

Summer league is a proving ground for referees as well as players


Summer league is a proving ground for referees as well as players


We never really pay attention to the officials until they do something that bothers us. And while some of you might not want to believe this, the stuff that bothers us, bothers them too.

I got to talk to three officials currently in the NBA’s development and training program… two of them are currently in the G League and one is a two-year NBA veteran learning to become a crew chief. I also got to talk to a current official who oversees the games and former official Monty McCutchen, who runs the program.

I wrote an in-depth piece on detailing the whole process. A couple of things stuck out to me. First: the amount of work they do:

“Our day starts from the minute we wake up, pretty much,” says Jacyn Goble, a two-year NBA official working summer league. “We have a game day meeting anywhere between 10 or 11 in the morning which will run for about an hour to an hour and a half. Then we do lunch and the meeting continues, and we talk about basketball. Then we take a nap, and by 5 o’clock we’re up and we’re heading to the arena.”

These guys are putting in a ton of work preparing for games. They’re also passionate about what they do. McCutchen especially conveys a deep love for the official’s role in the NBA.

“I’m proud of our work that we’re doing,” McCutchen says. “I wish America knew how diligent and passionate referees were in serving the game. We’re not just pulled off the street to antagonize individual home base fans. We care about it. We care about serving the game. And I think a summer league like this really proves it.”

This was a really interesting look at the entire process of scouting, recruiting, training, and refining NBA officials. I certainly didn’t realize how much it took to get to the NBA level, but it’s a lot. They’re chasing NBA dreams just like the rest of the summer leaguers. I hope you head over to to read the full story.

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