- CJ Washington, Tre Maddox, and Deldre Carr make history
UPDATE II: Back to FOUR!!! One of the four checked the names that Lamont gave below and could not find them on the roster of replacement NBA refs. Sorry, NYC!
UPDATE: Make that SIX!!! Lamont Long, our head ref in New York, emailed to say that two of his refs have done dreamleague games in DLNY…
One of the guys, his name is Will Mentzer. He has done some dreamleague games in the past. The other guy his name is Bernard Price. Could be wrong on the last name; he also has done some dreamleague games.
You read that right. Not one. Not two. Not three. Four! Four refs who have reffed a substantial number of Dream League games got called up to the NBA as replacement refs last week.
Two of them, Tre Maddox and Deldre Carr (the pic above is from a paused screenshot from NBA.com’s highlight video), got the first pre-season assignment. Not to diss the other two, but Tre and Deldre getting selected to do that very important first game for replacement refs, that was no surprise to me. I was proud as heck to see them get their moment.
And I’m not judging the other two. Matter of fact, if I had one last Dream League game and I needed refs, any random two (or three if we had a budget for 3-man) out of those four, would suffice.
The other two shall be named later and here’s why. While plenty has already been written and photographed about Tre and Deldre (i.e., cat’s out of the bag), the other two would rather stay out of the spotlight. I mean, this is the chance, that sliver of opportunity, that they’ve been waiting for. At the same time, you don’t wanna piss off the other refs that have been there and are going through labor negotiation hell. It’s like you’re damned if do and you’re damned if you don’t. Whatever the case, you’re sure as hell not going to brag about it.
But I will, in terms of the skill level of these guys! I’ve always boiled down success as a Dream League ref in two simple ways: technicality and rapport. All four of these guys get high marks in both categories. Now, to make it to the pro level, you need more facets, but that’s another post for the future.
Another post for the future: why I think these replacements, if they are all similar to these four, will do just fine, and how I know why David Stern wants some of the older ones to retire.
Collectively, these four prodigies reffed Dream League Bay Area league and Las Vegas National Tournament games. In fact, I texted a congratulatory note to one of them and he replied:
Dreamleague was a help in our advancement. Thanks.
I know I’ve said this before, but maybe the fact that we use the NBA’s rules, week after week after week, has something to do with it.
I checked the boxscores the other day and found out that Deldre reffed the Utah/Chicago game in London. Lucky bastard!
And guess what, one of them has become the first Asian American to ref an NBA game (sure, it’s pre-season, but it’s still the NBA!). Can you name him? Hint: he’s Filipino.
Eh, I probably just jinxed everything, though. Watch, the NBA and the referees’ union will sign something tomorrow (although, as I said and will write about soon, I don’t think Stern wants that to happen).
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