9 NBA referees are currently out because of COVID-19 and contact tracing, driving to a curtailment that has spread across the league officiating crews.
Baxter Holmes of ESPN announced the NBA foresees the officials some of whom are senior referees who could be assigned to the NBA Finals to be available before the playoffs begin.
“We at the NBA have taken a very strong stance, especially with referees traveling commercial, that we want referees and the teams that they are serving to be safe,” Monty McCutchen, the NBA’s vice president of referee development and training, told ESPN. “And so with an abundance of caution, we pull people out on contact tracing, if there’s even the smallest inkling [of an issue].“
The NBA has been required to work with various two-person crews rather than the typical three because of curtailments. The league has also tended massively on six top G League referees to step in as replacements when required.
What will NBA do about this?
Officiating has become one of the most significant stories of the 2020-21 NBA season, especially due to substantial part due to players and coaches displaying disappointment.
McCutchen told Holmes that the NBA has protection in place to guarantee top officials are prepared for the playoffs.
COVID-19 and injuries have been a major source of concern as the postseason draws near. Nearly every championship contender has had issues with either a COVID-19 outbreak or a serious injury to a star player this season.