Fired NBA Refs At Head Of Line To Join The Scabs

The NBA needs replacements for their locked out referees so they're putting together a list of guys who own whistles—one of whom just happens to have been fired for being terrible at refereeing NBA games.

Best of all, the union he is now (potentially) double crossing is the one group of people in the whole world who defended his terribleness. One night back in 2004, 28 referees turned their jerseys inside out and scrawled a number "62" on the back in solidarity with fellow ref Michael Henderson. Henderson had been publicly criticized by the league after botching a 24-second call that cost the Denver Nuggets a game and the union staged this not-so-silent protest on his behalf. David Stern was not amused and a year later Henderson was fired anyway.

Now the union and the media have their hands on a list of replacement officials invited to training camp and look at that ... Henderson's name is on it! (Robbie Robinson, another ref who was canned in 2007, was also invited.) Now it's the union's turn to not be amused.

"On that night, all but two referees risked their jobs — their jobs were being threatened at that very moment that they were going out to stand up for him by reversing their jerseys and putting his number on their jerseys," referees' union lead negotiator Lamell McMorris said. "They went out even though they were risking their jobs, and it's just absolutely amazing that now he is going to go and replace them."

To be fair, the NBA is where "amazing" happens. Also, Henderson has not actually been hired yet and may or may not cross the picket line. (Games start October 1 and the league has pretty much stopped negotiating.) But if he has a job next month and the rest of the union doesn't, then we'll know who the real "lead" negotiator is.

NBA referees union stunned that ex-NBA referee Michael Henderson on replacement referee list [ESPN]