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Old Wed Mar 27, 2002, 01:24pm
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In the most recent Referee magazine is a column: "Five minutes with. . . Joe Crawford". Joe is an NBA official and from what I know (which is not much, to be truthful), he is a very good one.

The article was ok, but one aspect of it really got under my skin. In the article, Joe points out his shortcomings when he first came to the NBA. He openly admits that he was overtly aggressive in dealing with players and coaches. He used gestures and posture that escalated situations instead of defusing them. One of the pieces of advice that he gives is: after giving a technical foul, walk away. Well, duh.

My question is: shouldn't an official know that before getting to the NBA? Who was in charge of putting an overly-aggressive 25-year-old kid out on the floor?

Please don't misunderstand. I am not questioning Joe's talent, ability, or character at all. My question is entirely about how he could've cracked the NBA with such obvious shortcomings in his officiating skills at the time. That's just mind-boggling to me. What was going on that allowed him to catch on?

Chuck
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Old Wed Mar 27, 2002, 01:32pm
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The NBA was different back then. If the powers that be saw you and liked you, that was all it took. I'm sure it didn't hurt that Joe has a history of officiating in his family.
Mark Wunderlich tells the story of how he got "seen".
He was working a rec league in Philly and someone from the league (it may have even been Joe Crawford) saw him. Next thing he knew he was being invited to Veteran's camp and then got hired. It's more of a process now.
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Old Wed Mar 27, 2002, 01:46pm
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Back then the opportunities to get hired quicker existed due to probably the lack of quality of officials and the NBA/ABA merging and expansion overall of the league throughout the early years. There was an influx of hiring back then. Mr. Crawford (wont' call him Joe or Joey cause I don't know him) has become one of the best by polishing and sharpening his skills while he was young and had been hired into the NBA.
Now the process is much different. One goes through the program and gets to hone and sharpen their skills at the minor league level before they get hired into the league. Plus, there are many quality officials and great competition now to get those positions. Essentially, things have changed as far as hiring goes. Much more training and education are given to those in the program before one is considered to be hired into the NBA.

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