NBA Vice President Monty McCutchen and NBA referee Zach Zarba discuss how the league is adding baggies to whistles in an effort to guard against spittle flying about. (jULY 27)
MONTY MCCUTCHEN: Well, health and wellness is at the forefront, and rightfully so, of what we're doing here in Orlando. And we wanted to make sure that our referees were not impacting the players or the coaches in a negative way with whatever might come out of a whistle in terms of moisture and in terms of airborne moisture.
ZACH ZARBA: It takes some getting used to. When you first look at it, you go, what is this? But the more you use it, the more you practice with it, already, by the second half of my first game using it, I was much more used to it. You're not going to get any referee to complain about being back to work in the guidelines and health and safety that go along with that. So we're all for it. If it keeps people safer, then it's a no-brainer.
MONTY MCCUTCHEN: It was really important to us to explore and make sure that we were on top of innovation in regards to protecting our players, protecting our game participants, protecting fellow referees so that everyone that is here can feel comfortable that we've done everything within our power to keep safety at the forefront.