Thursday , Sep , 24 , 2009 C.Y. Ellis

Derek Fisher: Use of Replacement Refs Is Unacceptable

But Lakers guard Derek Fisher, president of the players’ association, said the NBA’s referees are the best in the world and joined the union’s executive committee in unanimously endorsing a quick resolution, saying not having them on the floor is "unacceptable."

"Players throughout the league are concerned that the use of replacement referees could compromise the integrity of our games," Fisher said in a statement released by the players’ association the day before they were scheduled to meet again with league officials for negotiations toward a new collective bargaining agreement.

"Our fans deserve the best product that we can put on the court and that includes having the best referees. Anything less is unacceptable to our union and our members."

However, the league and the referees’ union are still far apart on proposals involving changes to the referees’ pension and severance packages, as well as a plan to develop younger officials. No further talks are scheduled after they broke down last week.