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How much does an NBA ref make?

Referring is an integral part of a basketball match. This is a profession alongside the other ones that carries massive importance in the NBA. Given the importance of the referee in an NBA game it makes you wonder how much does an NBA ref make?

How much does an NBA ref make? An NBA ref makes between $180,000-550,000 per season. Of course, a lot depends on the experience of a particular referee and working years. The salary referees receive is way lower than the one players are getting in the NBA.

NBA referees have a huge responsibility because when it comes to matches, even a small mistake can decide the overall outcome of any game. In this article, we will further talk about referees in the NBA and how their responsibilities look like.

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NBA and Ref Salaries

Since the money that circulates in this sport in the United States with the rest of the world is simply incomparable, and the popularity of college sports among Americans is not inferior to the popularity of professional sports, the salaries of the leading NBA referees are what is called “inspiring.” Professional NBA referees earn roughly $1,500-3000 per match depending on their experience. Given that a referee can participate in 70-75 matches in a season, NBA referees have earned $200,000 for the regular portion of the season.

We should also point out that when it comes to the post-season period, referees are paid even more compared to the regular season. As a result, the salaries of the top NBA basketball referees are quite comparable to those of the top European football referees.

When the referees in the NBA are getting older and gain more experience they can earn as much as $550,000! The salaries of refs here consist of a certain “base” and additional payments for each joint of the match. Moreover, this amount differs depending on the status of the match. For a match, for example, where two leaders of the conference are meeting they can be paid $4,000. As a result, we can note that the salaries of a referee in the NBA are some of the highest compared to other American sports.

Duties of NBA Referees

Basketball is a sport where tensions reach the peak quite frequently – especially if we are talking about rivalries where 2 prominent teams are playing against each other. A referee must be unbiased and take important decisions accurately. They should also be calm and patient, withstanding the huge pressure that accompanies every match. We have seen a lot of matches when referees were subject to massive criticism and this is something that significantly impacts their reputation. In the case of misunderstanding, they can freely use video tools to make sure the fairness of a decision.

Is a degree necessary to get the job?

Being a referee in the NBA as we have already mentioned above carries a lot of responsibility and not every person can become one. To apply for the job you need to undergo a special education course that is primarily oriented on refereeing. Even at the university competition is huge between the participants. Those who are selected are invited to referee camps where later they are instructed by experienced referees and given guidance that will help them to get more knowledge.

Who are the highest-paid NBA referees?

Joey Crawford is without a doubt one of the most influential referees in the NBA and everyone knows his name. However, the latter has already retired and right now the list is dominated by other participants. We will have a look at some prominent referees with the highest salaries.

James Capers

James Capers is currently one of the highest raked and paid referees in the NBA. he earns over $550,000 per year. He is ranked by the NBA as a professional referee, getting $7,000 in a single match and the rate increases in the playoffs, as well as semi-finals and finals.

Sean Corbin

Sean Corbin is also in the same category as James Capers. He is listed in the NBA as a professional referee and like Capers, Corbin also earns $7,000 per game. His earnings go up to $29,000 in the semi-final and final matches.

Tony Brothers

Tony Brothers is one of the most respected and well-known figures in the NBA. being in the league since 1994-1995 Brothers has taken part in over 1,600 regular-season games, and more than 120 playoff matches. The referee is 56 years old and is nowhere close to retirement.

Joey Crawford and His Legacy

We have mentioned Joey Crawford in our article and it is necessary to say a few words about him because this referee has left a major legacy in the NBA. He announced retirements back in 2016. The 64-year-old referee was planning to end his professional career after the end of the 2015/2016 season, but a knee injury changed his plans.

Crawford underwent meniscus surgery in December 2015 and was set to return to work in March and then referee the playoffs. But the recovery did not go according to plan.

Joey Crawford worked as a referee in the NBA for 39 seasons. He began refereeing in 1977 and took part in 2,561 regular-season appearances. He also has 374 playoff matches and 50 final series matches.

Crawford was suspended for the rest of the season and the playoffs in 2007 due to the ejection of Tim Duncan for his laugh on the bench, but in 2014 the judge received the prestigious Golden Whistle, the most respected award among judges in the NBA.