Wayback Wednesday is a weekly feature that comes out - as the name would imply - every Wednesday. It's your midweek blast from the past, inckuding features and retrospectives on old basketball video games, old NLSC feature articles and editorials published as-is with added commentary, and other flashback content. This is a central discussion thread for the feature, in which I invite you to post any feedback along with your responses to each column's topic. A link to the latest article can always be found here in the first post, along with a link to the complete archive.
April 26th, 2017: The Referee in NBA Live 2000
On this day in 1988, the NBA decided to add a third referee to officiating crews, a change that went into effect the following season. Referees are often unpopular figures in any sport, and the NBA has seen its fair share of officiating controversies over the years. Whether it's some of Joey Crawford's antics, free throw discrepancies, or other bewildering calls, I'm sure we can all name an incident involving a referee that makes our blood boil. The officiating in basketball video games tends to be more consistent - that's how it's programmed, after all - but until NBA Live 2000, EA's games lacked an actual referee on the sidelines.
It probably doesn't sound like a big deal now, as we obviously expect to see more than one referee on the sidelines of contemporary basketball video games. At the time however, it was a significant addition to the presentation in NBA Live. Let's take a look back...way back...