Heads up! NBA referee Derek Richardson deserves hazard pay — or a reminder to pay better attention to the action going on right in front of him — after he was served a face full of basketball while officiating Tuesday’s game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and Los Angeles Clippers.
After Serge Ibaka drove the baseline and settled up for a short jumper, Caron Butler rose and emphatically blocked the Thunder power forward’s attempt. The problem was — at least for Richardson — the direction of Butler’s nasty block was in the direction of the referee’s face, who was standing only a few feet away.
In the end, Richardson was no worse for wear — for the most part — and quickly resumed his refereeing duties. Although it should be pointed that while Richardson had little time to protect himself, it seems he could been paying better attention. Come on, ref, gotta keep your head in the game, man. Either that or he should get used to having his face being treated as some kind of ball target, ricocheting basketballs all over the court.
[H/T Eye on Basketball]