ASSOCIATED PRESS — The NBA Replay Heart has a brand new chief.
Kane Fitzgerald, who spent 13 years working as an NBA referee, has been introduced because the league’s new vp of referee operations and replay heart principal. He’s changing one other former referee in Jason Phillips, who left the job after three years.
The 41-year-old Fitzgerald formally began his new job Sunday on the opening of the league’s annual preseason referee conferences.
“I’ve all the time type of been enthusiastic about new challenges, and it’s a uncommon alternative that you could come off the ground as a referee and discover a place within the NBA of this magnitude,” Fitzgerald mentioned. “I’m excited concerning the problem, one thing new, one thing completely different, seeing if I can develop into the position and being as profitable as I used to be on the ground.”
Fitzgerald labored his approach up the ranks steadily all through his on-court profession. At 18, he was officiating highschool video games in his native New Jersey, launched to the job by his father – who has been a referee for 49 years and continues to be working video games.
From there, Fitzgerald did stints on the college degree – the Huge South, Atlantic Solar and Ohio Valley conferences – earlier than two years within the WNBA and 4 extra within the G League. He was picked to work 4 NBA Finals video games, the final of these coming this previous season within the Boston-Golden State collection.
At the moment, he had no thought this chance would current itself.
“Kane’s broad expertise and distinguished file as an NBA official make him nicely suited to supervise our efforts to take care of the best of requirements for the NBA Replay Heart,” mentioned Byron Spruell, the NBA’s President for League Operations. “We’re lucky that he’ll carry his abilities and experience to such an vital management place.”
In his new position, Fitzgerald will oversee the day-to-day operations of the NBA Replay Heart in Secaucus, New Jersey. He additionally will probably be concerned with referee operations in methods comparable to creating coaching movies and deciphering the foundations of the sport for officers, groups, broadcasters and media.
The transfer permits Fitzgerald to have a extra regular schedule together with his household. The work will stay demanding and journey will nonetheless be concerned – his house is in Florida now, the job is in New Jersey – however not officiating 50 or extra video games a yr will carry a greater work-life stability.
“I’ve in all probability had Christmas on Christmas Day possibly 5 out of the final 17 years,” Fitzgerald mentioned. “And final yr was the primary yr I used to be ever house for Thanksgiving. So, there will probably be some very constructive adjustments for the household with this schedule.”