VP of referees retires after 32 years in league


NEW YORK — Joe Borgia, who spent 32 years in the NBA as a referee and executive, announced his retirement Tuesday.

Among the highlights of Borgia’s tenure with the league is the NBA Replay Center in Secaucus, New Jersey, which opened for the 2014-15 season and has become a fixture as part of both in-game reviews and analysis of the league’s referees.

“I am grateful to have had the opportunity to officiate at the top of our profession and then transition to a role committed to the advancement and improvement of our officials,” Borgia said. “I am especially proud of the NBA Replay Center. Its continued evolution in improving our game is an example of the dedication the NBA’s Referee Operations department has to excellence and innovation.”

Borgia was hired to the NBA referee staff in 1988. He officiated 10 seasons before an injury forced him to stop in 1998. He joined the basketball and referee operations department in 1999 and retired Tuesday with the title of senior vice president for referee operations.

“Joe’s imprint on the NBA and contributions to a multitude of officiating platforms will be lasting,” NBA president of league operations Byron Spruell said. “We thank him for his leadership, passion and committed service to the game, and wish him the best in his retirement.”

Borgia’s officiating career included two of the most famous games in NBA history — the highest-scoring game, a 186-184 win by Detroit over Denver on Dec. 13, 1983, and a quintuple-overtime game between Seattle and Milwaukee on Nov. 9, 1989.

Borgia’s father was Sid Borgia, who worked in the NBA from 1946 through 1966 as a referee and then the league’s supervisor of officials.

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