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Ron Garretson
Born (1958-07-01) July 1, 1958 (age 60)
Long Beach, California, U.S.
Residence Gilbert, Arizona
Nationality American
Education Golden West Junior College
Basketball career
Position NBA referee
Officiating career 1987–present

Ron Garretson (born July 1, 1958 in Long Beach, California) is an American professional basketball referee for the National Basketball Association (NBA). In his 30+ NBA seasons, since 1987, he has officiated over 1,600 games, including 1,397 regular season NBA games, 157 playoff games and 11 Finals games. He also officiated the 1993 Europe Tour in London and the 1997 and 2013 NBA All-Star Games.[1][2] He is the son of former NBA referee Darell Garretson,[2] who died in April 2008 at the age of 76.[3]


Garretson attended Servite High School in Anaheim, California, where he played basketball and football. He then earned an Associate of Arts degree from Golden West Junior College. Before joining the NBA as a referee, he spent two years officiating high school games in Arizona and two more in the Continental Basketball Association (CBA).[1]

In a game during the 1995–96 season, Garretson was involved in an on-court incident with Los Angeles Lakers guard Nick Van Exel. After a timeout with 3 minutes left, Garretson called a technical foul on Van Exel for arguing a call. Van Exel continued to argue and reportedly called Garretson a "little midget." Garretson then called another technical foul, which automatically ejected Van Exel. He walked toward the locker room before returning to shove Garretson into the scorer's table. He was immediately restrained by teammates as he continued to swear at the referee.[4][5] The league later fined him a record-high $25,000 and suspended him for seven regular season games.[5] Van Exel publicly apologized for his action, though he refused to apologize to Garretson.[6]

In an 2000 playoff game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Portland Trail Blazers, Garretson ejected then-Blazer Rasheed Wallace because he believed that Wallace displayed a negative attitude towards him. Wallace's former teammate, Steve Smith, argued to Garretson that Wallace did not say anything to him. Garretson told Smith that Wallace was warned three times about staring at him.

Garretson was inducted into Servite High School’s Athletic Hall of Fame in May 2000.[1][2]


  1. ^ a b c "NBA 2008–09 Officials Media Guide" (PDF). Retrieved 2009-05-24.
  2. ^ a b c "Ron Garretson #10". National Basketball Referees Association. Retrieved 2009-05-24.
  3. ^ "Garretson, former director of NBA officials, dies at 76". Associated Press. 2008-04-23. Retrieved 2008-04-24.
  4. ^ "Results Plus". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. April 10, 1996. Retrieved May 26, 2009.
  5. ^ a b Litsky, Frank (April 11, 1996). "Pro Basketball;Van Exel Receives 7-Game Suspension". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved May 26, 2009.
  6. ^ "Sports People: Basketball;Van Exel Apologizes To All But Referee". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. April 12, 1996. Retrieved May 26, 2009.


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