Unable to come to terms on a new collective bargaining agreement with the NBA Referees Association, the league has made plans to use replacement refs when the preseason begins next week.
"I think it’s terrible that they don't have a deal in place,” Pierce said. “The league needs to step up and get it in place. Last [season] they talked about difficulties with the refs … and I'm like, 'These guys have been around all these years and now you're throwing out replacement refs?'
“Just talking to other NBA guys and getting a feel about how they feel, a lot of them aren't happy about it.”
The replacement refs will come from the D-League and the WNBA, but Pierce said many players are worrying about quality of the officiating.
“You get a guy who refereed YMCA games, you're trying to get him to go out there and referee pro games?” Pierce said. “…Hopefully they can get a deal in place and move forward."