A bird's eye view of the basketball court, from the referees' training camp through the regular season and playoffs -- a game-by-game diary of the '73-'74 season by a veteran NBA official. A former baseball umpire, Powers had to come back from a recent leg injury during this last year of stop-and-go action (he runs about six miles per game). And as you might have noticed, striped-shirted arbiters are subjected to constant courtside pressure in addition to their grueling 90-game, 135,000 mile schedule. The author explains how he keeps control of the action -- either by preventative (verbal warnings) or punitive (technical fouls) measures. A rough, fast-moving sport, basketball requires level-headed disciplinarians (""Decisiveness is the strongest and most enduring quality a referee can have""); and Powers, for one, advises his less experienced peers to employ wit to stifle loud-mouthed aggressors (""Polysyllabic words not only command prompt attention but, in the heat of the moment, can often leave people speechless""). The lowdown on what must be the least popular of professions -- candid for sure, and as lively as can be.