FanDuel - WFBC

April 17, 2007

Referee Suspended Indefinitely: NBA referee Joey Crawford was suspended indefinitely by commissioner David Stern on Tuesday for his conduct toward Tim Duncan, who contends the ref challenged him to a fight.

posted by irunfromclones to basketball at 01:02 PM - 66 comments

What the hell does Stern know? He couldn't tell the difference between double dribble and caring the ball over...If Duncan can't be a man and get in Crawfords face after the so called challenge then don't do anything. Maybe put groves on them and have at it for 2 rounds of 3 minutes each to settle it. Once a crybaby always a crybaby...Grow up Duncan and do your own fighting for a change...

posted by ucla512 at 01:12 PM on April 17

I think the suspension was warranted, but knowing the NBA and Stern, I am surprised they made such a public spectacle of the whole thing. They are very capable of squelching the media when necessary -- why not just say the situation is under review and quietly not assign Crawford to a playoff crew?

posted by smithers at 01:15 PM on April 17

I think Stern made the right call. I'm actually a little surprised because the NBA is so protective of their referees. Regardless of whether you believe Duncan was reacting to the ridiculous call made by Crawford or just laughing in general, a referee can't be paranoid that someone on the bench is talking about him. It's just silly.

posted by bperk at 01:16 PM on April 17

Grow up Duncan... Funny. I was thinking the same thing about Crawford. That was a terrible display of officiating. Just straight up pulling a Judge Smails.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 01:26 PM on April 17

ucla, I'm curious, do you have any clue about anything you post on?

posted by yerfatma at 01:34 PM on April 17

I was a little puzzled as well about the public nature of the sanction until I looked at the tape again. It was bizzare behavior even for a ref, and I think that Stern had to act accordingly. And for the first time in years, Stern did something that left mark Cuban speechless...

posted by irunfromclones at 01:49 PM on April 17

If Duncan can't be a man and get in Crawfords face after the so called challenge then don't do anything. Sorry ucla but I have to concur with what yerfatma said about your posts because your above statement clearly shows you have little knowledge about the game of basketball. If Tim Duncan were to "get in Crawford's face" as you suggested, then Tim Duncan would've been in the wrong and the one suspended. I was watching this game and when Joey Crawford called the 2nd tech on Duncan for laughing while on the bench, I was in total disbelief. I am no Spurs fan but you should've heard the expletives coming out of my mouth after that hoopla. An official should know the difference between a valid foul/tech and just plain abusing your power, which is exactly what he did here. Tim Duncan may be known as a 'whiner' around the league but he wasn't even playing at the time to be called for the 2nd tech.

posted by BornIcon at 01:51 PM on April 17

Not speaking in relation to this particular offense since I didn't watch the game, but Duncan sure annoys me with his crying and moaning over EVERY call. Then again, so do the rest of the Spurs. Spurs-Pistons in the finals would certainly make me want to shoot myself. Refs these days... First Dick Bavetta races Charles Barkley (hilarious finish by Barkley, landing on his ass), now Joey C against Duncan in a fight. I can't wait for whatever is next.

posted by PublicUrinal at 01:53 PM on April 17

Here's the video: Tim Duncan Ejected. Looks ridiculous to me.

posted by dusted at 02:19 PM on April 17

Spurs-Pistons in the finals would certainly make me want to shoot myself. Spurs-Pistons is the worst-case scenario, just painfully boring and whiny basketball. Best case would be Dallas or Phoenix against Chicago or Toronto. Toronto would be interesting, especially now that they're near 100% healthy. They've got a lot of strengths and very few weaknesses.

posted by dusted at 02:26 PM on April 17

I'll admit, I hadn't seen the video before, but now that I have it's even worse to me....what an abuse of power. Crawford was reading a lot of bias into that second laugh.

posted by smithers at 02:34 PM on April 17

You gentlemen missed the point here.. Duncan says one thing and then crys the blues about everything..Only thing I was saying is stand up for yourself and quick being a big baby to the refs. Right or wrong here isn't the question I was stating..both of you are very young and don't remember what it was like during the 60-70s' the refs during those periods didn't take any crap from the players at all. Right or wrong good or bad the refs are here for a reason and all the players crying moaning acting and other bull s___ doesn't matter.As far as the 2nd T is concerned if the player even so much as looks at the ref funny or whatever it is not an abuse of power to give him another one. The refs are running the game not the players and the position of the league is to shutup and play. I am not saying that that is right but even before Stern's took over the NBA it has been that way. They call the game one way in the beginning and then different at the end. And a whiner like Duncan should have known to just turn around and walk away because it will get him exactly what happened a double T and he was gone. And we will never really know what Crawford said to Duncan if he did call him out or what. If he did Crawford must be on something because look at the size difference. Duncan isn't a fighter and I serious don't think Crawford is either. Whether Crawford knows the difference between a valid foul is something that has been questioned not only this year. A bad ref is a bad ref. But look on the other side and do you wonder how much Stern's is running the show. Has he told them to not call fouls for certain players and maybe more on others? Looking at some of the games this year makes you wonder who is in control during the games. I am saying plainly here there is two sides to every coin...Two stories and it still doesn't make sense. If you two have been watching many of the NBA games this year, you will have seen that the wrong refs or refs out of position to call the calls is being made all the time..Last week in a Laker game a foul was called by the outside ref who had no ability to see the play much less make the call. Sometimes the out of positional ref may see something that he determines is a foul, live with it, but too too many times it is being done and completely ruling the games being played. Yerfatma didn't mean for Duncan to start a fight or jump down his lying throat. But to put it is language even you young guys understand quick being a such of a MOANING CANDYASS and stand up for yourself..

posted by ucla512 at 02:40 PM on April 17

Only thing I was saying is stand up for yourself and quick being a big baby to the refs. What should Duncan have done? How should he stand up for himself against a referee?

posted by bperk at 02:54 PM on April 17

Only thing I was saying is stand up for yourself and quick being a big baby to the refs . . . you are very young and don't remember what it was like during the 60-70s' the refs during those periods didn't take any crap from the players at all. Yeah, that makes a ton of sense. Except if a player "stands up" to a ref in the manner you're suggesting, they'd be suspended for the better part of a season. No one comes to see the refs. There's no winning strategy for Duncan in this case, so feel free to call him whatever you want; I was just hoping for some logic once in a while.

posted by yerfatma at 02:55 PM on April 17

The problem with Crawford in this is that he chose to effect the game with something that had nothing to do with the game. What is a Ref doing watching the bench while the game is going on? Isn't there enough going on without checking the bench for any unruly behavior? Maybe, there should be another Ref assigned to each game, just to watch the bench for infractions that could influence the outcome of the game. The one reason I can think Stern would go public with this is that they were looking for a reason to get rid of Crawford (he certainly helped them here) and this way they can label him as a loose cannon to discredit anything they might be fearing he would say about what goes on in the NBA.

posted by Familyman at 03:04 PM on April 17

While I've always thought the Crawfords were decent officials, this has to rank higher on the WTF scale than when Vince carter got ejected for play fighting 1 of his friends on another team. The situation is, the NBA has spent so much time trying to reprogram the players, they forgot to reprogram a few of the officials that were known for standing up to the players. if the player even so much as looks at the ref funny So, with the new "you can't say a word to the ref's" rule, now added onto the "don't even look at them because they are above you" rule, you have officials looking for the confrontations that gave them their reputations. I only wonder if there would have been any action taken against Crawford if the offender would have been say, Ron Artest or Rasheed Wallace or any other player with that kind of reputation. Actually I think the NBA should have never added any new rules concerning the players questioning or responding to the Refs. Now they have to balance out the officials. This will just lead to no communication at all between players and officials (people who work together ever day) which in turn will just lead to more situations like this.

posted by Bishop at 03:04 PM on April 17

Referees are there to facilitate the game, not to control it or to alter the outcome. Duncan and a lot of other players "whine" to the officials- its gameplay, a head game. Like talking trash to an opposing team, some players just try to get an edge for themselves with the officials. I personally liked the "Vladi Flop" ploy. This only makes sense if Duncan was sitting on the bench and directly heckling Crawford, or in some other way interfering with the game. To have "stood up" for himself in that situation would only have earned him a suspension at the worst possible time for his team.

posted by irunfromclones at 03:14 PM on April 17

Stern was on the Dan Patrick radio show which I caught on my way out of the city a couple of hours ago. Anyone else hear it? He claimed to have had problems with Crawford about exactly the same sort of thing before involving an inexplicable ejection. Any idea what incident Stern is talking about? Now, to the Duncan ejection. Crawford was totally in the wrong. I'm not sure what else Duncan should have done differently. Crawford evidently he thought he was reffing a children's church league game.

posted by ChiefsSuperFan at 03:16 PM on April 17

Refs are only human, they can get cocky or big-headed, and dealing with all the prima-donnas on the floor can bring those actions out. That is exactly what happened here, Crawford got "faced" by Duncan and let him have it. I think maybe thats why the NBA mandated that new rule, the last thing refs need are players yelling and swearing at them in a game, pissing them off, unfocusing them from the game and the end result is a ref altering how a game ends, when they should just be officiating it. As for Crawford, he is obviously guilty of altering a game he should be just reff-ing. Reading that article did remind me of that 2003 western conference match-up between those two teams. I watched that game and was totally shocked by all the T's and ejections, I think Harris actually asked Crawford to eject him, which happend like 2 minutes after Don Nelson had been ejected. It was a glaring example of a ref gettin a big head and changing the balance of a game in another teams favor, while Crawford is one of the NBA's best, in my opinion the suspension was warranted.

posted by dezznutz at 03:39 PM on April 17

I've been watching the game (NBA) since the Days of Earl the Pearl , Wilt Chamberlain , Dave Bing , and when Kareem Abdul Jabbar was still Lew Alcindor , and I have never seen the type of unprofessional behavior such as that Crawford showed. The tape of the incident clearly showed that Duncan was watching the game and was focused on the game and places a towel over his head and began laughing because of an idiotic play. It had Nothing to do with showing up Crawford and the suspension was warranted and may NOT in fact be heavy enough punishment/ Crawford's behavior in the past has indicated a penchant for these type of things and he is known around the league for his hot temper. IF the players are being held to higher behavioral standards , then what makes Refs immune ? Even IF , Tim Duncan whines a lot , and from what the league has released into the media during his career , he is a model citizen , it's part of the game , and that shouldn't carry over to the ref asessing extra penalties when he is on the bench. The tape doesn't lie , Crawford was OUT of bounds and should be FIRED , and in fact , If I were Stern , I would investigate him to see if he didn't affect the game on purpose. This whole thing smells and there might be gambling or something else fishy involved . The league has enough negative publicity , Ref's like Crawford are NOT needed.

posted by alvinthefirst at 03:52 PM on April 17

IF Duncan had " Been a man and Got in Crawfords face " , he would have been suspended until some time next season and the Spurs would have had ZERO chance at winning the NBA Championship. Duncan did the right thing , for his team , he took the hit , and that made him a BETTER MAN than Crawford who couldn't hold his temper.

posted by alvinthefirst at 03:58 PM on April 17

both of you are very young and don't remember what it was like during the 60-70s' How do you know how old anybody on this site is, unless they told you? Duncan should have known to just turn around and walk away He was sitting on the bench. If you two have been watching many of the NBA games this year, you will have seen that the wrong refs or refs out of position to call the calls is being made all the time Yep, and back in the 60s and 70s, that shit never happened. But to put it is language even you young guys understand quick being a such of a MOANING CANDYASS and stand up for yourself.. I've got a better idea. Instead of writing individual posts, just copy and paste this every time you feel the need to make a statement: "You Goddamned kids get off my lawn! When I was your age, everything was better! You kids suck! You don't know shit unless you're my age or older!" On edit: Familyman, I thought the same thing after I read Stern's statement.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 04:03 PM on April 17

Can any one tell me where I can get a pair of those groves ucla was talking about earlier? They sound like they might come in handy.

posted by americanleague at 04:15 PM on April 17

I think even Stern isn't clear about what Stern said. NBA commissioner David Stern quoted in an ESPN story: "Joey Crawford's handling of this situation failed to meet the standards of professionalism and game management we expect of NBA referees". "Especially in light of similar prior acts by this official, a significant suspension is warranted." Chatting on ESPN later, Stern said, "We are not getting any satisfaction out of this. Crawford is always one of our highest rated officials. We just did what we had to do."

posted by irunfromclones at 04:16 PM on April 17

I only wonder if there would have been any action taken against Crawford if the offender would have been say, Ron Artest or Rasheed Wallace or any other player with that kind of reputation. posted by Bishop I was wondering the same thing. Had it not been the "gentle giant" Duncan but rather a player known to be more of a "problem", would there have been a suspension for the ref at all or just perceived as the player causing yet another problem with the refs. Crawford's a joke. Duncan may whine from time to time but I can't see much wrong with what he did and as others have said, refs can't be so paranoid that they start interpreting laughter on the bench as some form of disrepect. Crawford should be suspended the rest of the year or just fired.

posted by ampto11 at 04:24 PM on April 17

Even IF , Tim Duncan whines a lot ... it's part of the game Statements like these make me wonder if the direction the league is going is the right one, then. I have an issue with a ref tech-ing for an isolated outburst -- it's part of the emotion of the game -- but I don't share the feeling if it is for a short bitching session that follows several others throughout the game. Getting into the ref's head is like flopping: there should be no place for it, and a tech should be assessed. That said, I agree with most here that Crawford is at fault in this instance, but the tape makes me think Duncan is mocking Crawford in the laughter. I wish I was able to tell the line of sight (if Duncan was staring at Crawford during his giggle loop), but if it was directed at Crawford, it is mockery, and Duncan should know he's on shaky ground, especially if he has already argued enough calls earlier in the game (again, did not watch the game and am merely offering a scenario). Crawford should have been able to ignore it, but he burst like many players have at some point in their careers. Except players get one-game bans, while Crawford will get the whole year. However, if he's one of the best officiators in the league, and considering the league is still reeling from calls of bad officiating in the playoffs last year, I cannot help but wonder if Stern's move was the best one to be made.

posted by PublicUrinal at 04:31 PM on April 17

this has to rank higher on the WTF scale than when Vince carter got ejected for play fighting 1 of his friends on another team. Good reference. This also seems like a case of a ref being unwilling or unable to get some context. Whatever you think of the MLB's union busting, one all-around positive to come out of it is the newfound willingness to get a second opinion from a fellow ref. NBA officials seem to be stuck in their "Us versus Them" mindset. Actually I think the NBA should have never added any new rules concerning the players questioning or responding to the Refs. Hmm. In the abstract, I agree, but I did like the reduced number of whining shots this year. Of course, I only really watch Celtic games, so there are plenty of whining faces in the stands. Great point about 'Sheed and Artest, and the lack of communication in general. I don't know the fix to that once player and ref salaries are so far apart.

posted by yerfatma at 04:33 PM on April 17

I'd say something but it looks like y'all got it covered.

posted by sickleguy at 04:50 PM on April 17

If Crawford is one of the highest rated refs then we are in for one long playoff. No matter how you look at it Crawford is the one at fault if Duncan didn't do anything. But what if he did say something behind his back that Crawford heard? I refuse to take either side here because there has been to many things going on with the NBA Rules and Refs over the last several years. No calls some calls real calls bad calls just to name a few. Maybe you are right about other types of players. But the rules of the game should be enforced for all not a select few or only at the beginning of games.

posted by ucla512 at 04:58 PM on April 17

One of the "similar prior acts by this official": Crawford's temper has gotten him noticed before, especially in Game 2 of the 2003 Western Conference finals, a matchup involving the same teams as in Sunday's game. Crawford called four technical fouls in the first 10-plus minutes, leading to ejections of then-Mavs coach Don Nelson and assistant Del Harris.

posted by irunfromclones at 05:06 PM on April 17

Familyman: great point. alvinthefirst: though an interesting suggestion that I didn't consider, I would argue that if Crawford really wanted to influence a game for gambling purposes, he could do it a lot more subtly than that. I think even Stern isn't clear about what Stern said. No problem here....Crawford is evaluated technically as one of the top officials year in and year out. But there have been blowups -- such as the multiple technical Dallas game mentioned above -- that otherwise cloud his usually impeccable technical proficiency.

posted by smithers at 05:07 PM on April 17

When Duncan was called for the technical he was laughing with a towel over his head , watch the clip again. It was blatant misconduct on crawfords part , nothing more.

posted by alvinthefirst at 06:05 PM on April 17

Getting inside someone's head is part of sports , either you do it , or you lose , it's as simple as that , a lot of the game is purely psychological , and IF you don't gain the edge , then you lack the competitive edge to play the game.

posted by alvinthefirst at 06:07 PM on April 17

Good job, Big Dave! Too many important games are being decided by the refs and not the players. I'm all for "hard ass" officials, but they need to try & be more unbiased. It seems as though once you get on certain official's bad side, you are in trouble for your whole career. It sounds like Stern is going to clean up the whole league, not just the players....This is "Great Stuff"

posted by bo_fan at 06:13 PM on April 17

Duncan knew who he was messing with. As some of you mentioned earlier, Crawford has a reputation for being a hot head. If we know that, the players know that too. So, the way I see it, he was intentionally trying to provoke Crawford, get inside his head -- and, yes, to show him up. If you know someone has a hot temper, why mess with them? Crawford comes from a time when refs were part of the show, so it's not hard to see why he still acts like they are. So, I sympathize with him. Not only is he done for the season, but Stern said he's probably done with the NBA (though he said it was Crawford's choice.) That's kinda shitty, considering the ejection came in a meaningless game.

posted by forrestv at 06:32 PM on April 17

UCLA we are in the year 2007. Kereem Abdul Jabar is no longer an active member of the NBA. The current is President George Bush. We have color TV, satellite dishes , and 50 states in the USA. Forget the past and live for the present and future. I'm in my 50's and have learned to move on.

posted by Mustang 71 at 06:47 PM on April 17

Link to prior incident with Crawford tossing then Mavs coach Don Nelson in the first quarter of game 2 of the 2003 Western Conference Finals (which ChiefSuperFan asked about and deeznutz correctly identified). At least for Duncan it happened in a meaningless game and not the first quarter of a Conference Finals game...

posted by Ufez Jones at 06:48 PM on April 17

Just more of the NBA protecting its star players. If Joey had tossed one of 11 or 12 of the other players on the Spurs, probably nothing would have happened. But because it was Duncan, it's a different story.

posted by graymatters at 07:01 PM on April 17

Just more of the NBA protecting its star players. If a $25,000 fine for Duncan is protection they got a funny way of showing it.

posted by YukonGold at 07:16 PM on April 17

I'm not agreeing with the protection part, but what's $25,000 to Duncan? A week's interest on his bank account?

posted by forrestv at 07:24 PM on April 17

("ucla512" says:) If Duncan can't be a man and get in Crawfords face after the so called challenge then don't do anything. Maybe put groves on them and have at it for 2 rounds of 3 minutes each to settle it. Once a crybaby always a crybaby...Grow up Duncan and do your own fighting for a change... ("ucla512" says:) No matter how you look at it Crawford is the one at fault if Duncan didn't do anything. ... I refuse to take either side here because there has been to many things going on with the NBA Rules and Refs over the last several years. Itīs a good thing you refused to take sides. But what a way to show it, for Peteīs sake! Make up your mind!

posted by zippinglou at 07:26 PM on April 17

what's $25,000 to Duncan? I guess my point is he got what every other player in the league would have gotten for a verbal altercation with a referee, a fine. But maybe I was missing graymatters point to begin with. God let's hope this doesn't give any old-timers fuel to come down here with the "In my day we played for a nickel, a bowl of oatmeal and a shot of whiskey and we did it for the love of the game" crap.

posted by YukonGold at 07:43 PM on April 17

Crawford can never return to the game. From now on, players will have no respect for a guy like that. He snapped and it's going to cost him a lot more than a few games suspension. Duncan was mocking him on the bench when he was laughing at his call (I would have wanted to slap his ass with another T too) but you can't do anything about that. Everytime this guy makes a call from now on, players are going to be all-over his ass. If he makes another T call, it will be reviewed to death. Rule #1 of being a referee is making sure that nobody remembers your name after the final whistle is blown. In other words, let the players decide the outcome and get featured on SC. Sorry Joey, it's been nice knowin' ya. Good luck finding another job that pays this well for workin 3 hrs a night.

posted by yay-yo at 09:54 PM on April 17

Duncan was mocking him on the bench when he was laughing at his call (I would have wanted to slap his ass with another T too) but you can't do anything about that. To be honest, I thought Duncan was laughing at the really lame shot attempt by the opposition. I mean, the shot went 6 feet straight up and about 1 foot forward.

posted by grum@work at 10:04 PM on April 17

Just more of the NBA protecting its star players. If Joey had tossed one of 11 or 12 of the other players on the Spurs, probably nothing would have happened. But because it was Duncan, it's a different story. How the hell is getting ejected from a game protection? You can't have the refs out there trying to show up the players during the very same year you announce that "any player talking back (as if they are babies) to an official will result in being ejected". As I stated, a few of these refs made their careers by being able to "deal with" or "stand up to" aggressive players. Now the rule is, "don't even look at the ref wrong". So the league got their virtual leash on most of the players, but still have the same refs around that are used to be argued with. Crawford took Duncan's laughing personal and that's where he made his mistake. The foul calls on players aren't personal are they? If Duncan is doing something on the bench that is not affecting the game, Crawford should ignore it and walk away in the same manner the players now have to walk away after having a BS non-foul called on them just to make up for a missed traveling call at the other end of the floor. I just don't think he should be done for the year. I don't believe a mans livelihood should be dismissed so quickly. If Stern made a mistake or lost his cool, he wouldn't just quit. That being said, if Ron Artest asked a ref if he wanted to fight (regardless of the intended context) we all know what the outcome would be.

posted by Bishop at 10:32 PM on April 17

On Pardon the Interruption, David Stern said the length of the suspension was due to the fact he had personally spoken to Crawford about just this sort of thing previously. Stern also stated Crawford felt there was no sense ever coming back.

posted by yerfatma at 06:06 AM on April 18

Stern also stated Crawford felt there was no sense ever coming back. And that would be a personal decision (i.e., quitting)

posted by YukonGold at 06:43 AM on April 18

There seems to be something missing here. People are forgetting that Tim Duncan wasn't even on the court when he recieved the 2nd technical, he was actually on the bench laughing at the foul that was called against the Spurs as reported on ESPN. The reason for Joey Crawford's suspension was because David Stern held a private meeting with Joey Crawford to discuss the situation and Crawford suggested that he would do the same exact thing if given the chance. He showed no remorse about ejecting Duncan and stated that he would do it again so he basically gave David Stern no choice but to suspend the official. I don't agree with a 2 month suspension over this (2 months is how long the playoffs will be) but because of Crawford's prior instances (Ufez Jones has a link to one in particular), Stern felt Crawford gave him no other choice.

posted by BornIcon at 08:21 AM on April 18

this has to rank higher on the WTF scale than when Vince carter got ejected for play fighting 1 of his friends on another team. Close. Mo Pete got ejected. Vince stayed. They slapped each other in the face in the first minutes of a game last year. Stupid Vince. We will have our revenge. Joey's done, though. I think the implication was clear from that Stern interview. He can appeal to Stern and re-apply next year, but since Stern was the one who invoked the suspension in the first place it makes resolution difficult. I think in no uncertain terms, Stern is suggesting that he needn't bother. While I agree that if it was Artest or 'Sheed the outcome may have been different, but for my money, it seemed the suspension came from the ludicrously transparent power trip that was Crawford's evening. It wasn't like there was an argument and heated words exchanged. Duncan was shocked to be tossed. Shocked. Most cats can see it coming because they're pushing the boundaries. That was Crawford blowing a gasket - as he has done from time to time - and losing his professionalism. What if this were to happen in the playoffs because he felt slighted by some other player?

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 08:23 AM on April 18

What if this were to happen in the playoffs because he felt slighted by some other player? Great point Weedy. What if that were to have happened in the playoffs? I also need to mention that Stephen A. Smith (host of Quite Frankly and also the one who interviewed David Stern on this matter on ESPN) said that the remaining officials did not agree with the Crawford suspension and may "get back" at David Stern by simply ignoring some of the players' pleads when the playoffs come around. Let's just wait and see what happens now~

posted by BornIcon at 08:37 AM on April 18

That ref should not be refen for the playoffs. I dont know what he was thinkin on that one. Could have been disatsterous if this happend in the playoffs. UCLA512 does bring up a good point about players and refs not bein the same as they used to be. But if Duncan did go over there and tear the ref up, he'd be suspended for the rest of the season and playoffs. Besides he was so shocked at the call he couldnt even say anything. But it is about time a ref got suspended they have been screwd up calls lately especially in college games. and some of my games.

posted by TelamarketersBeware at 09:13 AM on April 18

At least for Duncan it happened in a meaningless game and not the first quarter of a Conference Finals game... I don't know about that Ufez. The Spurs went on to lose that game, which made it impossible for them to get a 2 seed in the Western conference, according to espn. While yes they are still seeded high in the playoffs, they might wish later on that they had a #2 seed. You're right in the fact that it isn't the conference finals, but Duncan's ejection will affect their course in the playoffs.

posted by brainofdtrain at 09:27 AM on April 18

and also the one who interviewed David Stern That's one way to put it. btw, did someone really just say refen?

posted by YukonGold at 12:32 PM on April 18

if Ron Artest asked a ref if he wanted to fight (regardless of the intended context) we all know what the outcome would be. I may need to go back and re-read the article, but I thought it was Crawford who challenged Duncan, not the other way around. If it was Duncan challenging Crawford to a fight, then he certainly deserves a lot more than a 25K fine.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 12:50 PM on April 18

My mentors when I was learning to be a baseball umpire taught me that an official's best tool was a good sense of humor. His second best tool was a very short memory for "bench jockeying" and player complaints. I think this also applies to basketball. Once the players know that they can get to you with certain actions or comments, you are doomed. Your best course of action is to draw a line, let the player know when he is approaching that line, and then if he crosses it, apply the T. Do not do it with emotion, and above all do not let it appear that you single out a particular player over the course of a season. I don't know if Crawford has had some sort of vendetta against Duncan, but it appears that Crawford has singled him out. It doesn't really matter how well a given referee makes his calls, once you have gotten to the NBA level, at least. Most officials seem to work within a certain set of limits. What the players want most is consistency from call to call, and to have the feeling that the calls are going both ways.

posted by Howard_T at 04:23 PM on April 18

Howard_T: My mentors when I was learning to be a baseball umpire taught me that an official's best tool was a good sense of humor. His second best tool was a very short memory for "bench jockeying" and player complaints.
Good post! Yeah, the best umpires in the game are the ones with a sense of humor and a stoic steadfastness, such that those potentially heated situations get quickly defused. Some of the best umps were known about the league as being very fair and very firm, they would let you let some steam off, let you know when you were nearing the line, and then toss you if you crossed it. The classic "great ump" was like a brick wall, and would stand there without emotion letting you blow off steam so long as you didn't cross that line. No animosity, nothing personal, and the players and coaches could respect it: they knew it was fair and they earned it, and that the umpire wasn't personalizing anything. They knew that even when the strike zone was tight, it was always tight with that ump, and equally with both teams, so they adjusted accordingly. It's the consistency and lack of personal bias that the players want, which right now we can safely say is not what they'd get if Joey Crawford were ref'ing a game today. As you said so well, echoing what others are saying about how this pretty much could mean the end of Crawford's career, now that players know they can push Crawford's buttons he can't really do a good job of officiating. His inability to not personalize his interactions means that his fundamental fairness is in question; every call he would make against the Spurs after this would have an asterisk beside it in everyone's mind. In any case, good suspension- being a commissioner is all about balance, and the rules that seem to treat the players as if they're emotionless robots while the refs are faultless machines of perfect judgment were throwing the game out of kilter.

posted by hincandenza at 04:58 PM on April 18

but I thought it was Crawford who challenged Duncan, not the other way around No need to reread, you are correct. I was merely offering a "what if" as a follow up to my comment about, if the offender was someone like Artest or Wallace ( instead of Duncan). I put a spin on the situation because my first comment included me disagreeing with Crawford being done for the year. So i said, on the other hand, had it been Artest or a player with a similar rep challenging a ref to a fight (in any context), he'd be done.

posted by Bishop at 12:48 AM on April 19

btw, did someone really just say refen? Yeah, someone actually did. I believe the proper terminology is: Officiate or to officiate But refen is close enough I suppose~

posted by BornIcon at 06:51 AM on April 19

PHEW! I was worried they had misspelled referen. That would have been unforgivable

posted by YukonGold at 11:34 AM on April 19

Another NBA debacle. Stern states the following about Crawford: 1. "Especially in light of similar prior acts by this official, a significant suspension is warranted." 2. "He must be held accountable for his actions on the floor, and we will have further discussions with him following the season to be sure he understands his responsibilities." 3. "improper conduct" and "inappropriate comments made to Duncan during the game." 4. "failed to meet the standards of professionalism and game management we expect of NBA referees." Following this tirade one would think Crawford is too inept to even officiate a junior high basketball game - apparently not, as Stern claims, "Joey is consistently rated as one of our top referees". If Joey is one of the NBA's top referees then where are they recruiting these officials from - people seeking a career change from Jack in the Box? Duncan must be a good guy who is just a victim of Crawford's wanton harrasment - evidently not, since Duncan actually got fined $25,000 for verbal abuse. Duncan claimed he only said three words to Crawford, "I got fouled on a shot". He just admitted exceeding his three word maximum by 100%. Which three words is he not counting? Plus he had to hurl billingsgate to be fined $25Gs - I surmise he does not want to count those words either. Duncan claims that Crawford asked if he wanted to fight him. I doubt this occured unless Crawford referred to verbal fighting and Duncan took it out of context. It was Duncan who said "If he wants to fight, we can fight." Duncan would actually fight an old referee which is an unprofessional and classless act. Maybe Duncan can pick on a six year old kid for an encore. If Duncan thinks he is so tough then why does he not pick on someone his own size and age - like Klitschko for example. It may have happened but I have never seen a referee initiate a fight with a player. The players fight each other as well as people in the stands and it is always the officials who have to break it up. In what other business would employees be dumb enough to attack their own clients? Imagine people taking their kids to McDonald's, purchase happy meals, sit down to eat and then get attacked by Ronald McDonald. This is tantamount to the conduct of NBA players. With Duncan sitting on the bench laughing and not taking the game seriously maybe he should seek a career change and apply at Jack in the Box where they can reinstate the clown.

posted by longgreenline at 01:38 AM on April 20

Duncan claimed he only said three words to Crawford... Actually, the three words he said to Crawford was when Tim called him a "Piece of shit" on his way out which Crawford went on to say that that was the reason he tossed him. How could that be when he called him that after the fact? Duncan claims that Crawford asked if he wanted to fight him. I doubt this occured unless Crawford referred to verbal fighting and Duncan took it out of context. It was Duncan who said "If he wants to fight, we can fight." From what everyone that actually heard what Crawford said, he in fact told Duncan, "Do you want to fight" so there's little doubt he said it. Joey Crawford may have meant, "Do you want to fight me on this?" but how was Duncan supposed to know what he actually meant at that moment and time? If someone asks me if I wanted to fight, I would say exactly what Timmy said, "If he wants to fight, we can fight."

posted by BornIcon at 07:26 AM on April 20

BornIcon, if Duncan couldn't figure out Crawford didn't mean he literally wanted to fight, Duncan needs to send his psychology degree back to Wake Forest.

posted by forrestv at 12:18 PM on April 20

With Duncan sitting on the bench laughing and not taking the game seriously maybe he should seek a career change and apply at Jack in the Box where they can reinstate the clown. You're right. Those NBA players sure are offensive aren't they? You haven't been around here long enough to catch a cold and already you're rattling off about NBA players working at fast food restaurants. McDonald's references, jack in the box references, what's next? This is tantamount to the conduct of NBA players. Are you actually talking about laughing or NBA players "attacking" fans? I guess getting assaulted before "attacking" someone doesn't have anything to do with it right? You're probably the clown who ran out on to the court and got a mouthful of fist. Stop acting like it's a risk to go to an NBA game because a player might attack you. If you are that afraid just keep enjoying your days at McDonald's where you obviously feel less threatened. If Duncan thinks he is so tough then why does he not pick on someone his own size and age - like Klitschko for example. Is it classless to fight or not classless to fight? Wait, since your such an expert on who Duncan should fight, why don't you go to their next game and tell him? You're attempt to make Duncan out to be the aggressor here has failed miserably. What's next? A shitty attempt to make the women of Rutgers look like "nappy headed ho's"?

posted by Bishop at 02:19 AM on April 21

You're probably the clown who ran out on to the court and got a mouthful of fist. Now, that seems a little presumptuous.

posted by tommytrump at 09:39 AM on April 21

Duncan called Crawford a "shit" for whatever reason only Duncan knows. Can't do that even to one of the worst refs in the NBA. Duncan isn't an aggressor just chicken. Talks a good game but won't back it up and against Crawford, doesn't prove anything. Just sit down shut up and play basketball. Everyone knows that the refs aren't in control of the game. Sterns' calls all the shots and when someone calls him out, in the paper/internetl/whatever, he clams up and won't speak. Quote for the good of the game is a phrase he has used repeatedly over the years but I take it as for the good of Stern and how much I can line my pocket. Nobody in any sport is worth the money they are being paid today but how can Stern make 10million a year for sitting on his ass and handing out fines etc and never really giving any kind of justification for them...

posted by The Old Man at 09:52 AM on April 23

What's next? A shitty attempt to make the women of Rutgers look like "nappy headed ho's"? That's just not right.

posted by BornIcon at 12:31 PM on April 24

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