Don’t shoot! Joey Crawford will ref Game 2 of the Finals
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Tim Duncan went through the majority of his amazing career staying away from controversy but this season we have seen the GOAT PF in the off season news a few times. Most recently because of the divorce news from his wife of 12 years and at the beginning of the season when he and Tony Parker gave NBA fans a treat for Halloween when they took a picture of themselves holding fake guns to a guy dressed as referee Joey Crawford.
Duncan and the Spurs would not comment on the picture but Sports Illustrated talked about the history between Duncan and Crawford.
Game 2 will mark the first time Crawford, 61, has officiated a Finals game involving the Spurs since he was suspended by the NBA in 2o07 following a controversial and unusual ejection of Tim Duncan. An NBA referee since 1977, Crawford ejected Duncan from the third quarter of an April 15 game against the Mavericks for laughing while seated on the Spurs bench.
The NBA cited “improper conduct and a lack of professionalism” in suspending Crawford for the remainder of the 2006-07 season and the entire 2007 playoffs. Crawford sat at home as the Spurs went on to win their most recent title, the fourth of Duncan’s career, but he eventually had his suspension lifted prior to the start of the 2007-08 season.
“Although Joey is consistently rated as one of our top referees, he must be held accountable for his actions on the floor,” commissioner David Stern said in a statement at the time. “We will have further discussions with him following the season to be sure he understands his responsibilities.”
The Associated Press and ESPN.com reported Duncan, who was fined $25,000 for “verbal abuse of an official” for his role in the incident, told reporters in 2007 Crawford had a “personal vendetta” against him and that Crawford asked him if he wanted to fight before the ejection.
“He looked at me and said, ’Do you want to fight? Do you want to fight?”’ Duncan said. “If he wants to fight, we can fight. I don’t have any problem with him, but we can do it if he wants to. I have no reason why in the middle of a game he would yell at me, ’Do you want to fight?”’
I don’t expect to see Crawford and Duncan fight tonight but I do expect to see the Heat fight for their lives because if they have to head to San Antonio down 2-0 to the Spurs then they might as well arrive with a DOA sticker.
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SOURCE: Sports Illustrated