I have seen the others and I have discovered that the fight is not worth fighting

by Ben on April 18, 2007 · 26 comments

joe_crawford1gif.jpg(The Cavalier is on an extended leave of absence due to excessive laughing. The following was not written by him, although he’s pretty sure you knew that.)

Joey Crawford doesn’t want to ref in a league where he can’t throw out superstars for laughing.

As you probably know by now, veteran referee Joey Crawford was suspended for the rest of the regular season and the entire 7 month playoff run.

At first it sounded a bit harsh, but the regular season had only two more days and not being around for last night’s Indiana-Atlanta grudge match or tonight’s New York-Charlotte extravaganza isn’t exactly much of a punishment.

Crawford simply had to be suspended for the entire postseason. The NBA always has problems (perceived or otherwise) with the refs during the playoffs and at the very least they would’ve had to schedule Crawford with non-Spur games. But from the way Stern has been talking (on PTI and in press releases), this wasn’t a one time deal:

“Especially in light of similar prior acts by this official, a significant suspension is warranted,” Stern said in a statement. “Although Joey is consistently rated as one of our top referees, 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.”

If this was a one time incident, the postseason ban might’ve been a bit excessive. But with ‘similar prior acts’ plus all the NBA ref conspiracy theories this time of year, Stern had to come down hard.
But, for his part, Crawford says he wasn’t wrong and he’d do it again:

“I told him I would throw Duncan out again if he did what he did,” Crawford wrote. “So if my employer does not think that was acceptable, then I have a problem.”

Awesome. It looks like Crawford is calling it a career because he got disciplined for throwing out Tim Duncan for laughing. Makes complete sense.
But that’s not all Joey left us. Oh no, he also gave us this nugget of awesome (insider):

Crawford also blasted fellow referee Dick Bavetta in the e-mail obtained by, hinting at divisions among referees between those who do and don’t support Bavetta and writing that maybe Bavetta will wind up as the crew chief in Game 7 of the NBA “which is a travesty in itself you even being in the finals.”

Can you possibly imagine how pissed off David Stern is right now? Not only is he dealing with a crazy referee fallout before the playoffs even begin but, on his way out the door, the ref throws out a “Dick Bavetta-Game 7-travesty” bomb. Stern must be extremely pleased.

This, of course, just heightens the excitement and anticipation for the playoffs. I can’t wait to see what happens to Dallas (will anything weird happen? Will they get a ton of free passes?) and I’m already salivating at the prospect of a Wade vs LeBron free throw battle (will they each get 20 a game? 25? Who knows?).

I can’t wait.


1 zack k April 18, 2007 at 8:57 am

bennett salvatore needs to suffer crawfords fate… only then can mavs fans rest easy…

2 Jeffrey April 18, 2007 at 9:01 am

Any sympathy, however remote, Joey Crawford might have gained from this was obliterated with that Bavetta comment. Very classy of you, Crawford.

3 Jack Cobra April 18, 2007 at 9:06 am

It’s nice to see I have found another member of “The Cool Club”

4 Ben April 18, 2007 at 9:29 am

Sounds like Crawford is lining himself up for a book deal and talk show tour.

5 Jack Cobra April 18, 2007 at 9:44 am

You know what I noticed about Crawford that I hadn’t noticed before? He shaved his head. In the picture above you can see he still has a little head, but not anymore. Maybe the loss of hair has caused him to become an out of control (and out of work) crazy man

6 TVBrain April 18, 2007 at 10:02 am

Cavalier woulda’ cut him out of that picture and put him in the stands at a Texas Longhorns football game, or Motley Crue concert.

Z Playoff beard: One. Game. Away.

7 Boney April 18, 2007 at 10:30 am

I’m sorry, I don’t necessarily support Joey Crawford’s actions after he threw out Duncan, but I do support him throwing out Tim Duncan.

Tim Duncan was a whiny bitch throughout that entire game and when he got T’d up he whined even more as he went to the bench. I know you’ll razz me for calling Duncan that (because Sheed and Rip Hamilton whine too, listen, I know they do), but he is possibly one of the whiniest bitches in the league. He very rarely gets a technical foul called against him, yet every foul that’s called on him he stands there with his hands on his head and some half-assed Bill Laimbeer smirk on his face as if he did nothing wrong.

He sat on the bench and laughed like a little bitch and he deserved to get thrown out of the game, if not long before he even went to the bench.

It sucks that one of the “let ‘em play” referees is not going to be officiating in the playoffs this year. But I’m sure the Mavs, Pistons, Bulls, and Spurs can make do going up against the NBA’s required “Superstars” in LeBron, Wade, Nash, among others… While they’re at it, get rid of Danny Crawford too…

8 Jack Cobra April 18, 2007 at 10:58 am

I can’t wait for this weekend when Andres Nocioni starts the first fight of the playoffs. I am crossing my fingers that its against Antawn Jamison and not Dwyane Wade though.

9 Steve B. April 18, 2007 at 11:26 am

Joey Crawford has truly gone mad if he thinks Dick Bavetta knows how to check an email account.

10 Frank April 18, 2007 at 11:27 am

I think Crawford is being suspended more for the ‘Do you want to fight?’ stuff than for throwing out Duncan. Duncan deserved the first tech. The second one was pretty silly for Crawford. What, the player laughed? So did other players, but he didn’t give them a Tech. But by itself I doubt the ejection earns Joey a suspension.

Crawford does want too much attention. I’d rather see the game.

Boney, you forgot about Prince. Perhaps the whiniest Piston.

11 Steve B. April 18, 2007 at 11:48 am

Good point Frank. From the looks and sounds of everything, seems like Crawford is the Ron Artest of NBA refs and Stern’s been looking for a reason to put him in his place.

12 Boney April 18, 2007 at 11:52 am

Prince doesn’t whine any more than LeBron. I also didn’t include him otherwise I’d be stuck mentioning Anderson Varejao, Gilbert Arenas, Antawn Jamison (how is that pronounced and Antwan?), and Larry Hughes/Eric Snow. All of the above whine just as much, if not more than, the “so called” whiner Tayshaun Prince.

Hamilton and Sheed are by far the whiniest.

13 Boney April 18, 2007 at 11:52 am


14 Ben April 18, 2007 at 12:00 pm

I’ve always found it interested that we have old(er) guys ref our sports leagues. You’d figure we’d want the youngest, fastest, most aware people out there. But we have Dick Bavetta.

TVBrain- That picture is ripe for photoshopping, but I have no such skills.

Also, I had finished the post before I had read this from Terry Pluto:

“When veteran official Joe Crawford was suspended by the NBA for the playoffs after ejecting Tim Duncan off the bench from Sunday’s game, it brought back memories of a game in the early 1990s at the old Richfield Coliseum, when Crawford threw out Larry Nance for laughing. Then he tossed Mark Price, Brad Daugherty, Craig Ehlo and coach Lenny Wilkens. He was fined for that incident.”

I started watching basketball during the 91-92 season but I don’t remember this at all. But tossing 4/5ths of the starting 5 (what, did Mike Sanders not do anything? Or was it Winston Bennett at the time?) and the head coach is pretty ridiculous.

15 TVBrain April 18, 2007 at 12:50 pm

Ben, I wasn’t busting your b***s (PG) I was just missing The Cav.

C.C. Sabathia: 3-0. Kenny Rogers: In a rocking chair. Feel the YAYsports off topic jibe karma.

16 The Cavalier April 18, 2007 at 1:06 pm

For the record I’d probably make him doing a Spider-Man thing were I available.

17 The Cavalier April 18, 2007 at 1:07 pm

Also, I won’t be able to watch until 10 Pacific or so, but I can’t believe I’m actively rooting for Vince Carter tonight.

18 Jack Cobra April 18, 2007 at 1:31 pm

You don’t need to watch tonight Cav…the Bulls will win and make it all a moot point.

19 Ben April 18, 2007 at 1:55 pm

Oh, I know- if I was a good writer, it would’ve come off as acknowledging and humorous (and I agree)- but no harm no foul.

As for the Cavs… sadly, I think Jack is right, it will all be moot because the Bulls will win.

20 Ben April 18, 2007 at 1:57 pm

Oh, I know- if I was a good writer, it would’ve come off as acknowledging and humorous (and I miss him too, I’m not used to taking time and spell checking my posts)- but no harm no foul.

As for the Cavs… sadly, I think Jack is right, it will all be moot because the Bulls will win.

21 Boney April 18, 2007 at 2:24 pm

That’s pretty good recording keeping if you’re able to tell me that Kenny Rogers is in a rocking chair while CC Sabathia is 3-0. It’s only a matter of time before an oblique gets strained and CC misses time.

22 Frank April 18, 2007 at 3:09 pm

Prince is in a whole other whining league. He’s especially got the hands-up “I didn’t do it” pose down. One of the top whiners in the league.
It’s actually refreshing how the Cavs don’t whine much. Larry will get very serious and talk to the ref. Maybe the big eyes and slight smile.
AV get the grimace going. Not much of a whiner.

“And 1!”

23 The Cavalier April 18, 2007 at 3:22 pm

LeBron was horrible last year – so glad they cracked down – he’s been fine. Of course, he didn’t care until like 3 weeks ago.

24 TVBrain April 18, 2007 at 5:39 pm

The Nets have beaten the Bulls twice this season.

Paul Byrd, much maligned here, hasn’t given up a run this season.

25 J. PHI April 19, 2007 at 12:58 am

Boney…you’re fat, shut up

26 Boney April 19, 2007 at 8:07 am

thanks J. PHI!

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