NBA officials take a lot of heat. Sometimes they deserve it, sometimes they don't.
Right now, Bill Spooner, the fine gentleman you see on the right, deserves some heat. And here's why:
Bill Spooner said he has "honestly" refereed NBA games for 22 years, but was investigated by the league after AP writer Jon Krawczynski posted a message on social networking site Twitter.com during the Jan. 24 Timberwolves game against the Houston Rockets at the Target Center.
According to his suit, the Oak Park, Cali. referee called a Minnesota player for a foul at 10:22 in the second period and got an earful from Rambis.
After promising to review the call at the half, Spooner said Rambis asked him how he would get the points back.
Spooner said he didn't respond to the comment, but Krawczynski soon after tweeted: "Ref Bill Spooner told Rambis he'd "get it back" after a bad call. Then he made an even worse call on Rockets. That's NBA officiating folks."
One of two things is happening here… and neither of them is worthy of a lawsuit:
1: Krawczynski mis-heard the exchange but doesn't realize it. That's certainly possible. And he'll swear he heard what he heard just like people who witness a crime will swear they saw what they saw… yet its been proven that some people will have different accounts of what happened.
2: It went down exactly as tweeted… which means an NBA ref blew a call, then made a make up call. Whoa… stop the presses. It's not an ideal system, but I actually can understand a ref who blows the whistle, makes a call and then thinks to himself "ah crap, I shoulda let that go." So the only way to "atone" for that is to even it out on the other end.
Either one of those is entire possible. But Spooner is going overboard… even IF one of his bosses questioned him on it. This is one of those "methinks the referee doth protest too much" moments. For Chrissakes, the guy references the Tim Donaghy scandal in the complaint. Easy there buddy… no one is comparing a make-up call to the Donaghy scandal.
Except for you, of course. And why a ref would willingly lump himself into that… even if its an effort to distance himself from it… is beyond me.
Ease up, Spooner. No one gave a crap about the tweet until you turned it into a lawsuit. It's too bad you didn't have someone around to let you know "ref sues over a tweet" is a bazillion times juicier than "reporter tweets about blown call." You've just made it infinitely worse for yourself.