Friday, April 20, 2007

Jerry Crawford

Jerry is (was?) an NBA referee. During a game last week, Crawford, known for having a short temper at times, gave Tim Duncan of the Spurs two technicals while sitting on the bench. If you know me, you know that I am a long-time Spurs fan. I know that Duncan is a bit of a complainer (but with the possible exception of Hakeem Olajuwon, every big man with a post game is), but two technicals for a guy who is sitting on the bench NOT saying a word to the official is a new on for me. The explanation Crawford gives is that Duncan, who was laughing it up with his teammates on the bench, was laughing at him for a series of bad calls. But no matter what the reason, Duncan was out, and the entire NBA world waited to see what the league would do.

Duncan got fined the characteristic $25,000. Crawford received an indefinite suspension, effectively ending his officiating career. Everyone was stunned. Crawford has been in the league 31 years, and his grandfather and father and one of his brothers (or some such combination) have been profession sports referees. Yes, Crawford has a temper, but this seemed a huge overreaction. Most everyone thinks that the punishment is not commensurate with the crime.

But I find myself wondering if maybe I don't know the whole story. Yes, the results to not seem in accordance with what I know. So I have two possible conclusions: either the league is overreacting, or I don't know the whole story.

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