Veteran NBA referee Bill Spooner is suing Minnesota Timberwolves beat writer Jon Krawczynski for implying that Spooner gave Minnesota a “make up” call after botching another call against them earlier in the game.The incident took place during a game that Spooner called between the Minnesota and Houston on Jan. 24. Timberwovles coach Kurt Rambis got upset with Spooner over a foul called on one of his players.
Spooner told Rambis he would review the call at halftime, prompting Rambis to ask how he would get those two points back.
Spooner says he ignored that question, but Krawczynski tweeted during that game that 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.”
Krawczynski works for the AP (who stands by his reporting) and has been critical of the NBA’s officiating problems. Spooner wants an apology, plus $75,000 in damages.
It’s possible that Spooner meant “you’ll get it” back in a sarcastic manner and then simply just made another terrible call. In other words, referees make enough unintentionally bad calls in every game that it always evens out.
UPDATE: The NBA says they found the claim to be without merit, but advised Spooner not to sue. He didn’t listen, obviously. And now more people know about the story than if he’d just kept quiet.
However, the claim did almost get him trouble with the league, so it isn’t just a throw away charge. Krawczynski (or any reporter) better be able to back up their claims if they’re going to make such a serious accusation.
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