Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Association Turns a New Leaf

Ever since I got to watch a disgusting display of ego on HBO's Real Sports in February, I wondered when NBA official Joe Crawford's ego would catch up with him. Funny enough, the man who is considered to be the league's top official by many of its best players had his downfall when he issued two technicals ... to a player on the bench. Mind you, this player is none other than one of the Association's stars, Tim Duncan, who is not shy about airing his grievances. In this case, Crawford ejected Duncan for ... brace yourself ... laughter.

(Yes, laughter.)

Of course, it must be mentioned that Duncan and Crawford have a history, and that this wasn't the first time that Crawford made his mark on a meaningful contest between San Antonio and Dallas. Crawford issued a bevy of technical fouls in a 10-minute span of a pivotal game between the two teams in 2003.

And that's exactly why David Stern did what he did and suspended Crawford indefinitely, until at least the end of the season including playoffs. I've not even mentioned the allegations made by Tim Duncan stating that the veteran official challenged him to a fight not once but twice. Clearly, this is a case of an official who's so far removed from the job he was employed to do many years ago that he thinks he's above the game. Sadly, there are other officials in the NBA (ahem, Steve Javey) who have a long memory and a short fuse. By this action, David Stern reiterates that it is the stars' job to put fans in the seats and the officials to ... officiate rather than to entertain and alter game results to elevate certain players to iconic status.

Whether or not the NBA is turning a new leaf by actually punishing officials for their poor actions [rather than providing them with more power to wield their discriminating iron fists] remains to be seen. As it is, this most recent act of indiscretion by Joe Crawford could not go unpunished and even the world's most stubborn man, David Stern, wholeheartedly understands that.

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