Kirby Lee-US PRESSWIRE
Why is Joey Crawford still and NBA referee? Wasn't everyone just a lot happier when he was suspended a few years back? Did anyone miss him? I sure didn't.
Joey Crawford is my least favorite type of referee -- the referee who thinks he's part of the show. The old adage that if a referee is doing his job you never notice him is a foreign concept to Joey. Like Glenn Close, he will NOT be ignored (and I wouldn't be surprised if he's boiled some bunnies in his day as well).
After several consecutive trips of Nene and Blake Griffin pushing each other and jawing back and forth, Joey had had enough. He interrupted the game during a free throw and went to the scorer's table where he loudly informed everyone that he was warning both of the players -- which is all well and good until you realize that there is no such thing as a warning, at least not in the scorebook. If Joey wants to tell a player "I'm warning you, I've had enough, say another word and I'll T you up" that's fine -- but no one else cares or needs to know. The only "warning" in the NBA rule book is a delay of game warning (you get one, and the second time it's technical foul) -- when Joey told the official scorer that he was warning Nene and Griffin he was just asking everyone in STAPLES Center (and the TV audience who could hear him quite clearly) to look at him, because there was no other reason to do that.
Joey later called a Technical foul on the Wizards Trevor Booker after Booker grabbed a rebound (though it was difficult to discern what Booker had done). A few seconds later, after he had clearly called the T just on Booker, he screamed "NO" and informed everyone that in fact it was a double technical, one each assessed to Booker and Lamar Odom. I have little idea what Booker did on the play -- I have no idea whatsoever what Lamar did. Nor do I know if Joey called simultaneous technicals which he simply miscommunicated at first, or if he decided to cancel the Booker T (ha) out after he later heard Lamar say something. Strictly speaking, you couldn't actually do that -- if the offense is not simultaneous, it's not a double technical, it's two separate technicals and both free throws should be shot -- but then again, there's also no such thing as a "warning" to Nene and Blake Griffin either, so we already know that Joey's perfectly comfortable making stuff up as he goes along, especially if all eyes are on him.
A little later while Chris Paul was preparing to shoot a technical free throw, Joey became enraged that Paul had taken a practice free throw while things were being worked out at the scorer's table. He loudly issued a delay of game warning to Paul (let's face it, Joey does everything loudly) and for good measure, he also yelled at one of his fellow refs, presumably for not keeping a tight enough rein on Paul. Paul was quite bemused by the whole thing essentially saying to Joey "Look, I'm just standing here waiting to take a technical free throw -- how can I be delaying the game when you guys hadn't told me I could take the shot yet?"
If the measure of a good ref is that you don't notice him, Joey Crawford is abysmal. These three were just his most vociferous outbursts of the evening -- you can't help but notice Joey all night. It's clear that he believes he's bigger than the game that's going on -- and it's equally clear that it's time for him to go.