Blog Entry

NBA official sues reporter over tweet

Posted on: March 15, 2011 10:12 am
Edited on: March 15, 2011 11:45 am
Posted by Royce Young

NBA officials are used to hearing insults and "critiques" of their work. It's part of the job. But don't tweet it, especially if it's about Bill Spooner.

Spooner and the NBA have filed for damages in excess of $75,000 against AP reporter Jon Krawczynski of Minnesota for a tweet he posted during the Timberwolves Jan. 24 game against the Rockets.

Krawczynski 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."

What really happened, according to Spooner, is that after a questionable call early in the second quarter, Kurt Rambis gave Spooner an earful about the call. Spooner promised Rambis he'd take a look at the play in question and review it at the half. Rambis snidely asked how he'd get the points back though. Spooner says he didn't respond to that.

Spooner called the tweet defamatory, but the AP and the reporter have refused to remove or retract it. Spooner has been an NBA official for 22 years.

Obviously the NBA is sensitive about these sort of accusations because of the Tim Donaghy situation, so you can't blame Spooner. A tweet claiming he would get Minnesota their points back basically says he shouldn't be officiating NBA games. If he's not going to call it fair, he should be removed. That's why he took so much offense to it. It's a hearty accusation to make. It's one thing to think it, but to publish it is another.

Now of course, the reporter in question is standing behind what he heard so it's obviously possible that's exactly what happened. But still, that's not something you flippantly throw out there. The NBA investigated Spooner following the tweet and didn't find anything against him. But as an official that's never really had an incident, I'm sure Spooner didn't like it. Hench the suing.

Since: Sep 5, 2010
Posted on: March 16, 2011 8:06 am

NBA official sues reporter over tweet

@Caso_420... I will agree with you that the suit is not frivolous, it would however, be EXTREMELY difficult to win.  Remember, you need to prove absolute guilt and displace any basis of innocence which is nearly impossible in these cases.  You have to prove his intent was indeed to defame of which he and/or his attorney can simply testify otherwise.

Of course it would also be ESPECIALLY difficult based on the fact it is almost as well-known that "firetrucks are red" as it is that "NBA officiating (and the game in general) is skewed beyond recognition".  Again, a statement difficult to prove in court but without any real discussion needed in reality.

A suit like this is like buying a brand new boat...  you may have times where you will enjoy it but mostly you are just throwing money away. 

Since: Jul 12, 2009
Posted on: March 16, 2011 7:53 am

NBA official sues reporter over tweet

This is not a "frivalous" lawsuit.  There have been much more crazy lawsuits than this.  He could win this lawsuit pretty easily.  For those of you who don't think it is easy you obviously haven't taken a law class in college.  You have to watch out for defamation, you can't just lie in public about somebody and destroy their reputaion publicly.  

Since: Feb 1, 2008
Posted on: March 16, 2011 6:29 am

NBA official sues reporter over tweet

I find this issue ridiculous and telling if not very important. For those people that have read this article and believe that the reporter should be fired or sued, I say you are completely out of touch with reality or you simply wish to ignore things such as this in the everyday society.

The atempt by this official to sue this reporter is indeed outrageous and is frivolous. The only reasoning I can see behind attempting to sue this reporter is to get the attention of his employer in hopes the fire or reprimand him. Considering how close media is with sports organizations, this attempt at suing may well do the reporter more damage then one might think interms of job security.

If anybody has watched sports a decent amount and analysed the way the game is played or even a game or two, then they know the amount of no calls or bad calls which are usually followed by a make up call happen. Anyone who doesn't notice these thing either don't care, aren't very analytical, or are watching sports for some other reason.

For me it is like standing in central park having an ice cream with a waffle cone and seeing some person getting robbed and then instead of yelling at the robber or trying to help in some way, you simply decide that the sweat goodness that you have spent your hard earned money on, will melt away if you do not enjoy yourself at that very moment and you do not want to be waste.

I believe that logic like that is infectious in sports because of years of hearing the anouncers, coaches and other various figures joke about it happening.

Since: Mar 16, 2011
Posted on: March 16, 2011 4:08 am

NBA official sues reporter over tweet

The referees have improved greatly since the Donaghy incident.  THE NBA hired an Army general to oversee the refs, and his new review system has worked.  The home court advantage isn't as great as it was before.  The stars don't get as many favorable calls.  It has made the game much more enjoyable for me.  Yes, the refs still make mistakes.  All humans do.  I can live with honest mistakes.  And kudos to Bavetta for apologizing to Malone for calls that might have cost the Jazz a championship.  Malone, being the jerk, refused to accept the apology.  As if he never made any mistakes, such as failing to drive on Rodman when the tattooed wonder had five fouls or hanging onto the ball too long, allowing Jordan to steal it.  I wonder if Malone will ever apologize to Jazz fans for his poor foul shooting in the two trips to the finals. 

Since: Oct 27, 2007
Posted on: March 16, 2011 2:28 am

NBA official sues reporter over tweet

It's almost amusing that the League would join a referee in opening a Pandora's box of he said, she said in a court of law. Watch as the gamblers, hecklers, race baiters, and others start filing frivolous suit after meaninless suit for everything from missed calls to abusive conversation. Could an NBA ref get any jury that included NBA fans to give them a winning verdict on anything? Of course not, they are uniformly despised by fans. They've been listening to too many old coaches in press row who are trying to get back to the bench, who have them convinced that they are revered, loved and respected. They need to become more aware of who's blowing that smoke up their pantlegs.

Since: Mar 15, 2011
Posted on: March 15, 2011 11:54 pm

NBA official sues reporter over tweet

*Hence* the suing

Since: Aug 2, 2007
Posted on: March 15, 2011 11:47 pm

NBA official sues reporter over tweet

There is very little consistency in NBA officiating and it is because of officials like Bill Spooning, which makes watching the NBA so difficult. The NBA refs have way too many internal conflicts in regards to the outcomes of the games. From the publicly documented scandals of the past, down to the personal gifts and favors they receive from players, with the players' presumed expectation of some special consideration (there is always an unspoken "quid pro quo"). Some of the best athletes in the world participate in this entertainment activity. That's why at the "professional" level of basketball it's handled more like the WWF (professional wrestling) by NBA administrators. Remember the Court ruling on wrestling and why professional wrestling is no longer considered a sport? The NBA has long ago put itself on the same plane as the WWF. Just as with the WWF, the NBA is entertainment only it is no longer a true sport. Until the NBA gets its operations in order, there's no need to get your blood pressure up over the soap operas, the script has already been written with outcomes decided prior to the start time of each drama or game as the NBA would like to have it referred to.  

Since: Dec 16, 2006
Posted on: March 15, 2011 11:31 pm

NBA official sues reporter over tweet

Fans should file a class action lawsuit against David Stern just for being a tool!  I'll probably get sued for slander now!

Since: Aug 29, 2006
Posted on: March 15, 2011 10:58 pm

NBA official sues reporter over tweet

Haha, I said Bubonic and I meant Ebonic...stupid me, I guess I should proofread my own stuff. Everyone got it though....

Since: Sep 13, 2010
Posted on: March 15, 2011 10:58 pm

NBA official sues reporter over tweet

right on all you people who finally see what is going on in the NBA. I have known this for years now but let's get it straight; no one is getting paid off here, it's not a gambling issue. This is David Stern manipulating the game. He works in tandem with ESPN to manipulate the results of games and playoff match ups. They try to create drama to stir interest in the sport and to generate TV listings. You all remember all the little facts that came out after Donnehey actually got caught gambling and fixing games, such as league reps being in the refs locker room at halftime to tell them how to call the second half of games etc. etc. all the players know it. everyone involved with the game knows it. the league is really just a choreographed traveling entertainment act. ESPN creates the "superstars" & Stern ensures the playoff match ups. Any one who gambles on or wastes their money attending NBA games is a FOOL. It is not real sport nor even real basketball, the rules of the NBA have made it an abomination of the sport of basket ball that doesn't come close to the purer forms of the sport like college hoops or even international basketball. wake up sports fans. BOYCOTT THE STADIUMS!

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