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: Mar 15, 2011
Posted on: March 15, 2011 10:55 pm

Refs on the Take

How many NBA refs are still fixing games for money?  The league may know but will keep it quiet.

Since: Feb 10, 2007
Posted on: March 15, 2011 10:31 pm

NBA official sues reporter over tweet

Since when is TWEETING considering "publishing"  ... especially when it's THE TRUTH.  Spooner and all these CROOKED REFS should be fired immediately .... add to that, Stern needs to be sent packing as well as he is the lead dictator.   God forbid anyone has FREE SPEECH!   This all started back in the Jordan era ... more recently with last years FIXED FINAL .... yeah, you look at the FT disparity, particularly the 4th quarter of the 7th game of an NBA final .. DISPICABLE.   Last nights Celtics game was another prime examply as the Celts had all of 2 FTs via foul more than half way through the game.  It was OBVIOUS when after a 14-0 run to end the fist half the Celtics were bombarded with calls against accompanied with several non-calls for who the Refs wanted to win the 5 pt. spread.  (and NO .. i don't bet on the games .. who would when it's so crooked).  It's become so blatantly obvious, and what's even more obvious is that Sterns Cronie Refs are protected to the point where they can be braisen enough to even say they are going to manipulate the score in front of everyone in the middle of a game.   THIS LEAGUE IS A JOKE ... we all know it will be Miami and LA in the Final because that's what Stern wants in his "star" driven league.    LOCK EM OUT ... AND Clean em out .... put the 80 year old refs out to pasture ... tell the crooked ones to hit the bricks and force that fat pig Stern to resign.    Till then, the NBA will be nothin more than a SCAM!!!   TRUTH HURTS and YOU DON'T OWN ME you fat slob Stern.

Since: Jan 5, 2011
Posted on: March 15, 2011 10:22 pm

NBA official sues reporter over tweet

I grew up watching the NBA. I love it, and I still watch it as much as I can.... But I am getting extremely sick of the way the refs have this Gestapo attitude. With David Stern as their protector, they have continually rigged games to their hearts' content. I hope that there can be some way to overthrow the powers that be, and give the NBA some credibility. It's one thing when a ref makes a bad call because he didn't get the best angle on the play... It's entirely different when he rigs the game because some jerkoff paid him to. This is the greatest sport of all time, with some of the greatest athletes of all time. Please, can someone instigate some dignity and responsiblity here? Firing David Stern would be a major start for the people who give a crap

Since: Mar 7, 2007
Posted on: March 15, 2011 9:24 pm

NBA official sues reporter over tweet

the reffs do suck.. look at the heat wat calls dont they get its called bad calls. the reffs suck in every game. GO LAKERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!11

Since: Mar 7, 2007
Posted on: March 15, 2011 9:23 pm

NBA official sues reporter over tweet

Gotta love the new rules about the officiating. David Stern one heck of a guy. He picks favs and doesnt even let people speak there mind. THE NEW OFFICIATING AND DAVID STERN ARENT GOOD!!!!!!

Since: Feb 18, 2011
Posted on: March 15, 2011 8:46 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Mar 8, 2007
Posted on: March 15, 2011 8:33 pm

NBA official sues reporter over tweet

Gotta love all the legal experts around here.  Here's an example:  "You can not be sued for printing the truth."

Sure you can, and under many different circumstances.  How about a couple of examples?  Okay... 1) You print the (true) details of a legal settlement you were involved in that the court deemed sealed.  2) You print the (true) name, address, phone number, SS#, and other personal information of someone that you either had no legal right to, or that is deemed to have encouraged a crime.

Whether or not Spooner can make his case of defamation stand up in a court of law is something else entirely, but since his ability to perform his job has been significantly impacted he sure has a reason to give it a shot.  Freedom of Speech does NOT mean free of legal responsibility; you are still responsible for what you say/print/tweet/whatever.  Sometimes you only end up with someone angry at you, other times you end up on the wrong end of a fist (or worse), and sometimes you end up in court.

Since: May 25, 2007
Posted on: March 15, 2011 7:58 pm

NBA official sues reporter over tweet

Gotta love it. David Stern  and his stooge Stu Jackson trying to prove the worst officiating in all of major sports is being maligned. No way this gets any play in court. It's the old he said / she said dilemma. The reporter can't prove he heard it and the referee can't prove he did not say it.

Since: Dec 31, 2006
Posted on: March 15, 2011 7:49 pm

NBA official sues reporter over tweet

Remember, folks, there is an NBA ref - Bernie Fryer  - to thank for both instant replay and those lighted rings around the backboard in NBA games.  NBC Sports caught him telling his crew that there was no way the then-Charlotte Hornets could hit a shot in 0.7 in a playoff game in Orlando.  Not only did Baron Davis do just that, but Fryer waved the shot off before Davis even took it.  I don't doubt that AP reporter one bit.  NBA officials are the absolute in badness. 

Since: Jun 17, 2007
Posted on: March 15, 2011 7:34 pm

NBA official sues reporter over tweet

Ref is claiming that what the reporter tweeted is incorrect. Not that he's reporting a private conversation. If indeed the ref is right and the reporter tweeted incorrect information then has a right to get a retraction if not compensation. An AP reporter claiming to have heard a referee offer to give a make up call is quite huge and will impact the referee very negatively. It's one thing for people to claim refs do make up calls but to have it officially confirmed by a ref in a game is whole other beast.

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