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: Jun 17, 2007
Posted on: March 15, 2011 7:31 pm

NBA official sues reporter over tweet

I'd like to see you try to ref an NBA game. They're not perfect but they do an impressive job given the pace of the game. I love all the guys how sit at home on their couch claiming referees sucks. Do they think there other people who can do a better job? Ridiculous.

Since: Sep 27, 2006
Posted on: March 15, 2011 7:18 pm

NBA official sues reporter over tweet

So the NBA investigated and found nothing fraudulant. Which means that his job has not and will not be affected. But the guy wants $75,000 anyway! REALLY? Fishing for a payout are we? Get real. What's next, everytime a fan says "hey ref, you suck" he gets fined $1,000. Come on. Get over it.

Since: Mar 15, 2011
Posted on: March 15, 2011 7:10 pm

NBA official sues reporter over tweet

We know there are makeup calls that take place all the time in games....the timing of those calls is what is important.  To accuse Spooner of saying something without proof is irresponsible on the reporters part.  What did he think that he was doing...shedding light on something we all know happens from time to time in the NBA anyway?!

Since: Feb 19, 2007
Posted on: March 15, 2011 6:44 pm

NBA official sues reporter over tweet

Is this not the definition of "frivolous lawsuit"?  Everybody who follows the NBA knows that the refs are terrible, and their reputation is such that it can't really be besmirched; that would require having a reputation worth keeping up to begin with.

Since: Aug 4, 2008
Posted on: March 15, 2011 6:40 pm

NBA official sues reporter over tweet

This law suit will be tossed as quickly as Lucy pulls the football  from under Charlie Brown.

These type people are consider public individuals and without their permission can be written about. The only redeeming thing about this lawsuit is that if his attorney go the slander route, then he might at least get his foot in the front door of the court room.

I am just wondering under what legal law this ref is suing the reporter, if the reporter is reporting something he over heard even if it was private.

You can not be sued for printing the truth.  


Since: Apr 27, 2007
Posted on: March 15, 2011 6:22 pm

NBA official sues reporter over tweet

Man talk about thin skin and you dont think Refs just make up a call when you get down on them too much too!  Refs cheat too they are only human so sue me too! Can you say TIM DONAGHY NBA! LOL
PS Where is the tape maybe we can go to it and see if he said that but I'd bet that part of it is missing about right now!   LOL

Since: Feb 2, 2009
Posted on: March 15, 2011 6:00 pm

NBA official sues reporter over tweet

   People, do you really believe Tim D. is the only referee in sports throwing games? Hell i BET the St.Johns- Ruetgers game was thrown last week!!!!

Since: Sep 3, 2009
Posted on: March 15, 2011 5:37 pm

NBA official sues reporter over tweet

The refs are way too big of a factor in NBA.  It's really obvious that they don't like Dwight Howard and some refs don't like Tim Duncan which I really can't understand.   But as Stan Van Gundy said - that's the way Stern and his minions like it - before Stan got muzzled

Since: Nov 20, 2010
Posted on: March 15, 2011 5:19 pm

NBA official sues reporter over tweet

WOW! ... a ref blows a call and says he'll make it up to the other team. What a revelation! You got to love this information age where you can't say a thing without it being all over the internet. Then the subsequent frivolous lawsuit by some idiot referee. Good for the reporter calling out the ref as for the lawsuit ... good luck with that ... the judge ( if it gets that far ) will laugh it right out of his chambers.

Since: Jan 2, 2008
Posted on: March 15, 2011 4:50 pm

NBA official sues reporter over tweet

Heck, even if he said "you'll get it back" he probably didn't mean "I will intentionally make a bad call to take points away from the other team"

He probably just meant "look, we do the best we can, and calls go both ways through the course of a game. somewhere down the line there will be another call (right or wrong) that THEY don't like and you'll feel like it's even. Now get off my back before I "T" you up."

You'll get it back. Not "I'll give it back".

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