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: Jul 8, 2007
Posted on: March 15, 2011 11:23 am

NBA official sues reporter over tweet

He said, she said.

This is a complete non-issue. Nothing will result.

Since: Dec 19, 2008
Posted on: March 15, 2011 11:03 am

NBA official sues reporter over tweet

This will never go to court. The last thing the NBA wants is to testify in court about their great refs.  Stern and the NBA are about as corrupt a league could be and a little intimidation is all their after. Set an example so the next guy thinks twice about doing this. This league resembles the U.S. Government, They lie until a scandal breaks out and then someone symbolically goes down when needed but the corruption continues.  The refs remind me of CIA agents and stern is the director. This league is classic and is losing its fan base almost as quick as the PGA. For different reasons however. 

Since: Feb 20, 2008
Posted on: March 15, 2011 10:58 am

NBA official sues reporter over tweet

You are claiming that because the reporter won't remove it that basically he's 100% accurate.  That may be what he thinks he heard but it doesn't mean he heard corrrectly.  There are many distractions here and I'm betting this time only!!!...that Rambis will back up the story of the official not the reporter.....I personally doubt he'd sue if the story was accurate.....he would just ignore it rather than bring attention to it with a lawsuit.  If he actually said it thaN Rambis would have to testify as to the conversation and then he'd be screwed...taking a little liberty the reporter was I the end.....NOT A STORY!

Since: Dec 8, 2006
Posted on: March 15, 2011 10:51 am

NBA official sues reporter over tweet

Everyone knows refs play this game in all sports. They make a bad call and they know it so they try to even the score later in the game with a touchy call that could have gone either way. It happens in every sport at every level. There was an article on here a while back about how teams in college basketball games consistently have the same or about the same number of fouls at the end of each game. It sounds crooked but it's true.

Since: Nov 14, 2006
Posted on: March 15, 2011 10:48 am

NBA official sues reporter over tweet

The way Krawczynski said it is what happened.  I have been around the game of basketball all my life and I can't tell you how many times officials have said exactly that term and then tried to do a make-up call.  How do you think the term "make-up call" was coined.  It is not defamation if it is the true no?  The NBA and the Officials should be held to a higher standard.  If they performed the way they should and kept their mouths shut, this would have never happened.  If he did not make a bad call, why was he talking to the coach anyway?  He shouldn't be.  Like I said, the NBA is acting like they are offended, yet this goes on day in and day out.

Since: Oct 13, 2007
Posted on: March 15, 2011 10:43 am

NBA official sues reporter over tweet

Thank God we have a court system whereby we can finally determine what and what not one is allowed to tweet during a game. I recommend a tweet review, stationed in New York, whereby anyone tweeting must first have their tweet tweet-approved. Once that's established, I don't see any reason why we can't, based on what we learn, extend the concept to the college level, high schools, middle schools and, finally, grade schools. I would. however be against having games where parents officiate included as, to be fair, they have not had the benefit of training.

Should someone proove to be a habitual offender, I would suggest that the person have his tweeter removed.

Since: Jun 6, 2008
Posted on: March 15, 2011 10:41 am

NBA official sues reporter over tweet

Huh, I would have never of guessed at all the blatantly bad calls out there this was ever possible (extreme sarcasm).  Guess what Bill Spooner, you got caught, now you're suing to try and cover yourself.  Fans in Utah have know this forever, that refs screw teams over.  The Jazz with Steve Javy reffing in the past 5 years are 8 and 30 (1 and 8 this year alone).  Take this year out of the equation and 1 ref accounts for a major portion of single teams losses, that should say something.  Mark Cuban has stated this over and over and over and guess what, he's right!  David Stern won't do anything about it other than threaten coaches (ie Stan Van Gundy (who was also right)) because he doesn't trust anyone and needs total control.  NBA refs affect the outcome of games 10 times more than any other officials in any other league night in and night out!

Since: Oct 3, 2006
Posted on: March 15, 2011 10:39 am

NBA official sues reporter over tweet

Just goes to show that Twitter can make anyone at anytime look like an idiot. I've lost count of the number of people who have made asses of themselves on Twitter this year alone.

And by the way, Spooner himself should be sued for that pose in the picture.

Since: Sep 4, 2006
Posted on: March 15, 2011 10:35 am

NBA official sues reporter over tweet

What a flippin' joke.  What would the NBA and this ref do if it was just a fan who was sitting next to the bench and overheard what the reporter did and "tweeted" it?  Nothing.  There's still a thing called "freedom of speech" in this country.  The reporter did not use it in an article, it was his own personal "tweet".  If anything it giving this legs, it's THIS article and lawsuit....

Since: Dec 10, 2006
Posted on: March 15, 2011 10:30 am

NBA official sues reporter over tweet

God bless America

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