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NBA advised referee against suing AP over tweet

Posted on: March 15, 2011 5:05 pm
Edited on: March 15, 2011 5:05 pm
The NBA says it advised referee Bill Spooner not to sue the Associated Press over a Twitter post. Posted By Ben Golliver. bill-spooner

Earlier Tuesday, we noted a story in which alleged NBA officiating impropriety, Twitter and a lawsuit all came together at once. 

To sum it up: NBA referee Bill Spooner is suing an Associated Press reporter who tweeted that Spooner promised Minnesota Timberwolves Kurt Rambis a makeup call after making an incorrect foul call. Spooner's lawsuit comes after the NBA investigated the tweet's claim to determine whether or not Spooner actually made that promise, which would obviously be against NBA policy. The NBA's investigation revealed no wrongdoing, but the AP and its reporter are standing behind the merits of the tweet.

What wasn't clear Tuesday morning was where the NBA stood on the matter. 

The USA Today reported Tuesday afternoon that a spokesman for the league has stated that the reporter's original allegation was without merit but that the league didn't believe a lawsuit was a prudent response.
"We investigated the content of the tweet when it appeared, found it to be without substance, and informed Mr. Spooner that we considered the matter closed," NBA spokesman Tim Frank said in a statement. "We subsequently advised Mr. Spooner's lawyer that we did not think suing a journalist over an incorrect tweet would be productive. Nevertheless, Mr. Spooner and his lawyer decided to commence this litigation and any future inquiries should be directed to Mr. Spooner's lawyer."
Does a lawsuit seem a bit extreme at first glance? Sure. 

But if you've ever met a professional referee you know that they hold their personal honor and integrity in the highest regard. Letting an established member of the media question that honor and integrity so specifically and publically without a response is not something many officials, in any of America's professional sports, would be able to do. At least not without a lot of mumbled cursing under their breath.

Of course, the shadow of disgraced referee Tim Donaghy is cast all over this mess. In fact, a PDF of Spooner's lawsuit shows that the first five "facts" in the statement of facts all reference Donaghy and how his conviction for influencing games in which he worked brought "scandal" to his colleagues. So this lawsuit isn't just about the writer's allegation, it's about the timing and sensitivity with regard to the allegation. 

And that's why, I think, Spooner didn't follow the league's advice. Sure, the league would prefer that the incident, once investigated, be put out of mind and, especially, out of the headlines. For the NBA, as long as Spooner did his job, that's all that really matters. Writers get things wrong about the league every single day. But for Spooner personally, this is clearly much bigger. This is about his clearing his reputation and taking a stand.  As crazy as it sounds, I kind of admire him for it.
Category: NBA

Since: Sep 5, 2010
Posted on: March 16, 2011 3:22 pm

NBA advised referee against suing AP over tweet

All pro sports are fixed to some extent. I never bet on any sport when it comes to post season play because of that. The league and the networks are in bed with each other. Not to mention a ref getting paid off by individual parties to improve their odds in vegas. It sickens me that it has come to this and eventually I will not watch any games and support the malevolence. I just hope anyone who is involved with fixing any game gets what is coming to them. We the fans have the power here and all we have to do is not watch or support those involved. 

Since: Jun 6, 2007
Posted on: March 16, 2011 12:05 pm

NBA advised referee against suing AP over tweet

Don't be an ass. Spooner's lawsuit refers to the Donaghy scandal at least five times. He's not linking the two - Spooner himself is linking the two. Don't confuse reporting and op-ed....

Since: Jan 7, 2007
Posted on: March 16, 2011 10:13 am

NBA advised referee against suing AP over tweet

A die hard fan, your post is a joke.  You are linking a story about Donaghy fixing games with this story about Bill Spooner.  That is guilt by association and it is not warranted.  This is not even close to the fixing scandal and the credibility of your opinion goes down the toilet due to the fact that you make a lame attempt to link the two.  Basically, your argument is Donaghy fixed games therefore all refs have no integrity.  The AP reporter allegedly heard Spooner say to Rambis that he would "get it back".  Where is the proof of that?  Did the reporter record the conversation between Rambis and Spooner.  Were there others courtside who heard it also?    Your p
ost doesn't fly here and I have to believe that it won't fly with the majority of those visiting CBS Sports.

Since: Dec 15, 2007
Posted on: March 16, 2011 9:09 am

NBA advised referee against suing AP over tweet

Die hard,

Not sure why you are disparaging a ref for defending his integrity.  It's something we all have a right to do regardless of whether big brother is watching (NBA).  That's like me telling you to STFU for making such an idiotic remark.  You know as well as I do that journalism these days is all about sensationalism.  The ones with integrity issues are the reporters.  They bend the truth and take things out of context all the time.

Since: Sep 4, 2006
Posted on: March 16, 2011 7:57 am

NBA advised referee against suing AP over tweet

VERY easy to find, smokingguns.... 

As for the story above, this idiotic ref needs to STFU.  The NBA os all about protecting their product and avoiding another scandal, so of course they found nothing wrong.  You put this in a court of law, it may be found to be a reliable comment by the reporter.  Then the backtracking by the NBA wil begin...  This is why the NBA wants this lawsuit stopped.

Since: Aug 18, 2006
Posted on: March 16, 2011 5:57 am

NBA advised referee against suing AP over tweet

Sacramento fans still whining about losing to the Lakers seven years later? Provide link to where ref admitted this.

Since: Dec 27, 2010
Posted on: March 16, 2011 3:24 am

NBA advised referee against suing AP over tweet

Kings also cheated by refs in Lakers series. Ref admitted to it!

Since: Dec 27, 2010
Posted on: March 16, 2011 3:19 am

Sacramento Kings cheated by Refs!

This reminds me of the seven game series between the Kings and Lakers when the referee admitted to calling the games in
 favor of the Lakers which caused the Kings a trip to the NBA Finals. He said David Stern told him to do it because the Lakers
in the Finals would attract more ratings and would bring in more money because they are in a bigger market then Sacramento.

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