Hours after the Spurs incurred the wrath of the league office for Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and Danny Green skipping the game at Miami last Thursday, more trouble started to bubble up for San Antonio.
The photo below started circulating throughout ye old information superhighway, known more commonly as the Internet, depicting Duncan (dressed for Halloween as the Punisher), and Parker (dressed as Nick Fury from "The Avengers,") threatening a man dressed as NBA official Joey Crawford:
So, there's that.
The Spurs and the NBA have declined comment, per the San Antonio Express-News. But Manu Ginobili did comment on it at practice:
“I don't know exactly what people are saying about it,” said Ginobili, who went dressed as Zorro. “What I know is, it was Halloween. If somebody dressed like Pop was there, I probably would have done the same with my little sword. I think it was a joke. It was very innocent. They were just probably kidding. I didn't see it at the time, but nothing to be serious about.”
Ginobili said he did not know who the man dressed as Crawford was, describing him as a random attendee at the party.
“He was somebody without hair, he decided to dress like a ref,” he said. “He was part of the party. It was a big party, a lot of people. It just happened.”
Ginobili said he does not think the action deserves action from the league office.
“Why would I?” he said. “I'm not concerned. I don't think it's something to take so serious. But who knows what's going to happen?”
Couple things, quick:
- Look, some dude showed up at a private event that Tony Parker and Tim Duncan attended, and they had a joke with it. This is not a threat to Joey Crawford. It's Tim Duncan and Tony Parker, two of the least threatening individuals in the NBA. Violence in real life is not funny, and gun violence is particularly serious in this country. But it's a Halloween party. Neither player is fake-threatening the guy with real guns. This isn't Gilbert Arenas.
- However, the league might react based simply on a zero-tolerance approach towards anything that can be conceived as threatening towards an official, or anyone. If the photo had never come out, there would be no issue. But the same can be said for any time a player gets in trouble, so it's a tricky area.
- This is an inherent problem with celebrity. Two guys who work very hard, along with their organization, to avoid the spotlight, are now in it, thanks to a photo taken and posted on the Internet from a private event that they attended.
- When I first saw the photo, I didn't think it was legitimate, based on the absence of a shadow for the noose. But I apparently don't understand how light works.
- If it is a Photoshop job, it's a pretty good one.
- Initially, I really thought Parker was dressed as Snake Plissken from the 1981 sci-fi film Escape from New York. That would be a much cooler costume.
- If you're trying to understand the gag, know that Crawford and the Spurs have a long and illustrious history of contention, and Spurs fans essentially think Crawford is unrelentingly out to "get the Spurs."
- The big hit single from Joey Crawford and the Spurs: