Tuesday , Apr , 17 , 2007 C.Y. Ellis

NBA official Joey Crawford suspended; Duncan fined

New York, NY (Sports Network) – The NBA has suspended official Joey Crawford
indefinitely and fined San Antonio Spurs center Tim Duncan $25,000 for their
actions during and after Sunday’s game.

Crawford’s suspension will cover at least the remainder of the season and the
NBA playoffs after it was terminated that his conduct towards Duncan during
the Spurs’ 91-86 loss to Dallas was improper.

Duncan’s fine was for verbal abuse of a game official.

Late in the third quarter of Sunday’s game, Crawford hit Duncan with a pair of
technicals, resulting in his ejection. The odd part is that Duncan, who ended
the game with 16 points, seven rebounds and six assists, wasn’t on the floor
when he received either.

He was hit with his first technical with 2:20 left when he apparently had some
choice words for Crawford. Then, with 1:04 remaining in the stanza, Duncan was
ejected and this time replays showed he didn’t say anything. Crawford, though,
took exception to Duncan’s apparent obnoxious laughter after Crawford called a
foul on the Spurs’ Fabricio Oberto.

“Joey has a personal problem with me and I can’t do anything about that,” said
Duncan afterwards. “I said three words to him the entire night and the other
words were when the two times he gave me technicals, so he’s obviously got a
personal problem with me.”

It took a couple of minutes for Duncan to leave the court, as he stopped a few
times to yell at Crawford, who decided that was the time to not acknowledge
Duncan.

“I don’t know what else they want me to do,” said Duncan on Sunday. “If he
wants camera time then he’s going to call the techs and get the camera time he
wants. So I don’t know what his deal is.

“I don’t have a problem with Joey. Obviously he’s got a problem with me.”

Duncan also said that Crawford yelled at him “Do you want to fight?”

“Joey Crawford’s handling of this situation failed to meet the standards of
professionalism and game management we expect of NBA referees,” said NBA
commissioner David Stern in a release.

“Especially in light of similar prior acts by this official, a significant
suspension is warranted. Although Joey is consistently rated as one of our top
referees, he must be held accountable for his actions on the floor, and we
will have further discussions with him following the season to be sure he
understands his responsibilities.”

Crawford has more than 30 years of NBA officiating experience.

SAN