Monday, April 16th, 2007 at 9:03 am  |  36 responses

The D.A.Y. of playoff clinching and Joey Crawford bigger than the game

50 more from Kobe. Thankfully Joey couldn’t eject him too.

By Sam Rubenstein

With the NBA season wrapping up and playoff seeding HEY!!! YOU CAN’T TALK TO ME LIKE THAT! YOU WANNA FIGHT?!? Excuse me, there are still games being played that will shape up the bottom of the playoff picture and that O.K. THAT IS IT! YOU ARE OUT OF HERE! GET OFF MY COURT! I AM BIGGER THAN THE GAME AND IT’S PLAYERS! DON’T YOU LOOK AT ME LIKE THAT. I KNOW WHAT YOU ARE THINKING. HIT THE SHOWERS. GO HOME. I WILL FIGHT YOU. I AM PUGNACIOUS!

I’m having a little bit of fun with the Joey Crawford-Tim Duncan fiasco, as you can hopefully tell. Mutoni already wrote about it, so instead I’ll just entertain you with tales of my weekend, which included painting my apartment, and then more painting, followed by surviving a monsoon with a leaky roof, and then more painting. You know what, I’ll keep that to myself. Unlike Joey, I realize that I have a role to play here, and it’s not to put myself over the NBA and its players, whom you are here to read about. Sure, I can throw in some personal anecdotes and make myself a part of the show. But without an NBA and its players to talk about, this website would cease to exist. Joey Crawford does not seem to have his head wrapped around the concept of being a complementary part of a star-driven machine. I am operating under the assumption that Crawford was 150% wrong and no story is gong to come out later that Duncan went Robbie Alomar on him or something.

Okay, one amusing tale from the weekend for all of you LOST fans. I was at a bar on Friday in the vicinity of a pool table. Four really annoying guys with guitar cases came back there to play and I swear to God they had to be the real life version of Driveshaft. The lead singer “Liam” character was the most annoying alpha male type of guy I have had to deal with in a long time. The “Challlllllllie” character was innocently not so innocently hitting on my girlfriend and her friend. I almost had to knuckle up like Joey Crawford. For you non-LOST fans, this paragraph has been useless.

Back to Crawford-Duncan for a moment.. When the NBA cleaned up their policy on player-referee relations early this season, it was supposed to cut down on the hot headed, me-first, trash talking, self-entitled superstars, and the mild mannered public servants they abused, whom protected our beloved league from their swarthiness. This is very backwards. Tim Duncan might make the huge eyeball face, stare in disbelief like he’s just seen a magic trick, and complain about calls, but he is hardly the kind of guy that policy was made to shut up. For The tough guy ref to be the one to go at it with the league’s quietest all-time legend, that’s not what Stern had in mind. Just the fact that we all know who Joey Crawford is, and what his style is like, is a problem for the NBA. Lang and I were at a Nets-Mavs game this season and Joey tossed a fan for cursing at him. Mr. Crawford, get it together.

Alright, the games that were played. In meaningless action, Toronto beat the Knicks 107-105, though Emry DowningHall gets to say “I told you so” as Mardy Collins put up a 12 and 11 effort as the starting PG. Fortunately for the Knicks, the NY tabloids have the Yankees pitching injuries and the Imus fallout to obsess over. Mike and the Mad Dog are temporarily taking his spot here in the morning. That’s kind of like Katie Couric going from fluff morning news to hard hitting President grilling anchor. Oh. Good luck Professor Francessa! I personally think Mad Dog is the most annoying person in the history of the universe, but that means he is doing his job correctly.

Philly beat Detroit behind 26 from Willie Green. Dallas got past San Antonio in a game that was playoff intense until Joey Crawford decided to take the proverbial air out of the balloon.

Onto the playoff implication games.

The Wizards did beat the Hawks in their Gilbert and Caron-free days, but the Bulls dropped the hammer on them. Combined with Jersey’s win over Indy, getting 35 from Vince and 25 from Nachbar on 6 of 6 from downtown, and the Nets are now just a game back of catching Washington. That could potentially set up the Vince vs. Toronto series that we were talking about all last week. Chicago is holding off Cleveland in the race for the #2 seed. If the Wiz complete their slide and end up at #7, then winning that #2 seed could be huge for the Bulls or Cavs cause it’s basically like a two week bye week. Of course, Washington could also slide all the way to #8 and Detroit would receive the bye.

Hedo Turkoglu made a game wining defensive play on Delonte West. Is that the kind of sentence that will get you to read more about this game? The Magic clinched a playoff spot, and can still move up if the Wizards and/or Nets lose games. Al Jefferson played for some reason and hit 14 of 20 shots for 28 points. Did Doc and Ainge cave to all the public humiliation about how they tanked harder than anyone this year? Very shady that one of their best young players could come back and do this right off the bat, against a Dwight Howard team.

The Kings finally came through for the fans. They played hard even though they won’t be going to the playoffs, and knocked the Clippers down so the Warriors can claim that 8th seed for the Golden State-Dallas first round Nelliefest. The Warriors did their part by demolishing the T-Wolves. It took a 42 point fourth quarter of garbage time for the T-Wolves to get it even that close. Ricky Davis scored 42. It is truly amazing how the less important a game is to his team, the better he plays. J-Rich did it all for the Warriors with 32-12-7. Golden State is so close to finally ending their playoff drought.

Kobe Bryant has reached a place where you can see that he scored 50 points and take it for granted. That is exactly what he did, and the Lakers clinched their playoff spot. Right now they are a half game ahead of Golden State in the race for the seventh seed. So, we need the Warriors to keep winning, but not too much, and we need the Lakers to keep winning too.

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  • Danny W UK

    First Baby. Go Kings.

    Kobe to average 50 per for the Playoffs?

  • http://threeinthekey.wordpress.com/ Sebastian

    Chicago looked real good though, they probably would have won even if they had their stars.

  • Rami

    Its not like the Raptors played yesterday or anything.

  • Boing Dynasty

    Look closer, Rami

  • http://www.friendster.com/sesa Sesa

    This Duncan-Crawford battle is gonna be good. David Stern will have a huge problem in his hands.

    This is the next big NBA drama that everyone been waiting for.

  • http://slamonline.com Sam Rubenstein

    Yeah, the NBA has its hands tied. They have to take action against Crawford now, which is the last thing they wanted to do. Bad officiating made a mockery of the Finals last year. The players now seem to have the power. Crawford can’t be allowed to ref these playoffs. Remember, he’s the one that ejected Haslem for throwing his mouthpiece at him (though that was the right call at the time). He’s looking for trouble instead of trying to diffuse it.
    Sorry I glossed over the Raptors, but they’re kind of just hanging out staying fresh for the playoffs.

  • Blue



  • http://threeinthekey.wordpress.com/ Sebastian

    Isn’t Crawford the one who kicked out AI earlier in the year or late last year? Anyway, here is video of the second T and the ejection.


  • Rami

    damn. i’m retarded. what the number for hooked on phonics again?

  • Piedie

    Kobe Kobe Kobe…

    If only the Lakers would have been healthy all year, they would have had the 6th seed and Kobe… MVP?

    Sam…? Kobe… MVP:)

  • white hot eboy

    F*@k Joey, little bald b#$ch, he’s always sucked as a ref!! And anyone else that watched the game had to have seen the play that occured seconds after Timmy’s second tech. Spurs had the ball, I think Jacque Vaughn was about to shoot a three, Josh Howard started to run out but Umberto was setting a screen in front of Jacque and Howard basically jumped and DROPKICKED Umberto and….Umberto got called for an offensive foul! Unreal! F@#k the Mavs, I hope they run into the Spurs and get their asses handed to them. They’ve only been cryin’ for a year so it’s getting close to their usually choke time.! BTW…no mention of D-Wade coming back to life on Friday and puttin’ the league on notice that the Heat aren’t quite dead yet! And no benefits of 15 free throws in the 4th quarter either for the haters!

  • J

    Timmy D should drop a mixtape addressing his beef with Javey. Maybe Parker can help him out ghostwriting.

  • Nadav Mor

    Whatever. He ejected Duncan. Big deal. I dont think refs are there to be “a complementary part of a star-driven machine”. That’s like saying a caoch shouldnt bench his star player because people come to see the star. Crawford probably overreacted, but let it go. No big deal.

  • whooo!

    nadav, it’s a big deal because this guy refs a lot of important games. to think that losing your franchise player in the 3rd quarter won’t affect the outcome of a game? it may have cost them the 2nd seed, not because of a missed call, but because the ref was taking over the game.

  • Nadav Mor

    How did he take over? He did his job. No one knows what exactly happend there. Sam himself is assuming Crawford is wrong. Assumptions are nice, and of course all of us are on TD’s side. What if it was Ron Ron or Carmelo?

  • http://slamonline.com mutoni

    re kobe: that double-clutch fadeaway late in the fourth quarter. disgusting. does anyone recall if mj’s 50 point explosions when he was leading a title-less bulls squad were met with this much disinterest.

  • Earl

    Lang – It is MY opinion that when Crawford asked Duncan to fight he was probably not talking about an all out fist fight. He probably meant arguing. As in,” Youre arguing with my call. I can give you a technical, do you want to FIGHT about this? If you wanna fight lets fight and I’ll throw you out of the game.” He meant fighting over the officiating.
    As crazy as it was to throw Duncan out for laughing from the bench I have a hard time believing that a ref with as many years of experience as Jeoy would challenge Duncan to a fistfight. He knows that anything said along those lines would be in the paper and draw a lot of attention.
    Im not saying that its impossible he meant putting on the gloves, but I really think it comes down to Duncan taking those words out of context.
    Just a humble Rocket fans opinion. Jazz suck.

  • http://slamonline.com Sam Rubenstein

    Well, here’s the video if you want to judge for yourself: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ky6Rqf6iYJI
    To me that looks like a guy who could have been laughing for a million different reasons.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Emry DowningHall

    I’m not the “I told you so” type but w/ the Knicks removed from the postseason I’m glad Mardy is getting a chance to do what he does on the court and brush off the JR Smith/Melo incident. Also, there are few tougher jobs then being a ref (as a former hoops camp ref I can attest) but the 101 on that tip is to keep things in line without changing the outcome. Joey must have been dealing with his own thing cause he was trippin!

  • whooo!

    nadav, i dunno what you mean by we’re all assuming? i watched the game, the replays. there is no way to argue that joey crawford was in line or correct.

  • white hot eboy

    mutoni, the problem with Kobe is that he was the games ultimate winner a few short seasons ago and now he is viewed as the leagues best gunner (if not the best scorer) and nothing more. His team is shi$ty at best and unless they can pull some star power next year, they’ll still be shit$y! Michael hadn’t won anything at that point, so when all he did was put up huge numbers he was looked upon as some flashy punk who scores alot but can’t win and Kobe had the rep already when he was 20! Now he’s reverted to “flashy punk” status albeit: the most talented one in the league. What a shame! If Lebron was throwing 50′s up on the regular people wouldn’t be too suprised because you know he has the ability but he just hasn’t built up the heart yet to be cold-blooded.

  • Shiz

    Joey Crawford is a putz, plain and simple

  • Boing Dynasty

    The funny part is, Rob Horry starts laughing after Duncan get the tech. For laughing. Consistancy?

  • Dblizzy!

    Yeah Nadav you’re buggin. They showed his reaction from the time the whistle was blown and all he did was laugh. Even if he was laughing at the call so what, did he deserve an ejection?
    It doesn’t matter who the player is, a referee should not have an impact on the outcome of the game, other than making proper calls. That was not a proper call, that was a ref who thought he was being shown-up and decided to flex his muscle or should I say whistle.

    TD should definitely fight it though.

  • Dblizzy!

    Tim Duncan calling Crawford a piece of feces as he walked off the court was classin though!

  • Evan

    My question is this: Why is Crawford giving technicals from the opposite side of the floor. In both cases there was another ref much closer. If Tim had been that far out of line shouldn’t the ref right by him have acted? Either way, J. Crawford- 6th Man of the Year.

  • http://slamonline.com Sam Rubenstein

    The extra funny part of the whole thing is that if you keep watching, the call after Duncan gets ejected is a horrible call that goes against the Spurs. And by the way, the foul that started the whole thing should have been a non-call, and Duncan was right to laugh at it. If players are getting T’d up for reacting to bad calls against their team while they are sitting on the bench, it’s time to start a new rule book.

  • H to the izzo

    Josh Howard ran head-first into Orberto and tackle him in a away that would make Michael Strahan proud–and apparently Howard was fouled——Well played Joey

  • Celtic Fan

    wait.. there are NON-Lost fans???

    get the f#&k outta here!

  • http://the-seed.net/suns Hersey

    When the BETcats beat the Heat in Miami about a week ago, there was a similar play to the Duncan tech. One of the Cats got a block but there was a late whistle for a foul. Two guys on the bench jumped up in reaction to the block but one guy tripped and started to fall over, his teammate was trying to catch him and it looked like a commotion at the end of the bench. Technical foul. Of course Wade missed the free throw but it was a ridiculous call in tight game that went to OT.

  • http://dailyballin.blogspot.com/ Jonathan

    I love how Horry laughs afterward when Crawford goes over. Joey Crawford is just a hot-headed ref.

  • ESPNC Addict

    Come on guys, give Joey a break…..he’s only got 1 more week before he has to give up the plush hotel living for the season and move back into mom’s basement for the off season. Hopefully he’ll get a little sespension or ban for the playoffs and a bit more time for internet porn. Maybe it’ll mellow him out a bit for next season!

  • ESPNC Addict

    Come on guys, give Joey a break…..he’s only got 1 more week before he has to give up the plush hotel living for the season and move back into mom’s basement for the off season. Hopefully he’ll get a little sespension or ban for the playoffs and a bit more time for internet porn. Maybe it’ll mellow him out a bit for next season!

  • 1hush D

    This brings me back to my website DumpDavidStern.com…..We need some content up there. Who wants to fill that shit up and then we can hit Cuban up for a full time job? I think I am going to see him in Oakland soon. Anyone know the guy beyond his entertaining tshirts? Meanwhile, dude in Texas has FireDavidStern.com….it is ok for chat but I want chat with serious content. Anyone independently wealthy and got time for website construction. I got to do real construction.

  • Wes

    Joey Crawford was kicked out of the NBA in the 1990’2 because he got busted for tax evasion. He ejected Tim Duncan on April 15th. He’s all bent out of shape because he did something illegal with his taxes again. That’s my theory. Crawford needs to be audited again.

  • http://www.spurs.com Spurs Fan

    Joey Crawford is a horrible ref, I don’t care how long he has been doing it. He been bad for years. AND he is an a$$hole to the spurs!!!