NBA referee Bill Spooner has decided to sue AP writer Jon Krawczynski for comments he made on his Twitter account. Krawczynski had tweeted that Spooner told Minnesota Timberwolves coach Kurt Rambis that he would “get it back” after a bad call was made against the Timberwolves. Basically it boils down to a writer claiming that an NBA referee was planning to give the Wolves a make-up call, and said writer also claiming that the referee told the coach he was going to do it. The Associated Press has already stated that they believe their writer.
The post in question is one that Krawczynski put on his Twitter account during the Jan. 24 game between the Timberwolves and the Houston Rockets. The post reads, “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.”
It’s a bold statement for a reporter to be making, and Krawczynski has kept it up on his Twitter account even through all the flak he is receiving. While it might be easy to give him credit for that, it is equally disheartening that one side of this public argument has to be wrong.
One of these parties is telling a lie in public now, and neither outcome would be good for the league. Either a game referee is promising that he will make specific calls that favor one team, or a sideline reporter for an NBA franchise is posting false statements. It really boils down to one of those cases where it is the word of one man against the word of another, and where quite a few people are bashing the referee already. It’s true that referees have made bad calls in the past, and it has led many to assume that Spooner must have done what the writer is claiming.
One item that has not been brought up here is that there is a definite witness in this case. Timberwolves coach Rambis can weigh in with his thoughts on the matter, and it could be straightened out in a matter of moments. He was there to hear any possible statement that Spooner may have made, and he can either confirm or refute what the AP writer is claiming. Maybe this is what Spooner wants, because if the case were to make it to the courtroom, he could then call Rambis as a witness to testify about what really happened. That is also providing that a court actually wants to hear this case.
According to ESPN, Spooner is suing for over $75,000 in damages with a request that the Twitter post be taken down and a retraction statement be made.