Joey Crawford will officiate Game 2
Joey Crawford will be one of the three officials Sunday in Game 2 of the NBA Finals, marking the first time that the veteran referee will call a Finals game involving the San Antonio Spurs since his controversial ejection of Tim Duncan during the 2006-07 season.
The NBA revealed its officiating crew for Game 2 on Sunday afternoon, announcing that Crawford would work the game with Ed Malloy and Ken Mauer.
Crawford, an NBA referee since 1977, ejected Duncan from a regular-season game against the Dallas Mavericks on April 15, 2007 because the two-time league MVP was laughing while seated on the bench.
Crawford consequently was suspended for the remainder of the regular season and the entire 2007 postseason for "improper conduct" and "inappropriate comments" made toward Duncan. In a statement released by the NBA following the suspension, commissioner David Stern said Crawford "failed to meet the standards of professionalism and game management."
The Spurs won the league championship that season, sweeping the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA Finals to capture their fourth title with Duncan and longtime coach Gregg Popovich.
San Antonio is back in the NBA Finals this season for the first time since 2007 and owns a 1-0 series lead over the Miami Heat.
The 61-year-old Crawford's most recent game this postseason was Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals between the Heat and the Indiana Pacers. LeBron James received a technical foul in the first quarter and was whistled for four fouls over the final 12 minutes, fouling out of a postseason game for just the second time in his career, as Miami struggled to a 99-92 loss in Indiana.