The NBA ref, an individual who encompasses great responsibility and trust over a basketball game. At any given time these individuals have the ability to control the flow and dynamic of the game. There are frequent occasions of questionable calls and decisions made by these same refs. Whether its a bogus foul of any fashion, many would agree there are a few NBA referees who shouldn’t be trusted with the handling of pivotal NBA games, but today we are merely discussing the lowest of the low.
Who will be the worst referee in the NBA?
Joey Crawford – Unanimous Decision
Greg Patuto: When being a referee or umpire, you should jut make the necessary calls and keep the game controlled. With all the new rules in sports, this is hard to do. Refs sometimes are given too much power and this example is certainly clear in current NBA ref Joey Crawford. Crawford is a ref who loves to be the center of attention. He is always making big calls, sometimes unnecessary, that could be costly. Crawford dishes out more technical and ejections then anyone in the league. Arguing is a part of the game and players and coaches should be able to express their emotions without penalty. When it comes to costly moves by Crawford, one game stands out.
Kevin Durant stood at the free throw line, his team down 100-98 with 27.5 seconds left in overtime against the Grizzlies in the Western Conference playoffs. Durant knocks down the first free throw to pull his team within one. When he receives the ball before the second free throw, Crawford immediately blows his whistle and runs to steal the ball from Durant. He walks over to the scores table to check if everything is correct. Durant went on to miss the free throw and the Thunder lost that game, 100-99. Crawford explained after the game that he wanted the scoreboard to show that both teams were in the penalty. That is a very small detail and it could have been fixed after the free throw was taken. It is plays like this that makes Joey Crawford the worst referee in the NBA.
Jared Cortes: Joey Crawford has long been considered one of the most controversial and strictest refs in the league. With nearly 40 years under his belt and 26 of the last 27 NBA Finals officiated by him, there’s always bound to be one controversial call in a Crawford refereed game. Known most for the suspension he received in 2007 after ejecting Tim Duncan for laughing on the bench, Crawford has been more contained in his officiating since. Nothing significant happened with Joey Crawford the past season, but he’s always a referee to watch when he’s officiating an NBA game.
Jr. Williams: Most NBA referees in the league deserve the benefit of the doubt, as they are far from being perfect and are expected to make a few bad calls from time to time, however, if Joey Crawford isn’t the worst referee in the league then I don’t know who is. We’re talking about a guy with a known grudge against Tim Duncan, and has also made some of the most controversial calls in NBA history. Crawford was suspended for most of the 2007 season and the playoffs because of the ejection Jared mentioned above. He was reinstated the next year, but every season you can continue to expect him to officiate an important and highly televised playoffs series packed with bogus calls, techs, and phantom fouls.
Last season many would argue that he attributed to the missed free throw by Kevin Durant in game 5 of the playoffs, costing OKC a chance to tie the game. His list of ejections and technical fouls are as long as the Great Wall of China, and many people would love nothing more than to see him retire (or worse).
In my opinion Crawford is a wanna be “Star NBA Ref” meanwhile his controversial and over exaggerated calls can be seen all over YouTube. He’s by far one of the most hated refs in the league, and this season I expect him to add even more horrible footage to his ever growing media library.