Every sports reporter that covers the NBA is about to shit bricks....An NBA referee is taking the Associated Press to court.
Bill Spooner, a 22-year veteran NBA official, is suing Minnesota Timberwolves beat reporter Jon Krawczynski for tweeting during a game that Spooner promised coach Kurt Rambis that he'd get the Wolves two points in the form of a make-up call, the Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal reports.
According to Spooner's suit, Rambis took umbrage with a foul called against his team in the second quarter of a Jan. 24 game against the Houston Rockets. Spooner then told an upset Rambis that he'd review the call at halftime.
Rambis asked how his team was supposed to get the two points back. While Spooner's suit claims he didn't respond to the Minnesota coach's question, Krawczynski tweeted otherwise.
"Ref Bill Spooner told Rambis he'd 'get it back' after a bad call," Krawczynski tweeted. "Then he made an even worse call on Rockets. That's NBA officiating folks."
Minnesota lost the game 129-125.
Spooner's suit seeks over $75,000 in damages along with both an unpublishing and retraction of the statement on the grounds that the tweet is a defamatory accusation.
"We believe all of the facts we reported from the game in question were accurate," AP Associate General Counsel Dave Tomlin said in a statement.
An AP spokesman said the organization has not yet been served with a lawsuit.
I don't see how the Ref wins. I'm sure everything that was said happened. It was reasonable for the reporter to view the bad call, watch the interaction with the coach, over hear parts of the conversation and tweet accordingly. A good defense attorney should have it thrown out in about 10 minutes. I've coached at a few different levels and refs will respond that way. In an NBA game, the Refs will learn then need to try to get the call correct the first time so they don't have to do make-up calls.