NBA Referee At The Center Of Twitter Controversy Has Retired, League Ends Investigation Into His Actions
Veteran National Basketball Association referee Eric Lewis has officially retired from the league following an investigation into an alleged Twitter burner account he used to respond to criticisms of himself and other officials.
According to Yahoo Sports, the NBA announced Lewis’ decision and the end of its examination of his actions on Wednesday, Aug. 30. “NBA referee Eric Lewis has informed the league office that he is retiring, effective immediately,” the league’s statement reads. “In light of his decision, the NBA’s investigation into social media activity has been closed.” In recent years, basketball fans and pundits have been vocal about the game being over-officiated. Broader rules, from what constitutes a flagrant foul to player suspensions during the playoffs due to missed calls or unnecessary technicals, have made the game a minefield of semantics for many.
Still, NBA officials are not allowed to comment publicly on their officiating without consent from the league.
When news of Lewis’ alleged activity made it to social media, some NBA players took the opportunity to air their grievances, specifically Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James, who had many run-ins with the referee throughout the season.
This Eric Lewis 💩 true??? 🤨
— LeBron James (@KingJames) May 27, 2023
Lewis is not the first league official to have his integrity called into question. Former NBA referee Tim Donaghy was revealed to have bet on games he officiated. An FBI probe into his actions found that he made calls to affect the overall point spread and took money from gamblers for inside tips on games and players; he would later serve 11 months of a 15-month prison sentence for his crimes. Donaghy said the league would demand referees give preferential treatment to its superstars in the Netflix documentary Operation Flagrant Foul. “When (commissioner) David Stern structured the league, we as officials knew that it was better to treat the star players better than others,” he said. “I just wanted to be the best referee and advance up the ladder, and I saw the way guys that were in the NBA Finals handled the game. They didn’t call fouls against the stars, and they were well respected.”