No News is Bad News. Join the SA Current Press Club.

Friday, August 24, 2018

Referee Joey Crawford Admits He Had to See a Psychiatrist After He Ejected Tim Duncan for Laughing

Posted By on Fri, Aug 24, 2018 at 11:33 AM

  • Twitter
Most San Antonians remember the time Tim Duncan was ejected from a game. In fact, it was the only time he got ejected in his 19-year career.

For laughing.

While San Antonians were both puzzled and amused, the referee who made the call, the strict, quick-tempered Joey Crawford, was not.

In an ESPN article published Thursday, senior writer Jackie MacMullan looked at "the life of an NBA ref" and included the now-retired Crawford. He shared that the bizarre run-in with Duncan was actually a pivotal moment in his life.

Here's a refresher. Duncan, who was sitting on the bench during a regular season game against the Dallas Mavericks in 2007, started laughing.
"I threw him. That laugh bothered me," Crawford told ESPN. "I thought it was incredibly disrespectful. I knew the minute it happened I was gonna be in trouble."

Duncan received a technical foul, which made him laugh even more. Crawford not only ejected Duncan from the game but also challenged the Spur to a fist-fight. While Duncan was being escorted off the court, coach Gregg Popovich, as he always does, began arguing with the ref.

When David Stern, who was the NBA Commissioner at the time, got wind of the incident, he ordered Crawford to take care of his mental health.

"[The suspension] was a big deal. It really shook me," Crawford said. "That's when I realized, 'I gotta do something about this.' I had to talk to a professional to help me deal with all the anger."

Stern fined Duncan $25,000 for verbal abuse of an official and suspended Crawford for the remainder of the season. The longtime referee thought his career was over. But he started seeing a psychiatrist and was able to return to the court for almost another decade. He retired in 2016 after nearly 40 years.

Stay on top of San Antonio news and views. Sign up for our Weekly Headlines Newsletter.

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

San Antonio Current works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of San Antonio and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep San Antonio's true free press free.

Read the Digital Print Issue

October 21, 2020

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.


© 2020 San Antonio Current

Website powered by Foundation