The only explanation i can come up with is that the NBA powers think Crawford is a character that fans "love to hate" or something, and therefore adds value. Otherwise, it just makes no sense. The first rule of officiating is don't make yourself part of the game, and yet i've never watched a game with crawford reffing where he wasnt a constant topic of conversation.
interesting that Crawford and Donaghy went to the same high school..although years apart obviously.
To me the biggest 'excuse' for NBA refs has been the speed of the game... I don't know how one determines competency in keeping up with the game, but it would seem that having refs like Crawford (60) and Bevetta (74) would be a strike against the NBA in this regard. I don't know what the best age is, but it would seem to be somewhere in the 35-50 range seemingly (are there any signs of decline with age?). I would hope that at least the NBA would consider forced retirement at some point.
In my mind the league should have never let Crawford ref another game after throwing out Tim Duncan. Or at least never been reinstated after his scam with the airline tickets. David Stern allows criticism of his league and questioning of its legitimacy by keeping guys like this around (that and how he assigns referees that have had altercations or clear biases against certain teams in pivotal games). Nevermind the sheer lack of any kind of investigation of Donaghy's accusations of other refs being corrupt as well...how basketball wasn't brought to its knees because of that scandal is beyond me... it should have been a story that eclipsed steroids in baseball imo...but it seemed to die rather quickly.
Christmas' Knicks game reminded me of why I love/hate the NBA. Every call can be questioned. I know that often fans say that the Celtics don't go to the hole as often as other teams, but in my opinion (admittedly biased) I see Rondo get tagged far harder than many of the calls that were made against the C's on Melo for instance.
The simple fact that we as fans have grown to accept that stars are treated differently in the NBA is a sign that we are resigned to a flawed system. Does this happen in the NFL? NHL? MLB (admittedly there is the Rivera strike zone, rookies vs. veterans etc...probably the most parallels, but MLB has tried to start to address this problem seemingly). In every other sport it would seem that fouls are at least earned by the star getting 'special treatment'... in the case of the NBA I feel like I do when I saw Knoblauch clearly miss the tag on Offerman when I see the disparity with how players are treated and how some fouls are obviously a fiction created by the given referee.
Edited by lars10, 27 December 2011 - 12:30 PM.