NBA Reinstates Pugilistic Ref

Veteran Crawford was suspended in April for 'improper conduct'
By Katherine Thompson,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 18, 2007 4:57 AM CDT
NBA Reinstates Pugilistic Ref
San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, left, talks with referee Joey Crawford (17) after Crawford ejected Spurs forward Tim Duncan during the second half of their basketball game against the Dallas Mavericks in Dallas, Sunday, April 15, 2007. Crawford was suspended indefinitely by commissioner David...   (Associated Press)

NBA commissioner David Stern reinstated referee Joey Crawford yesterday, telling ESPN that Crawford now "understands the standards of game management and professionalism the NBA expects." Stern had suspended the veteran official on April 17th after an on-court altercation with Spurs player Tim Duncan. Crawford ejected Duncan from the game, asking him, "Do you want to fight?"

Duncan didn't fight, but was fined $25,000 for verbally abusing Crawford following his second technical foul. Crawford, who has worked more postseason games than any active referee, has entered a counseling program and convinced Stern that in the future he will "conduct himself in accordance" with NBA standards. (Read more NBA stories.)

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