Many NBA fans, including those of us here at BDL, consider Joey Crawford the NBA's most visible referee. Part of that has to do with the fact that he's been officiating NBA games for more than 35 years, meaning you've probably seen his cue-ball kruller more often than any of his contemporaries (save, perhaps, for the eminently smoochable Dick Bavetta). But part of it also has to do with Crawford's hair-trigger temper — an issue to which he readily admits and on which he has worked with professionals — and his eagerness to place himself at the center of the action.
[Related: Lakers lose ugly game against Pacers]
Texas-area fans surely remember Crawford ejecting Dallas Mavericks head coach Don Nelson and lead assistant Del Harris in the first half of Game 2 of the 2003 Western Conference finals, leading some to think the outcome of that affair was predetermined (or perhaps just that Crawford himself wanted to determine it), and Crawford's oddball beefing with Tim Duncan in 2007, which earned him a suspension (later rescinded) and led San Antonio Spurs fans to think the ref had a vendetta against their favorite team and player. (Not the case, apparently.) These are just some of the most notable examples; in smaller ways, Crawford often seems determined to draw our eye away from the players and toward the bald dude in the gray top.
Well, if he's going to work so hard to do make himself the topic of conversation, the least he can do is shake a tailfeather in the process. So, on some level, we appreciate Crawford's extra effort on this blocking call against Chris Duhon with 75 seconds remaining in a tie game between the Los Angeles Lakers and Indiana Pacers on Tuesday:
Although, considering Duhon sure seemed to have established defensive position in enough time to warrant a charging call against Pacers forward David West, that West went on to hit one of two free throws to give Indiana the lead rather than giving L.A. the ball with a chance to take control, and that the Pacers went on to win by two points on a tie-breaking last-second shot by George Hill, you could understand Lakers fans, players and coaches not finding Crawford's high-stepping quite as adorable as the rest of us.
I guess that means the rest of us will just have to enjoy even more to make up for them.
If the clip above isn't rocking for you, feel free to check out Crawford's Tuesday night fever elsewhere, thanks to YouTube user, um, "therealVANESSABRYANT."
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