If, by some weird fluke, you chose to go out rather than watch Andrew Bynum's return to Philly and were not glued to your television set for last Friday night's meeting of the Philadelphia 76ers and the Cleveland Cavaliers, you might have missed the latest installment of the NBA's weirdest-running reality show, "Joey Crawford: Celebrity Referee." Previous episodes have included a very demonstrative blocking call, a first-half ejection of a head coach and his lead assistant during a playoff game, and a very weird decision to feud with Tim Duncan. (Tim won the 2007 Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series for his performance, if memory serves.)
Don't worry about forgetting to DVR it, though — I've got the highlight from this week's ep right here. With just over three minutes remaining in the third quarter and the Sixers leading by 11, Cleveland wing C.J. Miles was called for traveling, giving the ball back to Philly. As Crawford prepared to give the ball to Sixers big man Lavoy Allen to trigger the inbounds, he noticed that something was amiss, and had what appears to be a completely reasonable response to that realization:
Having to mop a floor in front of (a reported) 15,219 people is bad enough, but having your technique and effectiveness aired out must be pretty much the worst. I mean, Joey Crawford said he needed two guys with towels to make up for what he perceived to be this young man's fruitless mopping — considering mopping is pretty much the top line of his job description, that's a pretty cold card-pull. Sorry, man.
On one hand, Crawford's doing what he believes he needs to do to ensure safety — if someone slips and falls along the sideline, whether it's Allen while putting the ball in play, a front-row patron getting up to go use the facilities, or a player bumped along the boundary while going for a loose ball, then we'd all be getting on him for dereliction of duty. On the other, though, attention-seeking like this seems like it should be at least a bit beneath a long-tenured professional of Crawford's stature, even though it very clearly isn't and is basically the main thing any NBA fan knows about Crawford at this point. At some point, he's going to make the proceedings about himself, and we'll just have to sit with it, because he's the one with the whistle and he decides when play can and cannot resume. And woe betide any mopper whose work falls below his exacting criteria.
It's also worth noting that this isn't the first time in recent memory that Crawford has complained about insufficient sideline swiffing, because of course it isn't:
Joey Crawford is not OK with the performance of the kids who mop stuff up. Not dry enough for Joey's standards apparently.
— Bullets Forever (@BulletsForever) April 2, 2013
So head's up, mop-staff at Sleep Train Arena. Joey's headed your way for the Brooklyn Nets-Sacramento Kings game on Wednesday, and if you don't keep that court bone flippin' dry, you could be the next guest star on "Joey Crawford: Celebrity Referee." And you certainly don't want that.
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