Ref Eric Lewis Out Of NBA Finals Amid Tweet Investigation

Ref Eric Lewis Out Of NBA Finals Amid Tweet Investigation
Ref Eric Lewis Out Of NBA Finals Amid Tweet Investigation

Eric Lewis was not chosen to be one of the 12 officials who will work the NBA Finals between the Denver Nuggets and the Miami Heat because the league is still investigating whether he utilized a Twitter account to defend himself and other officials from online criticism. As a result, the NBA Finals will occur between the Denver Nuggets and the Miami Heat.

In each of the previous four seasons, Lewis was the one who got the job of working the finals. The league announced this year’s referees for the championship series on Thursday morning, approximately 12 hours before the first game of the championship series.

A week ago, two individuals on Twitter unearthed certain remarks that Lewis had since deleted, which prompted the league to launch an inquiry to determine whether or not Lewis had violated NBA rules by speaking about officiating in an unapproved manner. There has been no investigation into whether Lewis was the account user that uses the name “Blair Cliff.” The account was returned on Wednesday evening after a brief period of inactivity earlier this week.

According to comments made by an NBA representative on Thursday, “Regarding Eric Lewis and the social media posts, we are continuing to review the matter, and he will not be working the finals,”

The league has not disclosed an expected completion date for its investigation into whether or not Lewis used the Twitter account. It also needs to be determined what kind of disciplinary action the league would take against Lewis if he is found to have violated the policy by publicly discussing officiating topics without first receiving consent.

Adam Silver, the commissioner of the NBA, made the announcement late Thursday night. “We decided that given that investigation was ongoing and it remains ongoing, that it would not be appropriate for him to work in these finals,” Silver said. “I have no idea what the outcome of anything will be. We’ll have to wait and see where the facts lead us.

Nine officials who will be working tonight’s game between the Nuggets and the Heat are the same ones who officiated last year’s championship series. While Tony Brothers and Marc Davis were selected for the 12th time, Scott Foster will be working as a referee for the finals for the 16th consecutive year. Courtney Kirkland and James Williams have both been chosen for the third time, while Zach Zarba has now been selected ten times. John Goble was chosen for the seventh time, David Guthrie was selected for the sixth time, and Josh Tiven was chosen for the fourth time.

Ed Malloy, who has already been selected for refereeing eight times, and Bill Kennedy, who has been chosen for refereeing five times, will both be participating in the finals as referees. Kevin Scott, who began working NBA games in the 2010-11 season, is the lone player to be selected for the NBA All-Star Game for the first time this year.

It has been decided that Tyler Ford and Ben Taylor will serve as finals alternates. First place goes to Foster with 23 games officiated in the NBA Finals, followed by Davis with 18 and Brothers with 15.

According to Byron Spruell, the president of basketball operations for the NBA, “Working the NBA Finals is the highest honor that can be bestowed upon an NBA official.”

On Thursday night, Davis, Guthrie, and Malloy were on the field for Game 1 of the series. In a typical championship series, there are 12 referees, and each official works one of the first four games.

In addition to Lewis, the other referees who worked the 2022 finals but are not working them this year are Kane Fitzgerald, who left on-court work at the end of the previous season and took over as the league’s Vice President of Referee Operations and Replay Center Principal in September, and James Capers, who is injured. Lewis was the only referee who worked both the 2022 and 2023 finals.

In his 19 seasons as an NBA referee, Lewis has worked more than 1,200 games. This number includes matches from both the regular season and the playoffs. His most recent shift was on May 16, when the Denver Nuggets played home to the Los Angeles Lakers in the opening game of the Western Conference finals. It took roughly a week for the reports of the tweets to become public.



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