Joey Crawford is officiating tonight's pivotal Game 5 Western Conference Semifinals between the New Orleans Hornets and San Antonio Spurs.
Crawford was suspended late last season after threatening Spurs superstar Tim Duncan to a fight. One wonders if NBA Commissioner David Stern really cares about whether a fair game is called or not. He quickly cleaned up the Tim Donaghy scandal to avoid a PR fallout, but other than that incident the league has done very little to ensure consistent and high-quality officiating. Already during these playoffs the Pistons were beneficiaries of a three-pointer that shouldn't have counted in what ended up being a close game.
And Crawford just handed Spurs coach Gregg Popovich a technical foul. Whether that call was completely deserved or out of spite, fans shouldn't even have an option to consider. Crawford should not be refereeing Spurs games only a year after his outburst.
The NBA: where a really long postseason marred by officiating controversies happens.