NBA Referee Eric Lewis Excluded from Finals Amid Twitter Controversy

Eric Lewis, a referee for the National Basketball Association (NBA), was excluded from working the NBA Finals between the Denver Nuggets and Miami Heat. This is because the league is investigating whether he used a Twitter account to defend himself and other officials from online critiques. Lewis had been chosen to work the Finals in each of the past four seasons. The league announced this year’s Finals referees on Thursday morning, about 12 hours before the start of the title series.

NBA Investigating Eric Lewis’ Tweets

The league opened an investigation into whether Lewis violated NBA rules by speaking about officiating in an unauthorized manner. Some now-deleted tweets were revealed by a pair of Twitter users last week, which led to the investigation. It has not been determined whether Lewis was using the account, which uses the name “blair cuttliff.” The account was deactivated briefly last week but was active again on Wednesday evening.

NBA spokesperson Mike Bass said 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 revealed a timetable for the completion of its probe into whether Lewis used the Twitter account. It also remains unknown what discipline from the league Lewis could face if he broke policy by discussing officiating matters openly without approval.

12 Referees Picked for Nuggets-Heat Matchup

Of the 12 referees picked for the Nuggets-Heat matchup, nine worked the title series last season. Scott Foster will be a Finals referee for the 16th year, while Tony Brothers and Marc Davis are 12-time selections. Zach Zarba was picked for the 10th time, John Goble for the seventh, David Guthrie for the sixth, Josh Tiven for the fourth, and Courtney Kirkland and James Williams for the third.

Ed Malloy, now an eight-time pick, and Bill Kennedy — picked for the fifth time — are returning to the referee lineup for the Finals. The only first-time selection this year is Kevin Scott, who began working NBA games in the 2010-11 season. Tyler Ford and Ben Taylor have been assigned as Finals alternates. Foster has officiated 23 NBA Finals games, followed by Davis (18) and Brothers (15).

Eric Lewis’ Professional Experience

Lewis has worked over 1,200 games, counting the regular season and the playoffs, in his 19 seasons as an NBA referee. He last worked on May 16 when Denver played host to the Los Angeles Lakers in Game 1 of the Western Conference finals. Reports of the tweets came out about a week later.

Byron Spruell, the league’s president of basketball operations, said, “The pinnacle for an NBA official is to work the NBA Finals.” Besides Lewis, the other referees who worked the 2022 Finals but aren’t working them this year are Kane Fitzgerald, who left on-court work after last season and took over in September as the league’s vice president of referee operations and replay center principal, and James Capers, who is injured.

Eric Lewis, an NBA referee, was excluded from working the NBA Finals between the Denver Nuggets and Miami Heat due to an ongoing investigation into whether he used a Twitter account to defend himself and other officials from online critiques. The league has not revealed a timetable for the completion of its probe into whether Lewis used the Twitter account. Out of the 12 referees picked for the Nuggets-Heat matchup, nine worked the title series last season. Foster has officiated 23 NBA Finals games, followed by Davis (18) and Brothers (15).

NBA

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