Joey Crawford Rumors
Despite the Spurs’ at-time checkered history with Crawford, easily the NBA’s most famous official, Popovich said the veteran of 39 NBA seasons will be missed. “Everybody’s got to retire sometime. You and I will too,” Popovich said before the Spurs faced Houston on Saturday. “But you hate to see someone who is that good at his craft not be doing it anymore. He’s obviously been an iconic figure for a long time.”
One of the most recognizable figures in the NBA and an enduring Philadelphia basketball legend has made his most challenging call. Joe Crawford, the official known for his passion and his professionalism, will retire at the end of this season, his 39th in the NBA. “I’m done,” he said.
At 64, Crawford hopes to continue working in the executive side of the NBA in some capacity involving officiating. But the famous No. 17 will no longer be seen on the floor, making tough calls, threatening technical fouls, smiling with the coaches, enjoying the fans. “There’s nothing to be sorry about,” Crawford said. “You know what happens? It’s not that you lose your passion. I have that. That’s insanity. But it just comes to the point where you say, ‘I don’t want to make a fool out of myself.’ And it’s been so good that I want to go out on a high note. I don’t want to go out on a low note. I want to be in the NBA Finals, and I don’t want to be reffing just for the sake of reffing.”
“We will never, ever see another Dick Bavetta-type in the NBA again,” said longtime ref Danny Crawford. “A guy like Dick and a guy like Joey Crawford and Jake O’Donnell and Earl Strom, those guys had names. After that, I think we’re all pretty uniform and nobody knows who the hell you are. They don’t want us to bring attention to ourselves. Back then they could show that individuality. But after Dick and Joey Crawford, that era of guys who were well-known is over. All of us blend in from that point on.”
Joey Crawford, one of the NBA’s senior referees, pulled up lame in the first half near the Clippers’ bench and had to leave the game. LA coach Doc Rivers said afterward that it looked like Crawford suffered a knee injury. “I was worried,” Rivers said. “He grabbed me and I helped him to the bench. I was very concerned, but it looks like a meniscus (injury), from what I hear. You don’t want to lose Joey. I can tell you that.”