"Joey Crawford's handling of this situation failed to meet the standards of professionalism and game management we expect of NBA referees," NBA commissioner David Stern said. "Especially in light of similar prior acts by this official, a significant suspension is warranted. Although Joey is consistently rated as one of our top referees, he must be held accountable for his actions on the floor, and we will have further discussions with him following the season to be sure he understands his responsibilities."
He's done for the rest of the regular season and the playoffs. As bad as what he did on Sunday was, was it really worse for the sport than the performance of the officials during the Finals last year?
Excuse my bitterness, but this decision seems to make it pretty clear that the NBA feels keeping it's stars on the floor is far more important than the quality of the calls made.
David Stern is chatting on ESPN.com now
Update [2007-4-17 15:20:8 by Wes Cox]:
Most interesting thing from the chat.
Mark Heath, Dayton, OH: Why can't we have a HORSE tournament during the all-star break?
David Stern: We're open to it. I think we are continually looking for different ways to showcase our players skills. One issue there is competitiveness! We might get somebody so hot they will embarass everybody else. But we will look into it.
Make it happen!