Hopefully the Miami Heat and San Antonio Spurs have been practicing their faces of disbelief, because Joey Crawford will be refereeing Game 2 of the NBA Finals.
Per Ira Winderman of the South Florida SunSentinel, Crawford—along with Ed Malloy, Ken Mauer and Marc Davis (alternate)—will be sporting his black-and-whites Sunday night.
Joe Crawford, Ed Malloy, Ken Mauer, Marc Davis (alternate) your referees for tonight's Heat-Spurs, 8 p.m., ABC.— Ira Winderman (@IraHeatBeat) June 9, 2013
Of course, the only name anyone cares about is Crawford's. It was breaking news when he was seen checking into a Miami hotel, like he was an A-list celebrity being tailed by paparazzi.
NBA referee Joey Crawford spotted checking into Miami hotel on Saturday morning. Game 2 set for Sunday night.— Ben Golliver (@blazersedge) June 8, 2013
Really, he's more of a sideshow than a celebrity. From in-game dancing to poor clock management, every game Crawford refs is an adventure.
GIF courtesy of Gifulmination.
The Spurs know this. To be more specific, Tim Duncan knows this.
Game 2 will mark the first finals game Crawford has officiated involving the Spurs since he was suspended in 2007 after he ejected Duncan for laughing.
The incident, which occurred in an April 15 game against the Dallas Mavericks, forced Crawford to miss the remainder of the 2006-07 campaign, playoffs included. His suspension was lifted prior to the start of the 2007-08 season.
Afterward, Duncan—who was fined $25,000 for his role in the incident—told ESPN that Crawford had a "personal vendetta" against him.
“He looked at me and said, 'Do you want to fight? Do you want to fight?'" Duncan explained. “If he wants to fight, we can fight."
Though Duncan and Crawford are more than six years removed from the debacle, tensions have continued to surface. This past Halloween, Duncan and Tony Parker were photographed in costume, pointing toy guns at a party-goer dressed up as Crawford, according to Ben Golliver of Sports Illustrated.
San Antonio isn't the only Game 2 participant that has incurred the wrath of Crawford, either. He was reffing what quickly became a flop fest in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals, a contest Miami lost.
While it was the Indiana Pacers who won, it was Crawford who stole the show, as per usual.
Joey Crawford vs the Spurs and Heat. Tonight at 8pm.— Ethan J. Skolnick (@EthanJSkolnick) June 9, 2013
One can only hope that we're spared from a duplicate, Joey Crawford-trademark performance in Game 2.