“Son! You get your two-timing, ragamuffin keister over here and clean this wetness ‘fore I gets the belt out!”
That’s not exactly the exchange Joey Crawford had with a ball boy on Friday night, but it’s probably close.
The melodramatic official was in Philadelphia working the 76ers game when an awkward, sweat-mopping incident concluded with Crawford yelling and staring daggers at a confused ball boy.
The moment was spotted by John Ferensen of Next Impulse Sports and occurred in the third quarter.
Noticing a wet spot on the court, Crawford called to the ball boys under the basket for a quick cleanup. And by “Crawford called to the ball boys,” I mean Crawford screamed, “YO! HERE!”
A young man with a mop obliged the shrieking command, but his mop work was a little too quick, judging by the referee’s reaction.
Crawford walked after the ball boy, blowing his whistle and beckoning for him to get back in there and give it some honest elbow grease. Confused, and likely terrified, the young man continued to retreat toward his spot on the baseline.
In Crawford’s defense, this is how the ball boy went about cleaning the sweat.
Screenshot via @Matt Walters
Not exactly a prodigious exhibition of concentration, to say the least. When you’re busy ogling Lavoy Allen, you’re going to miss a spot.
Crawford can’t be let entirely off the hook, however.
He’s screaming at a guy (likely a teenager) who’s wielding what amounts to a giant Swiffer. These mops are decent, but like any mop, once saturated, they're just dirty, floor-bound paintbrushes.
Fortunately for the ball boy, his compatriots jogged over and finished the job with towels, thus saving him from the wrath of Crawford.
The 76ers went on to beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 94-79, and no ball boys were ejected or subjected to ritual sacrifice—something we can all chalk up as a win.
You can join me on Twitter—if it’s okay with Joey Crawford, that is.