Good news, guys: Joey Crawford will referee Game 2 of the NBA Finals. Wait, why are you groaning?
Crawford joins Ed Malloy and Ken Mauer for Sunday night's crew, with Marc Davis as the alternate official.
Crawford is, of course, a problem. As Tom Ziller noted back in the first round of the playoffs, it's always a problem when there's such a thing as a star referee -- refs sometimes make mistakes, and when people know the referee in question very well as a result of him seemingly always being in the spotlight, those scant mistakes are just heightened -- and Crawford is certainly a star referee. He sometimes makes over-the-top calls like this, recently fouled out LeBron James in the Eastern Conference Finals on a questionable offensive foul, and generally seems to go out of his way to make sure people know him.
The good news is that nobody can suppose bias tonight, because Crawford is disliked equally on all sides. Heat fans won't like him because of the un-preferential treatment he's given James recently, and less than three weeks ago, Spurs blog Pounding the Rock wrote this open letter complaining that Crawford was bungling things to hurt the Spurs. The Daily Win complained that Crawford is the league's worst ref, and although that probably isn't true, he's certainly the most well-known.
It's a little bit messed up that the best player in the world is about to go up against a squad trying to prove they're the best team in the world and we have to talk about the guy with the whistle, but it's the NBA, and sometimes that's just the way things work.