Originally posted on NBA 24/7 365  |  Last updated 11/28/12
If sports were a living room, officials would be the wallpaper.  Not the couch, or the coffee table, or the TV, or the ornate rug… but the wallpaper.  The plain, understated wallpaper that goes largely unnoticed despite its important role in making the space complete.  Highly complementary to the rest of the room, but not a primary focus. Most officials have no problem with this.  As a matter of fact, they actually take pride in their ability to blend in.  Unfortunately, however, one Joey Crawford insists upon being a centerpiece… and the league continues to employ him.  His latest spectacle took place on Tuesday night in Los Angeles, where the Lakers fell to the Pacers on a buzzer-beating layup by George Hill.  Featuring a grand total of 156 points, it was one of the ugliest games of the season thus far… and Crawford’s domineering performance certainly didn’t make it any prettier. Joey first made his presence late in the third quarter, when he hand-signaled the same T configuration that once left him with a broken finger.  The technical foul was on Kobe Bryant, who elected to hang back and complain as the Pacers raced down the floor in a 3-on-1 break situation.  With Gerald Green filling a lane, two of the night’s most spectacular points had all but been scored.  That’s precisely when Joey’s whistle blew.  NBA officials are specifically instructed NOT to stop play to enforce a technical foul when the opposing team has an offensive advantage, but Crawford did it anyway.  Following the impending makeup call, his name began trending on Twitter. Turns out this was just the beginning of Tuesday night’s edition of the Joey Crawford experience.  Given his flair for the dramatic, Joey’s favorite call has always been the block/charge.  There’s no call in basketball that leaves onlookers in suspense like the block/charge, and none that is so subject to interpretation.  The block/charge puts the referee in the spotlight, and Crawford savors every second of the attention.  It’s that feeling of power and control that gets him off, I think.  And when the thrill becomes overwhelming for Joey, that’s when you’re bound to see some of the most energetic gestures you’ll ever see out of an official.  For example… Go ahead, offer me your life savings to watch this video without laughing.  Don’t worry, I can’t do it. And I’m not even mad at you for blowing the call, Joey.  At least you picked one.
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