Former NBA referees Tim Donaghy, Joey Crawford fought in a hotel lobby in 2001

Former NBA referees Tim Donaghy, Joey Crawford fought in a hotel lobby in 2001

Tim Donaghy and Joey Crawford are two of the most well-known NBA referees in history. Donaghy is famous for the 2007 NBA betting scandal while Crawford is one of the strictest officials ever.

According to ESPN, Donaghy and Crawford both attended Cardinal O’Hara High School in Springfield, Pennsylvania. However, they did not go at the same time since Donaghy is only 49 years old and Crawford is already retired from being a referee.

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In an interview with John Canzano of The Oregonian, the 49-year-old referee opened up about his relationship with Crawford. He mentioned a fight between them that happened in 2001 in a hotel lobby in New Jersey.

“He smacked me across the face. When he did that I immediately turned around and punched him with a left hook. I did drop him, but to his credit and I will give him credit, his head was like hitting a rock,” Donaghy said.

“He jumped right back up and we were ready to go right there in the lobby. There was a wedding going on. People were screaming. People grabbed him and people grabbed me,” he added.

Related News: Ex-NBA ref Joey Crawford happy that the Heat defeated Spurs back in 2013 NBA Finals

Donaghy also mentioned that he was working the second round of the playoffs that season and the NBA fined him $15,000 for the incident. However, Crawford did not receive the same punishment since he officiated until the 2001 NBA Finals.

Joey Crawford is currently working at the NBA Replay Center in Secaucus, New Jersey. The 64-year-old referee retired from being an official on March 10, 2016 due to a knee injury that was not healing properly.

On the other hand, Donaghy was sentenced to 15 months in federal prison for charges related to the FBI’s investigation on the NBA’s betting scandal. He was released from prison on November 4, 2009 and recently said that all NBA referees gamble.

Photo Courtesy: Keith Allison/Wikimedia