It looks like Miami Heat fans were not the only people that were happy when the team defeated the San Antonio Spurs back in the 2013 NBA Finals. Retired NBA referee Joey Crawford revealed in an interview that he’s thankful that Spurs did not win the title, but it’s not for the reasons you might think.
Back in Game 6 of the 2013 Finals, Ray Allen hit a memorable game-tying three at the end of regulation to force overtime. Crawford along with another referee, Mike Callahan, reviewed the play to confirm that Allen is indeed behind the arc.
During the final possession in regulation, Tim Duncan entered for the Spurs even though he’s not allowed since it’s not a timeout. Luckily, the Spurs failed to score and eventually lost in overtime as well as Game 7.
“So we go over and what happens, Duncan came in the game and he’s not allowed to come in the game. So he came in the game, thank God he didn’t score a bucket. That would have been awful,” Crawford told the Associated Press.
If San Antonio scored on that final play involving Duncan, Miami can file a protest that he’s an illegal player in the game. It would have been very disastrous for the NBA as they will have to overturn the result and re-play the final seconds.
However, the NBA still had to make some decisions about what happened despite the results. Joey Crawford also mentioned that the league fined him for allowing Duncan to get into the game illegally.
“What happens is everybody is texting and emailing back and forth, and (saying), ‘Joe, you know that Duncan got in the game,’” he said.
It’s also not the first time Joey Crawford and Tim Duncan were involved in controversy. Back in 2007, Crawford was suspended for the rest of the season for an altercation with the Spurs legend, per ESPN.
The 64-year-old former referee now works in the NBA Replay Center in Secaucus, New Jersey.
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