NBA Referee Bill Spooner Sues Associated Press Reporter Jon Krawczynski for Tweet


March 15, 2011

While the NFL players are planning on bringing the NFL owners to court, there is now precedent for an NBA referee to bring a reporter to court as well.

In January, during a game between the Minnesota Timberwolves and Houston Rockets, Associated Press reporter Jon Krawczynski said on Twitter that official Bill Spooner promised a visibly and vocally upset coach Kurt Rambis that he would review a questionable call at halftime, the Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal reports.

“Ref Bill Spooner told Rambis he’d ‘get it back’ after a bad call,” Krawczynski tweeted. “Then he made an even worse call on Rockets. That’s NBA officiating folks.”

The suit is seeking $75,000 in damages for Spooner, including unpublishing and retracting the statement on the grounds the published comment was a “defamatory accusation.”

“We believe all of the facts we reported from the game in question were accurate,” AP associate general counsel Dave Tomlin said in a statement.

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