An Associated Press reporter is being sued by an NBA referee over a tweet the ref claims defamed him.
The reporter, Jon Krawczynski, posted the aforementioned tweet on Twitter during a Jan. 24 Minnesota Timberwolves game.
After the ref, Bill Spooner, called a foul on one of the Timberwolves, Minnesota's coach, Kurt Rambis, argued the call. Spooner then promised to review the play at halftime.
Krawczynski's tweet explains what happened next:
Ref Bill Spooner told Rambis he'd "get it back" after a bad call. Then he made an even worse call on Rockets. That's NBA officiating folks.
Spooner said the NBA investigated him after Krawczynski's tweet was posted. (The NBA and its referees are pretty sensitive to these kinds of accusations, after Tim Donaghy, a former colleague of theirs, pleaded guilty to betting on games and accused other referees of rigging games.) But anyone who's ever watched an NBA game knows "make-up" calls happen all the time.
Spooner's suit, filed in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis, seeks more than $75,000 in damages, the tweet to be unpublished and a retraction of the statement.
“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 to Sports Business Journal.
You can read a PDF of the complaint here.