NBA referee Joey Crawford announced he’ll be retiring at the end of this season, much like Kobe Bryant. Unlike Bryant, however, it’s a good bet that fans won’t be clamoring to see him one last time before he goes.
The 64 year-old Crawford has been working the hardwood since 1977 and according to him, is worried about making a mistake so egregious that he’s remembered in history as a fool.
“There’s nothing to be sorry about,” Crawford said. “You know what happens? It’s not that you lose your passion. I have that. That’s insanity. But it just comes to the point where you say, ‘I don’t want to make a fool out of myself.’ And it’s been so good that I want to go out on a high note. I don’t want to go out on a low note. I want to be in the NBA Finals, and I don’t want to be reffing just for the sake of reffing.”
Fans might be quick to retort that he’s already looked like a fool on more than one occasion, such as when he fell jogging down the court this time:
or this time!
While it’s true that Crawford has a history of being a loud, aggressive ref, in the end it’s possible we’ll miss that more than we think. Getting any kind of respect from ten guys who tower over you and make millions more than you is, admittedly, pretty hard, and we’d much rather see a guy like Crawford who’s unafraid to make the right call than someone meekly make the wrong one. So farewell, Joey Crawford, we’ll miss you.
Well, not all of us.