Eric Lewis is retiring after the NBA's investigation into his social media activity

Published August 30, 2023 at 2:08 PM

The NBA is digging into a case involving veteran referee Eric Lewis after his Twitter activity sparked controversy. The league is examining a Twitter account linked to Lewis that engaged with posts about officiating in the NBA, coming to the defense of both Lewis and his fellow referees.

The account, which used the username "Blair Cuttliff," has since been removed from the platform. If it's determined that Lewis was indeed behind the account and was discussing referee decisions without authorization, he could potentially face disciplinary action.

The initial doubts surrounding Lewis emerged when a photo surfaced showing his wife and children donning Boston Celtics jerseys. This raised eyebrows among NBA enthusiasts on Twitter, given that Lewis had refereed a game featuring the Los Angeles Lakers and the Celtics earlier that year. The game included a controversial uncalled foul involving LeBron James and the Celtics' Jayson Tatum, causing frustration among Lakers players and fans.

LeBron James swiftly took to Twitter once news of the situation broke, questioning the validity of the speculations. His former teammate, Patrick Beverley, followed suit. Beverley had also crossed paths with Lewis during the contentious game and had received a technical foul for bringing a camera onto the court to demonstrate the missed call.

The saga took another turn when the account was deactivated, only to be reactivated later by someone claiming to be Lewis's brother, Mark. As the NBA playoffs continue, the league's investigation aims to uncover whether Lewis was indeed controlling the account or if there's a kernel of truth in his defense. Regardless of the potential consequences, this incident underscores the imperfections within the officiating framework and how biases can persist under certain conditions.

This isn't the first time burner accounts have been an issue in professional sports. In 2018, Bryan Colangelo, the general manager of the Philadelphia 76ers, resigned when he and his spouse were linked to burner accounts critiquing their own players. In 2020, Kevin Durant confessed to using multiple burner accounts to engage with fans who criticized him or his team.

Eric Lewis, who boasts a 19-year tenure as a referee, most recently officiated Game 1 of the Western Conference finals between the Denver Nuggets and the Los Angeles Lakers on May 16. His status awaits the conclusion of the league's investigation, a development keenly watched by fans and players alike.
August 30   |   30 answers
Eric Lewis is retiring after the NBA's investigation into his social media activity

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