At halftime of Game 2 in the Celtics/Magic series, referee Joe DeRosa walked over to the scorer’s table to pick up the crew’s jackets, found a heckler waiting for him there and at one point tossed the guy the ball.
Turns out, that’s enough to get you suspended.
DeRosa has been suspended from the next game he was to work, it was announced by Ron Johnson, NBA Senior Vice President, Referee Operations.
The NBA investigated the situation, and we don’t know what was said. What we do know is that, unlike was reported before, the heckler was not ejected from the arena by DeRosa. Not really sure that tossing a ball to a fan should earn a suspension, but that’s the call.
Bottom line is the league doesn’t want its referees reacting to hecklers under any circumstances. Not even Jack Nicholson — YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH.