“One night, I hit Bill Fitch with a technical so hard, I broke my finger. My finger was all swollen. I slammed my whole hand down on it when I gave the signal. That’s why I changed my signal to a little one-finger tap — because I broke it once the old way.”
—Joey Crawford, veteran NBA referee, reminiscing about his career in a fantastic New York Times article.
There are 30 NBA fan bases convinced Joey Crawford has it in for their team. He is distinctive, he has a big personality, and he is fearless — if your team is on the road, you should be happy to see Crawford. No referee is less influenced by fans and more likely to make a tough call against the home team than Crawford.
Go read the New York Times story, it’s filled with a lot of insight into Crawford — who I have always found to be affable and with a great sense of humor off the court — and it’s filled with great stories.
“Moses Malone was one of the funniest. We were in Denver, I think he was playing with Philly at the time, and that day, a reporter had done a top-10 referee list and my name was in there. So my first call of the night is like a loose-ball foul on Moses, and Moses just turns and says, “That is not a top-10 call.” I had to laugh.”