Joey Crawford is back...and I am shocked.
Only the NBA would look to clean up their officiating issues after Tim Donaghy and his gambling by putting Joey Crawford back on the payroll.
It isn't like the NBA has had a real easy time this summer. I mean hasn't the league had enough bad publicity involving their refs. Tim Donaghy isn't a big enough black eye for the league?
I do believe everyone deserves a second chance in life so don't get me wrong here. If he has truly rehabilitated from his anger issues then he definately deserves a second chance but is it wise to put a person with anger issues in a high stress job like NBA officiating when everyone is already gearing up to jump all over the refs this season after the gambling scandal?
Isn't this like putting a recovering alcoholic in a beer drinking contest? Sure he should be able to withstand the temptation but WHY WOULD YOU DO IT?
Not only with Joey have to deal with the stress of travel, the constant beratement from fans and the constant whining from players but now he will have people screaming about the game being fixed by the refs on top of it. Would it have killed the NBA to wait one more season before bringing back the most polarizing official in league history?
I hope everything works out well for Joey. I hope his counseling has produced a more laid back but just as efficient official. Joey when he is on his game is an excellent referee who doesn't coddle stars, favor veterans over rookies or basically play with more than one set of rules. He calls the game as he sees it.
Joey's problem is when he is off his game. When Joey's inner demons took over and he would toss anyone for any reason. His inability to remain on an even keel was his undoing. Fans, players and coaches alike who have witnessed Joey on an off-night will testify to how he not only lost his composure but complete control of the game. I personally remember a night when Joey threw out nearly half of the Grizzlies team within a 5 minutes span. This is the same Grizzlies team that didn't lift a finger to respond to Kobe Bryant decking Mike Miller. We aren't talking about a real aggressive team here.
If course that appears to have changed with the addition of Darko Milicic. He doesn't seem to have any problems showing his inner feelings when angry.
One piece of advice Joey. Don't have an off night in Memphis. And I wouldn't bring your mother, wife or daughter to the game either.