Ref fits zero tolerance policy to a 'T’ - East Valley Tribune: Sports

Ref fits zero tolerance policy to a 'T’

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Posted: Tuesday, April 17, 2007 11:17 pm | Updated: 7:59 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

Joey Crawford has been T’d up — perhaps for good. Crawford was suspended for at least the rest of the season and playoffs after ejecting San Antonio center Tim Duncan for laughing on the bench Sunday. Some type of penalty was warranted — a line was absolutely crossed here — but many are shocked to see the 31-year veteran treated so harshly.

NBA commissioner David Stern told ESPN that Crawford, who is a top official but doesn’t mind being the center of attention in any game he runs, um, refs, indicated to him Monday he felt he did nothing wrong — and had no interest in returning in the future with restrictions on his behavior.

Stern should have expected this. His zero tolerance policy was questionable from the start and left the door wide open for strong personalities to settle scores, which has happened to varying degrees all season.

Send my last check FedEx

How bad is the situation in Memphis? Jerry West, who never met a situation he couldn’t turn around as a player or executive, walked away a few months before the Grizzlies have a good shot at adding either Greg Oden or Kevin Durant to Pau Gasol and Rudy Gay.

But West is right to escape. Before imploding, the Grizzlies went to the playoffs three straight times and never won a single game, much less a series. The franchise is in the East but plays in the brutal Western Conference. And let’s face it, the Memphis ownership group ain’t exactly Jerry and Jeannie Buss.

If the NBA allows the Sonics to trade Seattle for Oklahoma City, it will be the league’s worst deal since the Grizzlies left Vancouver for Memphis.

Quick hitters

• Are the NHL playoffs still going on? Memo to Gary Bettman: When a four-overtime playoff classic is taken off the air for an info-mercial in some parts of the country, your television deal is brutal.

• Those who picked the plucky Diamondbacks to win the NL West should take a good look at Arizona’s matchups with the Dodgers and Padres this week — teams with a good mixture of veteran and young talent who, right now, seem better suited to reach the postseason.

• After thwarting the hopes of fans hoping to see a 2007 reunion tour of his famous band — with David Lee Roth again front and center — Eddie Van Halen has enough time on his hands to act as the official starter for Sunday’s Subway Fresh Fit 500 at PIR.

Forget the gentlemen. Come on Eddie, start your engines!

• Something’s gotta give when the Jazz play the Rockets in the first round of the playoffs. The Jazz are limping to the playoffs while the Rockets have Tracy McGrady — the NBA equivalent of the Phoenix Coyotes — who has never taken a team past the first round of the playoffs.

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