Tweet Questioning Referee’s Integrity Could Cost AP NBA Beat Writer

A Tweet by The Associated Press‘ beat writer for the National Basketball Association‘s Minnesota Timberwolves that was critical of an official could prove costly, as reports that NBA referee Bill Spooner filed suit against Jon Krawczynski for alleging that Spooner promised the Timberwolves a makeup call during a Jan. 24 game against the Houston Rockets.

According to, Minnesota head coach Kurt Rambis objected to a foul call by Spooner, who responded that he would review the call at halftime. When the coach asked how he would get the two points that resulted from the call back, Krawczynski claimed that the 22-year game official hinted at a makeup call, Tweeting, “Ref Bill Spooner told Rambis he’d ‘get it back’ after a bad call. Then he made an even worse call on Rockets. That’s NBA officiating folks.”

Spooner denied the allegations in the Tweet, saying he never responded to Rambis’ question, and his suit seeks more than $75,000 in damages, the deletion of the Tweet, and a retraction of the statement, reported.

AP associated general counsel Dave Tomlin responded, “We believe all of the facts we reported from the game in question were accurate,” and a spokesman told AP had not yet been served. David Cohen is editor of Adweek's Social Pro Daily.