Report: NBA opening investigation into Twitter activity regarding ref that botched call at end of Lakers-Celtics game

Mike Battaglino
3 Min Read

The NBA reportedly is looking into Twitter activity related to referee Eric Lewis, who perhaps is best know for failing to call a foul committed on LeBron James in a Los Angeles Lakers loss to the Boston Celtics in January.

It possibly involves an account that may or may not have been run by someone claiming to be Lewis’ brother.

The Twitter posts reportedly mention Lewis often by name and include multiple mentions of the Celtics during this postseason. Lewis was one of the referees for the Celtics’ Game 7 win against the Philadelphia 76ers in the second round.

In a game Jan. 28 at Boston, with the score tied, James in the final seconds drove for a potential game-winning layup and appeared to be fouled by Jayson Tatum. No foul was called, and James was not given the opportunity at a possible game-winning free throw. His emotional on-court reaction drew even more attention to the play.

“I don’t understand,” James said. “I don’t understand what we’re doing, and I watch basketball every single day. I watch games every single day and I don’t see it happening to nobody else. It’s just weird.”

Lakers guard Patrick Beverley brought a camera on the court to dispute the no-call and was given a technical foul. Tatum hit the free throw to start overtime, and the Lakers wound up losing 125-121.

“The best player on Earth can’t get a call,” Lakers coach Darvin Ham said. “It’s amazing. As much as you try not to put it on the officiating, it’s becoming increasingly difficult.”

In the pool report following the game, Lewis admitted a foul should have been called.

“There was contact,” Lewis said. “At the time, during the game, we did not see a foul. The crew missed the play.”

Lewis is in his 19th season as an NBA referee. According to the National Basketball Referees Association, he has officiated almost 1,100 regular-season games in the previous 18 seasons, including 82 playoff games with six in the NBA Finals.

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Mike is a veteran journalist who has covered the NBA for almost three decades. He remembers the birth of "Showtime" and has always admired the star power the Lakers have brought to the game.