NBA referee Eric Lewis retires; league closes investigation into burner account

Written by on September 2, 2023

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NEW YORK (AP) — NBA referee Eric Lewis has retired effective immediately in the wake of a league investigation into whether he used a then-Twitter account to defend himself and other officials from online criticism.

The league announced his retirement Wednesday, less than three months after beginning an investigation into whether the 19-year NBA referee had violated league policy by commenting publicly on officiating without authorization from the league.

With his retirement, the NBA said its investigation into the social media activity has been closed.

Referee Eric Lewis gestures during the first half of Game 5 of the NBA basketball Eastern Conference semifinal between the New York Knicks and the Miami Heat, May 10, 2023, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II, File)

The 52-year-old Lewis, who had worked the previous four NBA Finals, was not chosen as one of the 12 referees for this year’s final round between Denver and Miami in the wake of the investigation.

The social media controversy came to light in May after some now-deleted tweets were revealed by a pair of social media users.

The account on Twitter — now known as X — utilized the name “blair cuttliff.”

If the league determined the account was his, Lewis faced potential discipline for violating its policy of discussing officiating matters openly without approval.

Lewis worked more than 1,200 games, counting both regular season and playoffs, in his 19 seasons. He last worked on May 16, when Denver played host to the Los Angeles Lakers in Game 1 of the Western Conference finals. The reports of the tweets came out about a week later.

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