Longtime NBA referee Eric Lewis allegedly used a burner account to defend himself against strangers on the internet. He should now defend against the NBA.
The league has launched an investigation into Lewis over the alleged burner account, which has since been deleted, according to Marc Stein, NBA reporter and ESPN.
The account in question was called “Blair Cuttliff” and the handle was “@CuttliffBlair”. Fans began noticing the account’s propensity to defend Lewis and other NBA officials on Thursday, with one account compiling a video showing a sample of the tweets.
A particularly frequent foe for the count was Los Angeles Lakers fans. Lewis was the official involved in perhaps the most entertaining technical foul of the season, when then-Lakers guard Patrick Beverley drew the referee’s ire by grabbing the camera from a photographer to show him evidence of a missed call.
Both Beverley and former Lakers teammate LeBron James spoke about the Lewis news on Saturday.
The reported reason the NBA would be unhappy about a referee having a burner account is a league rule prohibiting referees from publicly commenting on refereeing without prior permission. Lewis could be punished if he is determined to have posted the tweets.
Lewis is currently in his 19th season as an NBA referee, with 1,098 regular season games and 82 playoff games of experience, according to his NBA biography.