NBA advised ref Bill Spooner not to sue AP writer Jon Krawczynski

Categories: Timberwolves

Spooner wants $75K and an apology.
The way the NBA looks at it, referee Bill Spooner is wasting his time suing Minnesota AP sportswriter Jon Krawczynski for defamation. The league doesn't think he has a case.

In case you missed it, Spooner accuses Krawczynski put words in his mouth via Twitter in January when he wrote that Spooner had promised Timberwolves coach Kurt Rambis points after an argument over a foul against the Houston Rockets

Here's the tweet:

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.less than a minute ago via TweetDeck

Spooner says that tweet amounted to Krawczynski accusing him of fixing the game while reporting for the AP, and also makes it clear in the lawsuit that he thinks Krawczynski has been running down NBA refs in general lately. He wants $75,000 in damages, the Tweet taken down, and a retraction. [DOCUMENT.]

Here's the NBA's conclusion, which draws a distinction between a personal tweet and a news report:

"We investigated the content of the tweet when it appeared, found it to be without substance, and informed Mr. Spooner that we considered the matter closed," NBA senior vice president of basketball communications Tim Frank said in a statement. "We subsequently advised Mr. Spooner's lawyer that we did not think suing a journalist over an incorrect tweet would be productive. Nevertheless, Mr. Spooner and his lawyer decided to commence this litigation and any future inquiries should be directed to Mr. Spooner's lawyer."

AP, meanwhile, is standing behind its man: "We believe all of the facts we reported from the game in question were accurate."

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