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Disgraced referee Tim Donaghy once knocked out Joey Crawford with one punch

  • Jason Whitney

Tim Donaghy and Joey Crawford once threw down!

Former referee Tim Donaghy did what nearly every NBA fan, player, announcer, mascot, owner, general manager and score keeper has wanted to do the several decades; knock out referee Joey Crawford. Alright, maybe I’m being a little too harsh, but apparently during a meeting that took place in 2001 at the Hilton Hotel in New Jersey, Crawford and Donaghy got into a fist fight.

As the story goes, Crawford was trying to get the event that included 54 officials started while referees Donaghy, O’Donnell and Tommy Nunez, Sr., were out in the lobby. After calling for the referees to get into the meeting room, Donaghy ignored Crawford as he shouted for the fellas to make their way to the meeting. This prompted Crawford to raise his voice again calling for Donaghy to get into the meeting room. Donaghy pretended not to hear him, which led Crawford to walk up to Donaghy and slap him in the face! Then, the left-handed Donaghy responded by slugging Crawford in the face.

Via Oregon Live:

According to witnesses, Crawford yelled, “Let’s go! Meeting’s (expletive) starting!” Donaghy ignored him, pretending not to hear. Crawford again raised his voice, and again Donaghy pretended not to hear him.

“I’ll admit,” Donaghy said. “I was being a (jerk). Joe and I had been good friends, but we were arguing on this issue. We didn’t see eye to eye and we’d had a bad argument on the telephone about it in which one of us hung up.”

Crawford apparently had enough of the disrespect. He walked up to Donaghy and slapped him across the face. The left-handed Donaghy took one step back, wound up, and dropped Joe Crawford with a left hook.

Crawford spent the rest of the meeting with a bag of ice on his eye.

I can only imagine how funny it would be watching these two throw down. The funniest part of this entire story might be the fact that another referee walked by Crawford, while he was down, and said he’s been waiting to see this happen for 20 years!

“We patched it up later. We apologized to each other,” Donaghy said. “But I’ll never forget, Tommy Nunez Sr. walks by me with Joe on the ground, doesn’t even look at me, and just says, ‘I’ve been waiting 20 years for somebody to knock him on his ass.”

I think the Saturday Night Live crew need to throw together a sketch recreating this event!

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