For those of us who had hoped to see Joey Crawford ref his last Philly game – raises hand, looks around, sees no one else’s hand raised – here’s some bad news: He’s already done it.
According to NBA.com, Crawford’s nagging knee injury has already forced him into retirement.
Sidelined since November by recurring pain and arthritis in his right knee and recovering since surgery Dec. 4 on a meniscus tear in that knee, Crawford had hoped to return March 1 for what was left of his 39th and final NBA season and postseason. But his knee has not responded well enough to rehabilitation to allow that. So there’s zero chance he and Kobe Bryant will work their final games together.
After years as one of the NBA’s most recognizable non-player faces, Crawford has hung up his whistle and his quick technical foul trigger-finger. The Cardinal O’Hara grad spent 39 years officiating at the NBA level, making friends (few) and enemies (many) along the way. Crawford’s final game was a 101-97 win by the Cavs over the Pacers.
Check out some of his greatest hits after the jump.