Crawford, regarded as a top referee, ejected Duncan from a game in Dallas on Sunday. He called a second technical foul on the San Antonio Spurs star while he was on the bench.
"He looked at me and said, 'Do you want to fight? Do you want to fight?"' Duncan said. "If he wants to fight, we can fight. I don't have any problem with him, but we can do it if he wants to. I have no reason why in the middle of a game he would yell at me, `Do you want to fight?"'
Crawford's suspension will last at least through the NBA Finals. He apparently will have to meet with Stern after that to discuss reinstatement.
"Joey Crawford's handling of this situation failed to meet the standards of professionalism and game management we expect of NBA referees," Stern said in a statement. "Especially in light of similar prior acts by this official, a significant suspension is warranted.
"Although Joey is consistently rated as one of our top referees, he must be held accountable for his actions on the floor, and we will have further discussions with him following the season to be sure he understands his responsibilities."
The prior act Stern noted likely refers to the 2003 Western Conference finals, a matchup involving the same teams as in Sunday's game. Crawford called four technical fouls in the first 10-plus minutes, leading to ejections of then-Mavs coach Don Nelson and assistant Del Harris.
Crawford also called a technical in a recent game against Duncan, who said Sunday that Crawford has a "personal vendetta against me."
Duncan was called for his first technical foul Sunday with 2:20 remaining in the third quarter for arguing about an offensive foul. Crawford hit him with the second technical 1:16 later after Duncan was on the bench laughing about a call that went against the Spurs.
With Duncan gone, the Mavericks rallied to beat the Spurs, ending San Antonio's chance of earning the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference.
Speaking to a pool reporter before Duncan spoke, Crawford was asked about Duncan thinking he had done nothing to warrant the ejection.
"That's his opinion," said Crawford, adding that Duncan referred to him with an expletive. "Is that nothing?" (Associated Press)"
You see people? What Mark Cuban and Mavs fans don't understand is that there is a right way and a wrong way to go about everything. I'm sure Stern appreciates that after the game that Pop didn't flip out. He didn't try to embarrass the league. He didn't scream "conspiracy" or "this league is rigged!"
He aired his grievances professionally and privately. Like an adult.
And what of Tim Duncan, the big whining baby? Yeah, he swore at Crawford, but not until after he was ejected. And while he colorfully and perhaps too honestly explained what happened afterward to the media, he didn't read Joey the riot act, he didn't hold the league or Stern responsible for Crawford's actions. He took it for what it was, an isolated incident, and didn't try to read more into it than what it was.
I can think of several Mavs who wouldn't/haven't acted in the same manner.
The funniest part of all this is that Stern revealed that Crawford STILL isn't apologetic or remorseful about the whole thing and that he said he would have done the exact same thing if he had to do it all over again. Methinks we might have seen the last of Joey Crawford period. The guy clearly has some kind of mental imbalance.
Anyway, good news for us, good news for Timmy, good news for the league.
And most of all, good news for me since some smartypants engineer owes my ass five bucks.