The NBA has launched an investigation into longtime referee Eric Lewis. It’s about a Twitter account that responded to numerous posts about managing and defending Lewis and other NBA umpires in the league, league sources confirmed to ESPN.
The account in question, which has since been deleted, used the username “Blair Cuttliff” with the handle @CuttliffBlair.
One potential point of contention is a league rule that prohibits umpires from publicly commenting on their official action without permission. If it can be proven that Lewis made such statements, he could face disciplinary action.
Lewis, who is in his 19th season as a referee, has officiated more than 1,100 games and 82 playoff games. He has been one of the highest-rated officials in the NBA in recent years and has played in six finals games since 2019. Most recently, he worked on Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals between the Denver Nuggets and the Los Angeles Lakers on May 16.
Burner accounts have historically been a problem in the NBA. In 2018, Philadelphia 76ers general manager Bryan Colangelo resigned after he and his wife were linked to burner accounts criticizing some of the team’s players. In 2020, then-Golden State Warriors star Kevin Durant admitted he had used multiple burner accounts to interact with fans who were critical of him or his team.
NBA reporter Marc Stein initially reported that the league had launched an investigation into Lewis.