The most memorable regular-season game for the Los Angeles Lakers last season was a game that the team did not even win. In late January, the Lakers took on the Boston Celtics and a great game ended in controversy when LeBron James didn’t get an obvious foul call with four seconds left in the fourth quarter.
If called correctly, LeBron would have shot two free throws and put the Lakers ahead late in the game. Instead, the two teams went to overtime and the Lakers could not recover, losing the game in the process.
The crew chief in that game was Eric Lewis, who admitted after the game that there was contact and that his crew missed the call. While it ultimately did not change the Lakers’ fate, with how close the Western Conference was that one blown call could have had huge implications.
Now, seven months after this controversial regular-season game, Lewis is retiring after another controversy regarding him and a potential burner account.
Polarizing referee who screwed Lakers vs Celtics is retiring
The NBA announced on Wednesday that Lewis, who began his career in 2004, is retiring effectively immediately. As a result, the league is dropping its ongoing investigation into Lewis’ social media activity.
The investigation started in May after there were allegations that Lewis was running an anonymous Twitter account and was commenting on officiating with that account. After the account was discovered and the allegations were made it was completely wiped out and was no longer used.
Whether or not these two things are tied together is unclear. Regardless, Lewis will likely be remembered by casual NBA fans for this investigation, not the 19 seasons he spent as a ref. Lakers fans will remember him for the blown call against the Celtics.
Overall, the Lake Show typically had decent success when Lewis was the referee. Lewis reffed 70 Lakers games in his career and the team was 38-32 in those games. Lewis, on average, called 0.6 more shooting fouls on the Lakers’ opponent, which obviously helped LA.
Los Angeles was 4-4 in the playoffs in games that Lewis officiated. On average, the team got 1.4 fewer shooting foul calls against them than their opponent.