NBA referee Eric Lewis announced his official retirement on Wednesday after the league office launched an investigation on May 26, 2023, to determine whether he used a burner account on X, formerly known as Twitter, to defend himself and his colleagues.
Lewis, 52, last worked on May 16, when the Denver Nuggets hosted the Los Angeles Lakers in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals. The reports of the tweets surfaced about a week later.
Lewis had previously worked the last four NBA Finals, but the 19-year veteran official was not among the 12 refs scheduled to work this past 2023 NBA Finals between the Nuggets and Miami Heat due to his suspicious social media activity.
NBA referee Eric Lewis is retiring in the aftermath of his social media activity. pic.twitter.com/i1z5H9oLle
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) August 30, 2023
“NBA referee Eric Lewis has informed the league office that he is retiring, effective immediately. In light of his decision, the NBA’s investigation into social media activity has been closed,” the league announced in the official statement on Wednesday.
Although the tweets were deleted, user “LakeShowYo” recorded a series of posts from the account “Blair Cuttliff.” The X/Twitter handle is @CuttliffBlair. The league does not allow refs to publicly comment on officiating. Lewis’ decision to retire amid the league’s investigation is damning.
NBA referee Eric Lewis retires 3 months after the league first launched its investigation into his alleged social media activity on X, formerly known as Twitter
“ClaxFanatic” posted, “Lakers being swept but no Eric Lewis.” Then, “Blair Cuttliff” replied, “Don’t think he was ever the problem.” One poster in the replies called for Lewis’ resignation after seeing the ref’s reaction to Miami Heat star Jimmy Butler hitting a late dagger against the Boston Celtics in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals.
“Blair Cuttliff” also tweeted, “Y’all lost cause they outplayed y’all. Guess Eric put y’all down 20 and had a triple-double.” The account spent a lot of time defending Lewis in particular, so that’s circumstantial evidence right there.
In January, Lewis came under fire after someone discovered that his family members are die-hard Celtics fans. According to user “Mikeyyy_Wyllin,” the Celtics have an all-time record of 54-29 in games officiated by Lewis.
Under the “likes” tab in the X/Twitter account, viewers can see that “Blair Cuttliff” has liked various posts from the official Celtics account.
they found NBA ref Eric Lewis burner 😂😂 pic.twitter.com/NMPNoIzeWU
— LakeShowYo (@LakeShowYo) May 26, 2023
Of course, Lewis has officiated over 1,200 games, counting both regular season and playoffs. Therefore, the allegation of an existent burner account only destroyed his credibility as a referee.
The Florida native has also officiated 82 playoff games and six NBA Finals games. Lewis started his career officiating at the high school level for six years.
The Bethune—Cookman University alumnus then spent eight years in the NCAA and two seasons with the United States Basketball League.
Furthermore, he worked three years in the Development League (now G League), including the 2004 finals. Lewis became an NBA referee in 2005.
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