The NBA is looking into one of its own.
According to NBA reporter Marc Stein, the league has opened an investigation into veteran referee Eric Lewis over the potential use of a burner Twitter account that responded several times to messages that had been critical of him and other NBA officials. Several other publications, including ESPN, have since confirmed the news.
The account in question, @CuttliffBlair, had been momentarily deleted after the potential link to Lewis had been discovered, but it was then active once again as of Monday morning. The link came to light Thursday after a Twitter user found the Blair Cutliff account and then posted screengrabs that showed the account responding to messages in defense of Lewis and other NBA referees.
The NBA investigation is likely looking into the violation of a rule that prohibits referees from publicly commenting on officiating matters without proper league approval, according to the reports.
The @CuttliffBlair account follows only six other accounts, most of which are related to NBA officiating. The overwhelming majority of the account’s most recent messages are replies to other members who had commented on various matters of NBA officiating.
Lewis, 52, is in his 19th season as an NBA referee. He has officiated more than 1,000 games and nearly 100 playoff games. He officiated his first NBA Finals game in 2019, in the series between the Golden State Warriors and the Toronto Raptors. Since then, he has officiated in Finals games in 2020 and 2021.
NBA ref Eric Lewis has been outed as having a burner account (@CuttliffBlair). Lmaooo this is a momentous day. The account will surely be deleted soon so for the archives, the entirety of the account’s replies. All involving… yep, Eric Lewis. 😂
— Pablo Escobarner (blue check) (@PabloEscoburner) May 25, 2023
The most recent message from the Blair Cuttliff account, dated May 25, is a reply to another user, claiming that the account belongs to Lewis’ older brother.
“This is MARK Lewis,” the message reads. “Right family (older brother). I’m sorry that I put E, in this situation, but this ain’t Watergate. You’re right, the account WILL be coming down. Twitter should not be this vindictive. Sorry to inconvenience you.”
Burner accounts on Twitter have been an issue in recent seasons in the NBA. Current Phoenix Suns star Kevin Durant admitted to the use of one in 2017 when he accidentally used his main account to be critical of a former team. The next year, then-76ers president of basketball operations Bryan Colangelo resigned after a link to an account that criticized some of the team’s decisions and players.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: NBA investigating ref Eric Lewis over potential Twitter burner account
Source: Yahoo Sports