Jon Krawczynski, local AP sportswriter: NBA ref tweet was true
AP stands by its tweet.
It looks like Minnesota AP sportswriter Jon Krawczynski's lawyers are arguing that NBA referee Bill Spooner really did tell Timberwolves head coach Kurt Rambis he'd get points back after a lousy foul call in a game against the Houston Rockets in January.
And since Krawczynski told the truth when he tweeted the comment, Spooner's defamation lawsuit against the writer and the AP is groundless.
"The statements within the defendants' challenged publication are true or substantially true and [Spooner] therefore cannot carry his burden of proving that the statements are false," the lawyers said in documents filed this week in U.S. District Court. "The content of Krawczynski's "tweet," posted at 7:42 p.m. CST, is accurately set forth in Paragraph 38 of the Complaint and speaks for itself."
Spooner had called a foul against Anthony Tolliver in the second period of the Jan. 24 match against the Rockets and and irate Rambis got in Spooner's face. Words were exchanged. Spooner promised to review the call later.
"Fine, but how do I get those points back," Rambis said.
According to Spooner, that was the end of it. But Krawczynski tweeted things differently:
Ref Bill Spooner told Rambis he'd "get it back" after a bad call. Then he made an even worse call on Rockets. That's NBA officiating folks.
Spooner's lawsuit amounts to an accusation that Krawczynski hinted the ref had fixed the game. He argues that that Krawczynski made up the quote, and knew it was false when he published the tweet. Spooner says he was investigated by the league. He wants $75,000 in damages. He wants the Tweet taken down, and a retraction.
So far, he's getting nothing. In fact, the NBA advised him against filing the lawsuit in the first place.
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