INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -Joey Crawford officiated his first NBA exhibition game Wednesday night after being suspended for the end of last season and the playoffs for improper on-court conduct.
Commissioner David Stern suspended Crawford in April for his conduct toward San Antonio's Tim Duncan. Crawford ejected Duncan from San Antonio's loss to Dallas after calling a second technical foul on the Spurs star while he was laughing on the bench. Duncan contended the official challenged him to a fight.
Stern met with Crawford and reinstated him on Sept. 15 after a favorable professional evaluation.
Crawford officiated Indiana's 101-96 exhibition win over New Orleans. The only technicals he called were against the Pacers for defensive three-second violations.
``It's good to see him back out there,'' Pacers forward Jermaine O'Neal said. ``I've always had a pretty good relationship with him. He's always been understanding to me.
``That was just one isolated situation where he had an off day - and things happen.''
Crawford enters his 32nd season as an NBA referee. He has officiated more than 2,000 games during the regular season and 266 in the playoffs, including 38 in the NBA finals.
``Everybody knows that his tolerance level is a lot shorter than some of the other guys, but he's a proven official,'' O'Neal said. ``He's been around for years, and when you're around that long, it's because you're pretty good. I think he's one of the best to ever officiate games.''

Top NBA Public Bets

#2 513 Boston Celtics  81%
#3 516 Utah Jazz  79%
#4 520 Atlanta Hawks  77%
#5 511 Houston Rockets  65%
#6 518 Toronto Raptors  64%

NBA Top Stories

Thumbnail Warriors vs. Blazers Game 3 Pick Can the Golden State Warriors go on the road and handle the Portland Trail Blazers when the two meet in...
Thumbnail Spurs vs. Grizzlies Game 4 Pick Will the Memphis Grizzlies find a way to even their series with the San Antonio Spurs when the two meet in...
Thumbnail Wizards vs. Hawks Game 3 Pick Can the Atlanta Hawks get on the board in their series with the Washington Wizards when they meet up in Game 3 today at 5:30PM...
Thumbnail Raptors vs. Bucks Game 4 Pick Will the Toronto Raptors be able to bounce back when they face the Milwaukee Bucks in Game 4 today at 3PM ET?
Thumbnail Clippers vs. Jazz Game 3 Pick Will the Utah Jazz fend off the Los Angeles Clippers when the two meet tonight in Game 3 of their playoff...

NBA Team Pages