It’s been pretty hard to ignore the prevalence of burner accounts in the NBA thanks to a number of high-profile figures who’ve seen some supposedly covert online activities come back to haunt them.
That includes former 76ers GM Bryan Colangelo, who found himself out of a job in 2018 after he admitted his wife was behind a number of Twitter accounts she’d used to criticize players and other members of the front office.
There’s also Kevin Durant, who inadvertently blew up his own spot when he forgot to switch profiles while dissing Billy Donovan and the Thunder after taking his talents to the Warriors (RJ Hampton has acknowledged he also uses a burner to defend himself, although no one has tracked it down).
Last month, we were treated to our latest batch of NBA Burner Drama courtesy of referee Eric Lewis after internet sleuths connected a number of dots that appeared to suggest he’d been using one to defend his honor on Twitter.
Whoever was behind the account didn’t post anything particularly incendiary or controversial, but the NBA still decided to conduct an official investigation into the matter after the allegations came to light.
Lewis made his NBA debut in 2005, and over that span, he’s worked dozens of games in the postseason—including six in the NBA Finals.
There’s no telling what punishment the league will opt to hand out if it ultimately determines Lewis was behind the burner.
However, he’s already been hit with an unofficial sanction, as a spokesperson announced he won’t be reffing in the NBA Finals after working the series the past four years due to the ongoing investigation.
NBA Spokesman Mike Bass: “Regarding Eric Lewis and the social media posts, we are continuing to review the matter and he will not be working the finals.”
The NBA announced the 12 referees who'll work the title series this morning. Lewis had worked each of the last four finals.
— Tim Reynolds (@ByTimReynolds) June 1, 2023
With that said, there’s still potential for plenty of ref-related drama when the showdown between the Heat and the Nuggets kicks off, as both Scott Foster and Tony Brothers were among the group of 12 people who were tapped to officiate in the Finals this year.