It appears that someone has kept tabs on the public perception of NBA referee Eric Lewis, especially when Lakers fans commented and typed his name.
Or, if it wasn’t Lewis running “@CutliffBlair,” then it might’ve been one of his most loyal supporters.
The Twitter user “@PabloEscoburner” posted a thread Thursday containing screen recordings of the account’s likes and activity, including its five followers: @RefAnalytics, @OfficialNBARefs, @NBA, @NBAOfficial and @MasonWBB, with the fifth account the one that represents the George Mason women’s basketball team that his wife, Vanessa Blair-Lewis, coaches.
The account, which reportedly wasn’t followed by anyone and was created in 2015, was later deleted once the user suggested that a burner account by Lewis had been discovered.
While it’s difficult to actually connect the account to Lewis, or even know if he was the person operating the activity, the sequence of replies follow a similar trend.
When one account replied to an “@OfficialNBARefs” post about the referees for a Celtics-76ers game May 11 with, “Are y’alll gonna give Eric Lewis the Lakers game tomorrow,” Lewis’ alleged burner account responded with, “Its his fault no matter what” — using three laughing emojis at the end of his response to the question.
Another account claimed that LeBron James was 0-82 when Lewis refereed his games, and the alleged burner account responded beneath an interpretation of the stat, writing, “Um memphis game 1,” with a emoji that depicted someone shrugging their shoulders.
The Lakers did defeat the Grizzlies in Game 1 of the Western Conference’s first round, 128-112, and James recorded 21 points and 11 rebounds.
And on April 30, when an account tweeted, “Eric Lewis is a die hard Celtics fan,” “CutliffBlair” asked, “From what credible source?”
Lewis has been a referee for 19 seasons, according to his page on the National Basketball Referees Association website, and he has called NBA Finals games in 2019 (Warriors-Raptors), 2020 (Lakers-Heat) and 2021 (Bucks-Suns).
Earlier this season, he received criticism from James when the Lakers star attempted a layup at the end of regulation and didn’t get a foul called when the Celtics’ Jayson Tatum made contact with his arm en route to the basket.
“We don’t have room for error,” James said after the Jan. 28 game. “And it’s one of the best games we played all year. For it to fall on somebody else’s judgment, or non-judgment, it’s just ridiculous. It’s ridiculous.”
“@OfficialNBA Refs,” one of the five accounts that the alleged Lewis burner account tracks, then issued an apology the next day.
Like everyone else, referees make mistakes,” the account tweeted. “We made one at the end of last night’s game and that is gut-wrenching for us. This play will weigh heavily and cause sleepless nights as we strive to be the best referees we can be.”