It seems that someone has been watching the public perception of NBA umpire Eric Lewis, especially when Lakers fans commented and typed his name.
Or, if it wasn’t for Lewis who ran “@CutliffBlair”, it might have been one of his staunchest supporters.
The Twitter user “@PabloEscoburner” posted a topic on Thursday featuring screenshots of the account’s likes and activity, including the five followers: @RefAnalytics, @OfficialNBARefs, @NBA, @NBAOfficial, and @MasonWBB, with the fifth account representing the George Mason women’s basketball team that includes his wife, Vanessa Blair-Lewis, coaches.
The account, reportedly unfollowed by anyone and created in 2015, was later deleted after the user suggested that a burner account belonging to Lewis had been discovered.
While it’s difficult to actually link the account to Lewis, or even know if he was the person who performed the activity, the range of answers follows a similar trend.
When an account replied to an “@OfficialNBARefs” post about the umpires for a Celtics-76ers game on May 11 with, “Are you going to give Eric Lewis the Lakers game tomorrow,” Lewis’ supposed burner account responded with, “It’s his fault no matter what” – using three laughing emojis at the end of his answer to the question.
Another account claimed LeBron James was 0-82 when Lewis refereed his games, and the alleged burner account responded under an interpretation of the stat, writing, “Um Memphis game 1,” with an emoji depicting someone shrugging.
The Lakers defeated the Grizzlies in Game 1 of the Western Conference first round, 128–112, with James recording 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 in the season, he was criticized by James when the Lakers star attempted a layup at the end of regulation and got no foul when the Celtics’ Jayson Tatum made contact with his arm on his way to the basket.
“We have no room for error,” James said after the January 28 game. “And it’s one of the best games we’ve played all year. It’s just ridiculous that it falls to someone else’s judgment or not. It is ridiculous.”
“@OfficialNBA Refs,” one of five accounts tracking the alleged Lewis burner account, 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 heartbreaking for us. This game will weigh heavily and cause sleepless nights as we strive to be the best umpires we can be.