Bitter Older Men Division: 4. Phil Jackson vs. 5. Joey Crawford
4. Phil Jackson
For a man that won 11 titles as an NBA coach, Phil Jackson sure has been bitter toward the success of the San Antonio Spurs. The Hall of Fame coach famously coined the “asterisk” comment regarding achievements when he suggested the Spurs’ first title shouldn’t count as a normal one since it happened in a lockout season.
His term is now used just about every year to justify why a certain team won a particular title, whether it be benefitting from an injury or lucky breaks. This year, the asterisk talk is especially loud, given the circumstances surrounding this postseason.
Jackson has always found subtle ways to take shots at the Spurs despite his endless success in the league, including making it clear they weren’t a dynasty shortly before they went on to win their fifth title in 2014.
5. Joey Crawford
One of the worst qualities an NBA official can have is trying to make the game about himself. Having pride is fine, but Joey Crawford let his ego get the best of him in a big way in April 2007. After whistling Tim Duncan with a questionable offensive foul call, Duncan laughed at a separate foul call from Crawford minutes later from the bench, prompting a technical foul.
A few minutes later, Crawford whistled another blocking foul on San Antonio, resulting in Duncan laughing and clapping while seated with his teammates. Feeling slighted, Crawford then ejected Tim from the game, prompting an immediate suspension and scolding from David Stern.
To Crawford’s credit, he’s since admitted the ejection was one of the biggest regrets of his career, and even attended extra sessions with his sports psychologist to address his anger issues shortly after.