Eric Lewis has been an official in the NBA since 2005 and he has refereed 1,098 career games. He's also officiated 82 total playoff games and six NBA Finals games through the years. However, his 19-year career with the NBA has come to an end, as Lewis informed the league office on Wednesday that he is retiring, effectively immediately.
The following was released by the NBA. pic.twitter.com/ThEXZZcrl7
— NBA Official (@NBAOfficial) August 30, 2023
Per the official release from the NBA: “NBA referee Eric Lewis has informed the league office that he is retiring, effective immediately. In light of his decision, the NBA's investigation into social media activity has been closed.”
Lewis has always been a well-respected official around the NBA, but recent controversy led to what appears to be a mutual decision for his dismissal.
“Regarding Eric Lewis and the social media posts, we are continuing to review the matter and he will not be working the Finals,” NBA spokesperson Mike Bass said ahead of the 2023 NBA Finals.
Back in May, many on social media began to point out posts from a “burner account” that constantly talked about league officiating, specifically defending Lewis and other officials around the NBA. This led to the league holding him out from working the the Finals this past year and then an official investigation begun.
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Many players have given their thoughts on the matter through the months, including Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James.
At this time, it is still unknown whether or not Lewis was the one operating the Twitter account that came into question several months back.
“We decided that given that investigation was ongoing and it remains ongoing, that it wouldn't be appropriate for him to work in these finals,” NBA commissioner Adam Silver said ahead of this past season's championship series. “I don't know what the ultimate conclusion will be. We'll see where the facts take us.”
The NBA takes burner account activity very serious, especially when it pertains to the league's officials making unauthorized comments. While he has stepped down from his position by retiring, Lewis likely cooperated with the league office to come to this conclusion.