The NBA announced on Wednesday that referee Eric Lewis has retired and that the league is subsequently closing its investigation into his alleged use of a burner social media account.
“NBA referee Eric Lewis has informed the league office that he is retiring, effective immediately,” the league’s statement reads. “In light of his decision, the NBA’s investigation into social media activity has been closed.”
Lewis was accused in May of running a burner account defending himself and NBA officials against criticism on the internet. He was a frequent target of criticism by Los Angeles Lakers fans.
The account under the handle @CuttliffBlair has since been deleted. Another social media account compiled a list of the account's posts before it was deleted.
NBA ref Eric Lewis has been outed as having a burner account (@CuttliffBlair). Lmaooo this is a momentous day. The account will surely be deleted soon so for the archives, the entirety of the account’s replies. All involving… yep, Eric Lewis. 😂
(h/t @Mikey_Wyllin) thread 🧵⬇️ pic.twitter.com/6GTvURouOc
— Pablo Escobarner (11 natties) (@PabloEscoburner) May 25, 2023
The accusation caught the attention of NBA players including LeBron James and Patrick Beverley, who played for the Lakers at the time. Beverley was involved in a high-profile incident with Lewis where he grabbed a photographer's camera to plead his case for a missed call.
This Eric Lewis 💩 true??? 🤨
— LeBron James (@KingJames) May 27, 2023
Laughed at me when I grabbed the camera 📷 yea aight 🤦🏾♂️
— Patrick Beverley (@patbev21) May 27, 2023
NBA officials are prohibited from commenting publicly on officiating without authorization from the league. Prior to his decision to retire, Lewis faced potential discipline if the NBA determined that the account was his.
Lewis, 52, officiated NBA games for 19 seasons. Per his NBA bio, he worked 1,098 regular season games and 82 playoff games.
There was no public comment from James or Beverley after the news of his retirement.