NEW YORK, April 17, 2007 NBA referee Joey Crawford has been indefinitely suspended for improper conduct toward Tim Duncan during the San Antonio Spurs at Dallas Mavericks game on April 15, it was announced today by NBA Commissioner David Stern. The conduct included Crawford's assessment of a second technical foul and ejection of Duncan following laughter by the player while he was seated on the bench, and inappropriate comments made to Duncan during the game.

Crawford's suspension will cover at least the remainder of the 2006-07 season, including the NBA Playoffs and Finals.

"Joey Crawford's handling of this situation failed to meet the standards of professionalism and game management we expect of NBA referees," said Stern. "Especially in light of similar prior acts by this official, a significant suspension is warranted. Although Joey is consistently rated as one of our top referees, he must be held accountable for his actions on the floor, and we will have further discussions with him following the season to be sure he understands his responsibilities."

The incidents occurred with 1:04 remaining in the third period of the Mavericks 91-86 win over the Spurs on Sunday, April 8 at American Airlines Center.