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NBA opens investigation of longtime ref Eric Lewis over alleged burner account, per reports

Longtime NBA referee Eric Lewis allegedly used a burner account to defend himself against strangers on the internet. Now he'll reportedly have to defend himself against the NBA.

The league has opened an investigation into Lewis over the alleged burner account, which has since been deleted, according to NBA reporter Marc Stein and ESPN.

The account in question went by the name "Blair Cuttliff" and the handle "@CuttliffBlair." Fans started to notice the account's proclivity for defending Lewis and other NBA officials on Thursday, with one account compiling a video showing a sample of the tweets.

A particularly frequent enemy for the account was Los Angeles Lakers fans. Lewis was the official involved in maybe the most entertaining technical foul of the season, when then-Lakers guard Patrick Beverley drew the ref's ire by grabbing a photographer's camera to show him evidence of a missed call.

Beverley and former Lakers teammate LeBron James both spoke up on Saturday about the Lewis news.

The reported reason why the NBA would be unhappy about a referee having a burner account is a league rule forbidding refs from publicly commenting on officiating without prior authorization. Lewis could face discipline if he's determined to have posted the tweets.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - OCTOBER 15:  Referee Eric Lewis #42 officiates a preseason game between the New York Knicks and the Washington Wizards at Madison Square Garden on October 15, 2021 in New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images)
Eric Lewis is the center of the latest bizarre NBA story. (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images)

Lewis is currently in his 19th season as an NBA referee, with 1,098 regular season games and 82 playoff games of experience, according his NBA bio.