A Tim Duncan photo showing the San Antonio Spurs star dressed in Halloween costume and holding a fake gun to the head of someone dressed like a referee has drawn a strong reaction from critics, especially in the wake of high profile gun violence incidents.
But for others, the Tim Duncan photo is nothing more than a playful gesture from a player with a stellar reputation around the NBA.
When the photo of Tim Duncan and Tony Parker holding fake guns to the head of a partygoer dressed like referee Joey Crawford first showed up on Reddit, it led to speculation that the players would face a fine for the incident. But one day after the Tim Duncan photo came out, the reaction for many has turned to outrage.
As NESN noted, the picture appears to be intended as payback for some famous run-ins with Crawford, who once ejected Tim Duncan for laughing while on the bench. The timing of the picture’s release — two days after Chiefs player Jovan Belcher killed his girlfriend and the later himself — is also seen as unfortunate and has drawn some outrage online.
Spurs player Manu Ginobili didn’t seem to see the controversy with the Tim Duncan photo.
“I don’t know exactly what people are saying about it,” Ginobili, who went to the Halloween party dressed as Zorro, told the San Antonio Express-News. “What I know is, it was Halloween. If somebody dressed like Pop was there, I probably would have done the same with my little sword. I think it was a joke. It was very innocent. They were just probably kidding. I didn’t see it at the time, but nothing to be serious about.”
Ginobili said he disagrees with those who think the Tim Duncan photo warrants a fine.
“Why would I?” he said. “I’m not concerned. I don’t think it’s something to take so serious. But who knows what’s going to happen?”
Jacksonville Sun writer Jeff Zillgitt agrees:
“It’s irrelevant that the pose was a visual gag they probably hoped would never see the light of day. Whether or not it’s funny is of no concern. Nor does it matter than Duncan and Parker are known as two of the NBA’s good guys. Perception is king.
“Whatever you think about guns, sports and the abilities of Joey Crawford (or lack thereof), it’s an easy call to make. Two NBA stars allowed themselves to be photographed pointing fake guns at an NBA referee. The league can’t let that go.”
Do you think the Tim Duncan photo is insensitive?