Who is NBA referee Eric Lewis? Learn all about the referee at the heart of the LeBron James missed call controversy


Who is NBA referee Eric Lewis and why is he in the news?

Refereeing in the NBA is a high scrutiny job to say the least. With thousands of people watching on as one officiates a game, the onus is often on the officials to do the best job that they possibly can. But every once in a while, a referee comes up with an incredible howler – as it happened when Eric Lewis came up with one when the Los Angeles Lakers met the Boston Celtics.

Patrick Beverley and LeBron James
Patrick Beverley and LeBron James squaring up to referee Eric Lewis

With the Lakers leading by three points with four seconds to go, Jaylen Brown made a layup that cut the Lakers’ lead to one. The play still left the Lakers with the ball and the lead – however, in a strange twist, Patrick Beverley was called for one of the latest fouls one will ever see. And just when Brown made the free throw, the Lakers had another opportunity to win the game – denied.

NBA statement in hindsight of the Lakers-Celtics game

The Lakers drew up a play for LeBron James to attack the rim, and as James got into the paint and put up a layup – Jayson Tatum hit him on the arm. To James’ and the Lakers’ frustration, the referee’s whistle did not go – and the Lakers had lost yet another game courtesy of bad refereeing. The scenes after the Celtics won the game involved a LeBron James reaction that has since gone viral, as well as a Beverley technical foul where he brought a camera to Lewis.

The referee has since gone on air to apologize about making the wrong decision – however, he still has gone viral in the NBA community, and many have asked who is the official.

Who is NBA referee Eric Lewis?

Lewis is a seasoned referee currently in the 19th season of his refereeing career.

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Referee Eric Lewis

Born in Daytona beach, Florida in 1971, Eric Lewis has officiated 1,098 regular-season games in 18 seasons as an NBA staff official. He has also refereed 82 playoff games, including six NBA Finals games. Lewis officiated his first NBA Finals game during the 2019 series between the Golden State Warriors and the Toronto Raptors.

He officiated two Finals games in both the 2020 series between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Miami Heat and the 2021 series between the Milwaukee Bucks and the Phoenix Suns.

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