Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The NBA scandal

( If you don't care about the NBA, than scroll down and listen to Matt Chandler's sermon from Monday's post. :) Its more important)

The NBA is in the middle of a pretty serious officiating scandal. A former referee, Tim Donaghy is alleging that the NBA was basically fixing games to make certain series extend to 7 games,. . . make certain players get calls, . . . and that competition was not "fair".

There are a few thoughts I have on this.

1) Tim Donaghy is a convicted felon who is awaiting sentencing for gambling on games he officiated, . .these allegations are an attempt by him to get a shorter sentence.

That doesn't dis-credit everything, but that should always be noted as we discuss this.

2) There has long been a theory that the NBA favors large market teams (LA, Boston, Miami) over small-market teams (Golden State, Sacremento, Atlanta). Donaghy adds fuel to the fire by suggesting that LA was given preferential treatment in 2002 over Sacremento, specifically.

There are a few flaws here: a) San Antonio, Texas is the 3rd smallest television market out of all the NBA cities. (sacremento is the 10th smallest) The spurs have won 4 titles in recent years. If the league was trying to favor large market teams, the Spurs would be out of the playoffs every year.
b) The New York Knicks (huge t.v. market) are terrible, have been for years, and it isn't looking good in the future :)

3) If the league was mandating that certain games have certain outcomes, it would've come out long before this, and the appropriate people would have been prosecuted.

4) One of Donaghy's allegations is that the league office, after receiving a complaint from a team owner, told the officials to "watch this player, what he was doing". etc. . . .during a game.

I don't think this is corruption. . . .for the league to see something that was brought up, and instruct it's officials to adjust the way they're calling the game(s) based on their tape review of the situation. I don't think that's a big deal.


Bottom line, the NBA has a credibility problem because it's rules are the most nebulous and "up for interpretation" as any league there is. Also, the refs are more influenced by the crowd/players/coaches in the NBA, than any other sport because of how close the crowd is to the action on the court. Its a different sport than Football, and the rules are interpreted in a different way than other sports.

All of those things lead to constant bickering about the officiating. Its par for the course, and its not going away. I will stop short of believing the league is conspiring to make these things happen until I see some evidence/names/smoking gun, etc. . . . . . . .

ok, so I know no-one cares. . . back to life.


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