Posted by: Kevin | June 19, 2008

The Turd in the Punchbowl

I grew up in a very sports focused household in the Boston area.  I can still remember that the only time my mom let a TV anywhere near the dinner table, was when the Celtics were on or maybe if the Sox were in the Playoffs.  It’s cliché but the 86 Celtics were a big part of my childhood.  So why am I not enjoying Tuesday’s win more?

The answer, of course, has everything to do with this asshole

Officiating has always been a problem in the NBA.  It’s more or less understood that the home team is more likely to get the call and that the star player can get away with things that the bench warmers can not.  Those things aren’t right but at least they can be explained by something other than malfeasance.  An official actively trying to influence the outcome of a game is on a different level entirely. 

After game 3 in this year’s championship series, Tim Donaghy, who is trying like hell to save his ass from a lengthy prison sentence, claimed that other referees are fixing games.  He specifically alluded to the 2002 Western Conference Championship between the LA Lakers and the Sacramento Kings.  Game 6 of that series, which Donaghy wasn’t involved in, featured some of the most one-sided refereeing in modern NBA history.  Long story short, The Kings got jobbed and everyone new it.  

Because of Donaghy’s actions as a ref and his recent accusations, that game, and many others, carries the stink of corruption.  Just google “The NBA is Fixed” or search it on YouTube.  There are many examples of games with outcomes that were impacted by “curious” officiating.  Game 2 of this year’s championship is one of them, although not a very strong example. 

So even as I sat enjoying the Celtics demolition of the Lakers on Tuesday, there was no escaping the bitter aftertaste.  Is the NBA fixed?  It’s definitely possible.  Even if it’s not to the level of the WWE it doesn’t matter.  Once you’re influencing the outcome of games to get a desired result, you no longer have a sport.  You might still have entertainment but we already have one WWE, we don’t need another.

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