Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Do you recognize this man?

Well, the chances that you recognize him are pretty slim. Unless you have been watching ESPN lately, you might not know that this man's name is Tim Donaghy. His was at one time a referee in the NBA. Let me fill you in on the story... From Wikipedia... Donaghy resigned from the league on July 9, 2007[5] prior to reports of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for allegations that he bet on games that he officiated during his last two seasons and that he made calls affecting the point spread in those games.[6] On August 15, 2007, Donaghy pleaded guilty to two federal charges related to the investigation. However, he could face more charges at the state level if it is determined that he deliberately miscalled individual games.

Well, I am sure that most of you, if any are still reading at this point, are thinking..."Who gives a rip about this guy?" I do, and what I am about to write makes me sick to my stomach. Yesterday Donaghy's lawyer filed a document making comments about the 2002 NBA playoffs. From the report.."Referees A, F and G were officiating a playoff series between Teams 5 and 6 in May of 2002. It was the sixth game of a seven-game series, and a Team 5 victory that night would have ended the series. However, Tim learned from Referee A that Referees A and F wanted to extend the series to seven games. Tim knew referees A and F to be 'company men,' always acting in the interest of the NBA, and that night, it was in the NBA's interest to add another game to the series. Referees A and F heavily favored Team 6. Personal fouls [resulting in obviously injured players] were ignored even when they occurred in full view of the referees. Conversely, the referees called made-up fouls on Team 5 in order to give additional free throw opportunities for Team 6. Their foul-calling also led to the ejection of two Team 5 players. The referees' favoring of Team 6 led to that team's victory that night, and Team 6 came back from behind to win that series."
Now, this is where things get bad. There was only one series that playoffs that went to seven games, yep, you guessed it, Sacramento Kings and the LA Lakers. Now, in game 6 of that series, the Kings went into the 4th quarter with a lead. While most teams don't even shoot 27 free-throws a game, the Lakers shot 27 free-throws in the fourth quarter alone. Needless to say, the Lakers won the game, won the series, and won the NBA Title that year.

Now, to clear things up, most likely the only reason that this guy is now making these allegations is because he is desperate. He is trying to do everything he can to reduce the 25 years in prison that he is now facing. So, do I believe this guy....? Yes and no. I love basketball, I love the Kings, and I love the NBA. I have a hard time believing that the NBA actually told the referees to do what Donaghy says they did. I do, though, think that referees fixed that game, and plenty of others. On a poll taken at 90% of the people taking the poll think that the refs conspired to make the series a seven game series (meaning the Kings would lose)and 82% believe that they have seen a fixed game. Tom Ziller from Sactown Royalty said this about the situation...

"The simple fact that it's so easy to believe Donaghy is the NBA's real problem here. Everyone saw the same Game 6 -- even Lakers fans. And everyone will at least entertain the possibility it was rigged. It's unfortunate it takes a scumbag like Donaghy to bring this discussion back from the shadows, and really, it's unfortunate it had the discussion had to return at all. But that's what happens when there's no transperency in NBA officiating, and that's what happens when something like Game 6 comes to pass.

The NBA could have fixed this by admitting the refs made repeated mistakes in Game 6. Bavetta, Delaney and Bernhardt all worked Finals games that year! Because the NBA stayed silent, and because Stern did not discipline those referees for the worst-called game in league history, this is where we are.

That's why we should be mad at the NBA. They let this -- the reopening of the wound, and the opportunity for numerous future wounds -- happen."

So, for those of you who are still reading, thanks. We may never know what really happened during that game, but you can be sure that I will ask in the next life. Nothing can be done now, but if it was up to me, I would put a big fat asterisk right next to the Lakers name as 2002 NBA Champions.

Also, Maran asked a question in the previous post. Feel free to read and let her know what you think.


Wendi said...

Wow. I read that whole post thinking that Maran is who wrote it! I had no idea that Maran was so into basketball! But it makes sense that Scott wrote it now. I am still laughing. Interesting information though! I had no idea about any of that!

Jim Innes said...

I tend to believe that this is not an isolated problem and that the league is involved in extending these series and ensuring that their more "marketable" teams do well. I have watched this for far too many years to believe otherwise. Back in the Jordan era it happened, and now it continues for the Kobe era. Of the many reasons I have more or less stopped watching pro basketball - this is near the top.

I hope some kind of large scale investigation is launched, if it is run right you will see a help wanted sign at the NBA offices looking fore a new commissioner ;)

Donna said...

Scott, I remember this game and I was so ticked off. Since then, I have lost interest in basketball and no longer watch it (although Dave and his mom do). It always comes down to the love of money doesn't it? Whether it be safe medicine, banning poisonous substances (such as cigarettes and food additives and other environmental chemicals) or whatever, it is always greed. Sad that it has affected major league basketball finals as well. But, then again, why not?

RachelBarker said...

Ok, now you have me Fired up!!!! I still am sick of the ending of this...I am married to a Loving Laker family!! I get so heated when I talk about it! Love how you put everything and I'm going to make my Bro-n-laws read this.

Jen said...

OOh- that makes me mad. Phoenix had some issues with refs a couple years ago too.

Anonymous said...

Remember Jordan pushed off in Utah to beat the Jazz in the 98 finals...conincidence? I think not.