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Author Topic: (Sports) Donaghy docs allege refs altered games  (Read 4362 times)
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GuidoTKP
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« Reply #40 on: June 11, 2008, 08:56:45 PM »

Quote from: yossar on June 11, 2008, 08:47:10 PM

Quote from: Eightball on June 11, 2008, 06:59:51 PM


Hockey seems harder to me, in that it's 3 refs for 12 players on the field, and it's faster moving.  Oh and there are sticks...

I said "major" and "American"  icon_razz

I dunno, though. In hockey you aren't calling a foul every time someone gets tapped on the elbow. The sheer volume of times the ref has to intervene in basketball and the subtlety of most of the calls (were the defender's feet set to take the charge or was he a split second late?) means they're going to miss a lot.

Other than just the sheer speed of the game, it seems to me that hockey penalties are much easier to call when observed.  High sticking, slashing, icing, hooking, offsides, etc. seem way easier to spot than whether a foul has been comitted or not in the typical NBA bump and grind of half-court possessions.  I've never heard hockey fans have endless arguments about whether a foul should have been called the same way basketball fans do.  The only other American game where officiating is even close to being as much a topic of conversation is Football, but even that game doesn't really compare (although, I think a blown pass interference call is typically a bigger deal than any blown call in an NBA game).
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« Reply #41 on: June 11, 2008, 09:55:51 PM »

Apparently Stern didn't do anything to stop the controversy today when he appeared on Fox Radio's national afternoon show.  They are going to run the interview again in the next 15 minutes.

Edit: I heard the replay of the interview.  One of the interviewers asked him to explain the variation between how certain teams played during the playoffs, implying that refereeing had an impact.  Stern took great offense to the idea and actually kept taking shots at "talk show hosts" even after the other interviewer took control of the situation and moved on to other questions.  At one point Stern appeared to try and end the interview, indicating he was upset, but they got him to answer another question before he left.

« Last Edit: June 11, 2008, 10:21:08 PM by Sarkus » Logged

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« Reply #42 on: June 12, 2008, 01:15:42 AM »

Quote from: GuidoTKP on June 11, 2008, 06:42:28 PM

Quote from: rshetts2 on June 11, 2008, 02:21:33 PM

I don't doubt this for a minute.  Ive believed refs have been intentionally affecting games outcomes since the Jordan era.  I don't doubt for a minute that the Spurs were doomed this year, especially when the Celtics got past the Pistons.  I love the rationalization that they didn't call the foul on the three pointer because they don't want to affect the games outcome.  What BS, by not calling the obvious foul, they completely affected the outcome of the game.  The NBA (Stern) wanted a Celtics-Lakers finals and I believe there was a mandate to make sure it happened.  They have built the hype up for the series and knew that they would reap untold millions more from this series than any other.  In a world were people are killed for their basketball shoes, I find it easy to believe that the NBA would "alter" games for millions.  I actually find it hard to believe otherwise.  I'm sure Donahey will be labeled as a vengeance seeker and NBA will pile as much dirt on him as they can.  Still, if they can find the smallest amount of evidence or get anyone to cooborate his claims, the NBA will become the new WWE.
 Oh and the ESPN comment that a Lakers-Celtics series is generationally invalid,  thats bull.  ESPN has hyped and spoon fed us this rivalry all season.  Kids all over wear retro Celtics and Lakers jerseys. Today you have two of the games biggest (most hyped) stars, Rapeboy Kobe and Garnett.  The only difference is that in the Magic/Bird era, players actually decided the games.  Watch some of the old basketball games sometime and then tell me todays game is more physical.  Flagrant foul?  Hah!  Pick your pansy ass up off the floor and play, ya sissy!

Dude, that's pathetic.  Do you really think the Spurs lost this year because of the officiating?  Did the officiating really cause Ginobli to disapear?  Why are mistakes on the last call of the game considered so much more significant than mistakes made before half time (Duncan's blatant travel in the lane) or second-to-last play of the game (failing to reset the clock when Fisher's shot came off the rim, which made the Spurs last possession possible)?  Both teams were beating the crap out of each other all game.  Fisher fouled Barry, but a lot of those types of fouls weren't called during the course of the game.

Also, I think Donaghy's specific claim about Game 6 is utter bullshit (completely apart from how good or bad one thinks the officiating was in Game 6).  I don't believe for a second that Bob Delaney, Dick Bavetta or Ted Bernhardt actually said to him that they put a fix in on a game.  Stop for a second and ponder how shockingly, utterly stupid that claim is.  If Dick Bavetta and Bob Delaney were sitting down for coffee and decide to rig Game 6 (apparently for the good of the league, according to Donaghy), do they really call up Donaghy to brag about it?  Do they really, blatantly say they're going make sure the series goes 7?  If one casually brags about that conduct, then one must assume every single series is fixed, since clearly such conduct would be de rigueur for the playoffs and it would be no big deal to brag about comitting a felony.  If you think the fraternaty of basketball refs are actually that crooked, I suggest you stop watching basketball.  I'd never watch the games if I thought they were rigged.  What would be the point?

Well, I wont start with calling you pathetic, an argument can proceed with either venom or class.  Even if I disagree with someone, I choose to respect a persons opinion because thats what it is, an opinion.  Now to answer some of you questions. First off while I dont believe the officiating was the sole reason for the Spurs losing, I certainly believe that it was a contributing factor.  I believe as well that Stern is not above suggesting that the games be reffed in a certain way and I certainly believe that Stern wanted more than anything the Lakers/Celtics matchup.  With teams at this level all it takes is a few "strange" calls or non-calls to change the game.  You ask why calls at the end of a game are more significant that calls early on?  Quite simply because at the end of a game it can completely change the outcome of a game.  If its early, then theres plenty of time to overcome it, late there is no time.  Now regarding Donahey's remarks regarding what was obviously the Lakers/Kings series,  he certainly picked one of the most infamous series altering ref screw ups to point out.  Obviously his remarks are questionable, due to his credibility but his point is valid and he isnt the 1st person to question the state of the NBA's referrees legitimacy.    It isnt suprising that the incidents discussed here both involve the Lakers.  LA is a huge money market for the NBA and the league prospers when the Lakers run late in the post season.  I am sure financially, the league stands to make tens of millions more having a Lakers/Celtics series than a Spurs/Celtics series and big money is one helluva motive for Stern to act on.  Oh and btw,  I quit watching NBA game for the very reasons I stated.  I have friends who are really in to it so I keep up on it with sportscenter but unless Im in a bar with friends Im not watching the NBA.  Now, regarding the whole "what would be the point of watching a rigged game" thing...see wrestling.

ps:  This is a shot in the dark but Im guessing youre a Lakers fan, eh?
« Last Edit: June 12, 2008, 01:17:46 AM by rshetts2 » Logged

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Sarkus
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« Reply #43 on: June 12, 2008, 02:00:13 AM »

Does anyone know if the feds or prosecutors involved have reacted to the story?  The reason I ask is because Stern is saying/suggesting that these claims were already investigated by the feds and prosecutors and that they found no reason to suspect them.  He also claims that the NBA has done some internal investigating into various aspects of things they were officially informed about as well as into things they suspected the feds and prosecutors were interested in based on what the NBA was being asked about.

One odd angle is despite Stern's suggestion that these allegations have been discounted after investigation, one of the refs in the Kings/Lakers game has already come out to say that no one ever contacted him about that game before this new story broke.

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« Reply #44 on: June 12, 2008, 02:55:51 AM »

Quote from: GuidoTKP on June 11, 2008, 08:56:45 PM

I've never heard hockey fans have endless arguments about whether a foul should have been called the same way basketball fans do.

Seriously?  I've heard tons of bitching about goalie interference, for one.  It's the NHL's version of holding in the NFL. 

Also, it's likely because you're in LA, where they nominally have a hockey team, but no one cares about them or any other team besides the Lakers...
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yossar
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« Reply #45 on: June 12, 2008, 03:00:57 AM »

That's not fair. We care about the Dodgers when they're good and hockey when our team has the greatest player of all time on it.
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« Reply #46 on: June 12, 2008, 03:05:11 AM »

Quote from: rshetts2 on June 11, 2008, 02:21:33 PM

I don't doubt this for a minute.  Ive believed refs have been intentionally affecting games outcomes since the Jordan era.  I don't doubt for a minute that the Spurs were doomed this year, especially when the Celtics got past the Pistons.  I love the rationalization that they didn't call the foul on the three pointer because they don't want to affect the games outcome.  What BS, by not calling the obvious foul, they completely affected the outcome of the game.  The NBA (Stern) wanted a Celtics-Lakers finals and I believe there was a mandate to make sure it happened.  They have built the hype up for the series and knew that they would reap untold millions more from this series than any other.  In a world were people are killed for their basketball shoes, I find it easy to believe that the NBA would "alter" games for millions.  I actually find it hard to believe otherwise.  I'm sure Donahey will be labeled as a vengeance seeker and NBA will pile as much dirt on him as they can.  Still, if they can find the smallest amount of evidence or get anyone to cooborate his claims, the NBA will become the new WWE.
 Oh and the ESPN comment that a Lakers-Celtics series is generationally invalid,  thats bull.  ESPN has hyped and spoon fed us this rivalry all season.  Kids all over wear retro Celtics and Lakers jerseys. Today you have two of the games biggest (most hyped) stars, Rapeboy Kobe and Garnett.  The only difference is that in the Magic/Bird era, players actually decided the games.  Watch some of the old basketball games sometime and then tell me todays game is more physical.  Flagrant foul?  Hah!  Pick your pansy ass up off the floor and play, ya sissy!

Rapeboy?

He wasn't found guilty, and the gold digger who claimed he 'raped' her apparently decided a bunch of money was more important than proving he's a rapist.  He committed adultery, no question, but if that's the standard by which you're going to judge basketball players then I think you're probably ruling out 95% of them.

Not a Lakers fan, by the way.  Just think people calling Kobe a rapist are more than a little naive, and also more than a little presumptive.  Like him or not, Kobe is the most talented basketball player to play since MJ.  I would have loved to see them play against each other in their primes.
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McBa1n
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« Reply #47 on: June 12, 2008, 05:18:57 AM »

I think the vast amount of opinions say a LOT. Officiating collusion goes on way way way back, however, in the NBA, it really became focused when Jordan showed up. The Sacremento game that is in question is one of the worst of all time - any sports fan remembers that... But I think what it comes down to is - we all want to watch a square game in hoops on a professional level. It's hilarious that the point has been brought up multiple times that you KNOW who will win and the 'calls' satisfy that.

Sorry, the system is VERY corrupt and has been for over a decade+. In just WATCHING games (ESPN classic does run pre-jordan era games), you see a MASSIVE difference. I really want to watch the NBA, and I actually tried this season - and the same thing happened. Lebron and Kobe and Garnett get 5 steps, and Bob Bobstone gets 2, as per rule. The 'walk' has infiltrated the college game, also, which is horrible.

Why can't they just call the game as it is just one time? I see this crap on TV, and your awareness watching versus 'working' are on a whole other level or 10.

The NBA, as a fan, is not watchable by any standard. I resubmit that Donaghy's claims are all 100% accurate. Bettors don't lie when they are cornered. You'd have to be a bettor, however, to understand that mentality.
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GuidoTKP
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« Reply #48 on: June 12, 2008, 06:13:13 PM »

Quote from: McBa1n on June 12, 2008, 05:18:57 AM

I think the vast amount of opinions say a LOT. Officiating collusion goes on way way way back, however, in the NBA, it really became focused when Jordan showed up. The Sacremento game that is in question is one of the worst of all time - any sports fan remembers that... But I think what it comes down to is - we all want to watch a square game in hoops on a professional level. It's hilarious that the point has been brought up multiple times that you KNOW who will win and the 'calls' satisfy that.

Sorry, the system is VERY corrupt and has been for over a decade+. In just WATCHING games (ESPN classic does run pre-jordan era games), you see a MASSIVE difference. I really want to watch the NBA, and I actually tried this season - and the same thing happened. Lebron and Kobe and Garnett get 5 steps, and Bob Bobstone gets 2, as per rule. The 'walk' has infiltrated the college game, also, which is horrible.

Why can't they just call the game as it is just one time? I see this crap on TV, and your awareness watching versus 'working' are on a whole other level or 10.

The NBA, as a fan, is not watchable by any standard. I resubmit that Donaghy's claims are all 100% accurate. Bettors don't lie when they are cornered. You'd have to be a bettor, however, to understand that mentality.

If the NBA fixed games, the Spurs would have NEVER won 4 Championships in the past 10 years (they are a proven ratings killer), and the Knicks wouldn't have been sucking eggs for a decade.  It just wouldn't work that way.  Stern is way, WAY too smart to ever say to an official "Celtics are good money for the NBA."  He's a real smart guy and knows that you would NEVER be able to keep that type of game fixing quiet.  Someone would talk.  Someone always talks.  He'd be killing himself and his legacy if he ever got caught doing that.  Mark Cuban, perhaps the most critical owner of all time with respect to officiating, has said over and over again that accusing David Stern of game fixing is totally and utterly nuts.

What I do think happens is that crews get reviewed after games and the crew for the next game gets to hear about what types of calls the previous crew got wrong.  Over and over again, what you end up seeing is a lot of compensation (and in some instances, over compensation) for the errors of a previous game.  In that sense, I very much believe "make up" games happen.

Finally, I'd never dispute that NBA refs have a bigger effect on the game than any other ref in any other sport.  If I were a gambling man, I'd want nothing to do with that either, but I don't think the logical conclusion from that is that the games are rigged.  It's just the toughest game in sports to officiate.
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« Reply #49 on: June 12, 2008, 06:29:53 PM »

Quote from: GuidoTKP on June 12, 2008, 06:13:13 PM

Finally, I'd never dispute that NBA refs have a bigger effect on the game than any other ref in any other sport.  If I were a gambling man, I'd want nothing to do with that either, but I don't think the logical conclusion from that is that the games are rigged.  It's just the toughest game in sports to officiate.

This is the biggest problem in the game today, IMHO.  The refs (even a single one) have too much power to affect an entire game.  Whether it's NBA fixing or the networks or personal gambling gain or the mob or whatever is irrelevant in some respect.  The saddest part of the Donaghy allegations is that no one disputes that a single ref can control the outcome of the game.  Other sports have found ways to negate this to a much greater extent.  This is a problem with the game itself, the rules and the officiating.  They need some serious overhauls to make the game at least feel more legitimate. 

What makes it all "feel" worse is the advent of HD and DVRs and better camera tech - this means fans like me are watching the games closer and in more detail than ever before, so every missed call and wrong call seems even worse.  You rewind, zoom in, watch it in "X-Mo" (anyone catch the Celtic dude pinning Gasol's arm in Game 3 in X-mo?), and it just makes everything worse.  I've been an NBA fan nearly 30 years, but even I am having big issues with the game these days.

I don't have any great solutions, just a few suggestions:

- Add an extra ref?  No idea if this would help or make it worse
- Reduce the number of fouls and force players to just play clean or not play at all
- Allow a coach's video challenge (like football), maybe 1 per quarter or 1 per half
- Have the finals played at a neutral location (like football)
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GuidoTKP
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« Reply #50 on: June 12, 2008, 07:08:25 PM »

Quote from: rshetts2 on June 12, 2008, 01:15:42 AM

Quote from: GuidoTKP on June 11, 2008, 06:42:28 PM

Quote from: rshetts2 on June 11, 2008, 02:21:33 PM

I don't doubt this for a minute.  Ive believed refs have been intentionally affecting games outcomes since the Jordan era.  I don't doubt for a minute that the Spurs were doomed this year, especially when the Celtics got past the Pistons.  I love the rationalization that they didn't call the foul on the three pointer because they don't want to affect the games outcome.  What BS, by not calling the obvious foul, they completely affected the outcome of the game.  The NBA (Stern) wanted a Celtics-Lakers finals and I believe there was a mandate to make sure it happened.  They have built the hype up for the series and knew that they would reap untold millions more from this series than any other.  In a world were people are killed for their basketball shoes, I find it easy to believe that the NBA would "alter" games for millions.  I actually find it hard to believe otherwise.  I'm sure Donahey will be labeled as a vengeance seeker and NBA will pile as much dirt on him as they can.  Still, if they can find the smallest amount of evidence or get anyone to cooborate his claims, the NBA will become the new WWE.
 Oh and the ESPN comment that a Lakers-Celtics series is generationally invalid,  thats bull.  ESPN has hyped and spoon fed us this rivalry all season.  Kids all over wear retro Celtics and Lakers jerseys. Today you have two of the games biggest (most hyped) stars, Rapeboy Kobe and Garnett.  The only difference is that in the Magic/Bird era, players actually decided the games.  Watch some of the old basketball games sometime and then tell me todays game is more physical.  Flagrant foul?  Hah!  Pick your pansy ass up off the floor and play, ya sissy!

Dude, that's pathetic.  Do you really think the Spurs lost this year because of the officiating?  Did the officiating really cause Ginobli to disapear?  Why are mistakes on the last call of the game considered so much more significant than mistakes made before half time (Duncan's blatant travel in the lane) or second-to-last play of the game (failing to reset the clock when Fisher's shot came off the rim, which made the Spurs last possession possible)?  Both teams were beating the crap out of each other all game.  Fisher fouled Barry, but a lot of those types of fouls weren't called during the course of the game.

Also, I think Donaghy's specific claim about Game 6 is utter bullshit (completely apart from how good or bad one thinks the officiating was in Game 6).  I don't believe for a second that Bob Delaney, Dick Bavetta or Ted Bernhardt actually said to him that they put a fix in on a game.  Stop for a second and ponder how shockingly, utterly stupid that claim is.  If Dick Bavetta and Bob Delaney were sitting down for coffee and decide to rig Game 6 (apparently for the good of the league, according to Donaghy), do they really call up Donaghy to brag about it?  Do they really, blatantly say they're going make sure the series goes 7?  If one casually brags about that conduct, then one must assume every single series is fixed, since clearly such conduct would be de rigueur for the playoffs and it would be no big deal to brag about comitting a felony.  If you think the fraternaty of basketball refs are actually that crooked, I suggest you stop watching basketball.  I'd never watch the games if I thought they were rigged.  What would be the point?

Well, I wont start with calling you pathetic, an argument can proceed with either venom or class.  Even if I disagree with someone, I choose to respect a persons opinion because thats what it is, an opinion.  Now to answer some of you questions. First off while I dont believe the officiating was the sole reason for the Spurs losing, I certainly believe that it was a contributing factor.  I believe as well that Stern is not above suggesting that the games be reffed in a certain way and I certainly believe that Stern wanted more than anything the Lakers/Celtics matchup.  With teams at this level all it takes is a few "strange" calls or non-calls to change the game.  You ask why calls at the end of a game are more significant that calls early on?  Quite simply because at the end of a game it can completely change the outcome of a game.  If its early, then theres plenty of time to overcome it, late there is no time.  Now regarding Donahey's remarks regarding what was obviously the Lakers/Kings series,  he certainly picked one of the most infamous series altering ref screw ups to point out.  Obviously his remarks are questionable, due to his credibility but his point is valid and he isnt the 1st person to question the state of the NBA's referrees legitimacy.    It isnt suprising that the incidents discussed here both involve the Lakers.  LA is a huge money market for the NBA and the league prospers when the Lakers run late in the post season.  I am sure financially, the league stands to make tens of millions more having a Lakers/Celtics series than a Spurs/Celtics series and big money is one helluva motive for Stern to act on.  Oh and btw,  I quit watching NBA game for the very reasons I stated.  I have friends who are really in to it so I keep up on it with sportscenter but unless Im in a bar with friends Im not watching the NBA.  Now, regarding the whole "what would be the point of watching a rigged game" thing...see wrestling.

ps:  This is a shot in the dark but Im guessing youre a Lakers fan, eh?

I'm sorry, it's a little difficult to take lessons in class from somebody who refers to Kobe Bryant as "Rapeboy."  I said your argument was pathetic (and it was), not you.  If you want to take that in the most personal way possible, be my guest.  Now, on to your response.

You don't think the officiating was the sole cause of the Spurs loss, but was a contributing factor.  What does that mean?  Did they lose because of the officiating or not?  Otherwise, what's the point of bringing it up?  Is your thesis that the Spurs got consistantly jobbed by refs in the series against the Lakers?  If so, what's your evidence?  Is it just the non-call at the end of Game 4?  If that's it, let me suggest that your argument isn't very compelling.  Looking back at the stats, the Lakers averaged 18.4 free throws a game.  The Spurs averaged 18.8.  In the offensive Game 4, where the officiating allegedly determined the outcome, the Spurs had a 26 to 19 advantage at the stripe.  I don't think there is a lot of evidence that the Spurs got worked over by the refs.

I also am not persuaded by your argument that late calls are more significant because there is no time to come back from them.  First off, even if that's true, going back to that particular call, exactly how much time did the Lakers have to play through the failure to reset the clock after Fisher's shot hit the rim and the Lakers ended up with possession of the ball?  If you're going to obsess about the officiating in that game, then I think you need to account for the immediately preceeding, game-changing blown call.  Second, early calls can be just as significant.  Look at the two early calls against Kobe in Game 2 of the current series.  He had to sit down, and it pretty much screwed up the Lakers early rotation.  Kobe was doing to Ray Allen stuff that Bruce Bowen got away with the entire series against the Lakers, but he draws two questionable fouls early.  That has a huge impact on a game, particularly when you make the visiting team's star player sit down.  That was a poorly officiated game (too many ticky tack calls against the Lakers in the first half, followed by bogus makeup calls against the Celtics in the second half ... hell, that blown travelling non-call against Radmonovic was even worse than the non-call against Duncan, and I didn't think that was possible), but the result ultimately hinged on which team was more aggressive, and as a result, the Celtics clubbed the Lakers like a baby seal (even though they almost shat on themselves in the 4th quarter).  The Lakers were more aggressive in Game 3, got the calls, and won the game.  It usully works out that way.

I don't understand your analysis of Donaghy's statements.  You say Obviously his remarks are questionable, due to his credibility but his point is valid and he isnt the 1st person to question the state of the NBA's referrees legitimacy.  What "point" do you think Donaghy is making?  He didn't raise his eyebrow and say "boy, that was a poorly officiated game, makes you wonder how that happens."  He flat out alleged that two officials who worked that game confessed to him that they had decided to extend the series to seven games.  One either has reason to believe that such a confession was made or they don't.  I have no reason to believe such a confession was made, because I can think of nothing more retarded than any of the refs who worked that game calling up Donaghy to tell him how they were going to fix the result.  Why would they do that?  What would be in it for them?  I can think of lots of reasons for Donaghy to lie about it, but I can't think of one reason why any of these refs would casually confess to comitting fraud to someone who didn't even work the game.

LA is definitely a big money market, but let me suggest another possible reason for the Laker's success: they usually have great players on their roster.  Look at the teams that have hoisted banners for the Lakers.  They have guys like Magic, Kareem, Jerry West, Elgin Baylor, Wilt Chamberlain, Shaq, Kobe, etc.  How many Laker squads raised banners with guys like Nick Van Excel and Cedric Ceballos leading the charge?  Even then, individual talent doesn't tell the whole story.  The ShaKobe Lakers had to pay their dues before their title runs.  During Kobe's first three years in the league, they were busy having their playoff hopes dashed by mighty big market teams like Utah and San Antonio.  Indeed, during the three years prior to Phil Jacksons arrival with the Lakers, the Lakers won all of ONE playoff game against the Spurs and Jazz.  Did the league forget how to rig games during that time period?  Or was it just that better teams were able to crush the inexperienced, poorly coached Lakers?

PS: A shot in the dark, but you are perhaps a Spurs fan and/or an avowed Lakers/Kobe hater?
« Last Edit: June 12, 2008, 09:18:10 PM by GuidoTKP » Logged
GuidoTKP
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« Reply #51 on: June 12, 2008, 07:23:35 PM »

Quote from: rittchard on June 12, 2008, 06:29:53 PM

Quote from: GuidoTKP on June 12, 2008, 06:13:13 PM

Finally, I'd never dispute that NBA refs have a bigger effect on the game than any other ref in any other sport.  If I were a gambling man, I'd want nothing to do with that either, but I don't think the logical conclusion from that is that the games are rigged.  It's just the toughest game in sports to officiate.

This is the biggest problem in the game today, IMHO.  The refs (even a single one) have too much power to affect an entire game.  Whether it's NBA fixing or the networks or personal gambling gain or the mob or whatever is irrelevant in some respect.  The saddest part of the Donaghy allegations is that no one disputes that a single ref can control the outcome of the game.  Other sports have found ways to negate this to a much greater extent.  This is a problem with the game itself, the rules and the officiating.  They need some serious overhauls to make the game at least feel more legitimate. 

What makes it all "feel" worse is the advent of HD and DVRs and better camera tech - this means fans like me are watching the games closer and in more detail than ever before, so every missed call and wrong call seems even worse.  You rewind, zoom in, watch it in "X-Mo" (anyone catch the Celtic dude pinning Gasol's arm in Game 3 in X-mo?), and it just makes everything worse.  I've been an NBA fan nearly 30 years, but even I am having big issues with the game these days.

I don't have any great solutions, just a few suggestions:

- Add an extra ref?  No idea if this would help or make it worse
- Reduce the number of fouls and force players to just play clean or not play at all
- Allow a coach's video challenge (like football), maybe 1 per quarter or 1 per half
- Have the finals played at a neutral location (like football)

I just kind of accept it as part of the game.  Sort of like how college football fans just accept that national champions are selected by polling.  It's nowhere near as bad as ice dancing, but nowhere near as good MLB (and even they've been getting reamed this year).  I think it's just the nature of the beast.  Fouls slow the game down, so I'm not sure I'd want more officials on the court.  Making it easier to foul out discourages defense, which I think would be bad for the game.  A single coach's video challenge might not be bad.  Basketball games are already slooooooowwwwww at the end of halfs, so I'm nervous about anything that might make it take even longer, but one per half might not be that painful.  Neutral location games would suck.  It's one of the worst parts about the Super Bowl (but is understandable, given that it's a single game championship).  I think it would really take away from the drama of having to play in a hostile arena that you see in Basketball and Hockey (I don't think home field advantage is as significant in Baseball).

I kind of like Phil Jackson's suggestion that officiating be overseen by a completely neutral third party.  I think that would help with the perception of game fixing.  I'd also love to see the NBA run a segment on their website with the head of NBA officiating, going over controversial calls from the preceeding week, like the NFL does on their website.  I find those vignette's utterly fascinating, and I think helps with the NFL's credability.
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Eel Snave
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« Reply #52 on: June 12, 2008, 07:49:47 PM »

I think they should make officiating much more transparent.  They say they grade officials?  Well, tell us the grades.  Make the head of league officiating answer questions from the media (like the NFL).  You've created this problem, so now we want YOU to fix it.  Show us there's really no fixing going on.  Just giving us a smug response isn't going to help.
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GuidoTKP
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« Reply #53 on: June 12, 2008, 09:16:11 PM »

No major team sport has complete transparency for its officials.  It would be detrimental for those games.  It would point out that many mistakes are made each and every time a game is played.  The officiating in these games will never be perfect.  Because of that, full officiating transparency would take the focus away from the athletes and put it on the officiating.  That would be a really bad business decision.

What I do think would be very interesting would be to have a panel of ex NBA coaches (preferably ones who also played) sit down and watch tape of the ENTIRE 2002 Western Conference Finals (including the raw footage from all cameras if such footage were still available), and grade out each of the games.  (Ex NBA Officials doing the grading would be even better, but I don't think they'd throw their bretheren under the buss like that.)  I would be stunned to find out that the Grades looked like A, A, A, A, A, F, A.  I would also love to hear them discuss their approach to officiating on Shaq, since I always felt that one could call a foul both for and against Shaq every time he entered the basket area.
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Sarkus
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« Reply #54 on: June 12, 2008, 09:21:45 PM »

At least according to Stern, the NBA refs are graded at several levels.  The coaches grade them, there is an observer at the game, the observer later re-watches the game, and the game is watched again by a panel of refs.  All of these should catch rogue refs (though they missed Donaghy) but none of them would solve an institutional problem that would exist if refs were being asked directly or indirectly to call games in favor of a specific team.

I haven't followed this issue closely, but there do seem to be some weird games in NBA history that just happened to give the team that the league would have preferred from a marketing perspective the win.   Enough examples to make this issue seem worth investigating further.
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yossar
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« Reply #55 on: June 12, 2008, 09:34:40 PM »

Here's an interesting analysis of Game 5 of Dallas-Miami a few years back. 

http://www.82games.com/game5refs.htm

Would love to see something like that for the aforementioned Lakers-Kings game. 
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Remus West2
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« Reply #56 on: June 12, 2008, 10:43:36 PM »

Quote from: yossar on June 12, 2008, 09:34:40 PM

Here's an interesting analysis of Game 5 of Dallas-Miami a few years back. 

http://www.82games.com/game5refs.htm

Would love to see something like that for the aforementioned Lakers-Kings game. 
I'd rather see that done with game 2 when it was obviously tilted heavily towards Miami.  By game 5 much of the fight had gone out of the Mavs (imo) due to the nature of the officiating and the fact that it was obvious they were the better team but were not going to be allowed to win.

side note:  I think it was game 2 anyway.  The game in which D. Wade drove for a lay-up in the closing seconds and got to the line after airballing the 2-3 foot attempt when the nearest Mav was a good three feet away from being able to actually make contact with him.
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yossar
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« Reply #57 on: June 12, 2008, 11:02:41 PM »

Dallas won games 1 and 2. Did you mean a game that Miami won?
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gameoverman
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« Reply #58 on: June 13, 2008, 12:30:12 AM »

About the stuff where "X team got 19 calls a game while Y team got 19.3 calls a game, sounds fair to me":

Well, superficially it is.   But we all know when a call is made is just as important as IF a call is made.   A foul the first quarter, when the game is very much up for grabs no matter what the score at the time is, is entirely different than the same foul call at the end of the game when those points are the deciding points.

If I was running a team, I sure as hell would rather get less calls if I could get them at critical moments for my team, just as if I was manipulating games I'd want calls at the right moments, not just lots of calls.

This is why a team can win a game when their star has an 'off' night, scoring less than usual.   Because sometimes when you score matters more than how much you score. 

Timing is everything.   So I wouldn't look at sheer averages for clues as to legitimacy/
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Remus West2
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« Reply #59 on: June 13, 2008, 08:09:00 AM »

Quote from: yossar on June 12, 2008, 11:02:41 PM

Dallas won games 1 and 2. Did you mean a game that Miami won?
Game 3, after checking ESPN.  I'll see if I can find a youtube of the play.
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Blackadar
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« Reply #60 on: June 13, 2008, 12:49:02 PM »

I have no doubt that the NBA is the worst refereed sport out of the Big 3 (it used to be the big 4, but hockey doesn't qualify anymore).  There are times that refs make the wrong call in any sport - Eric Gregg's ginormous strike zone in Game 6 of the NCLS in 1997, Knoblauch's phantom tag in 1999, the "Hand of God" Maradona goal, the Testeverde touchdown run against Seattle in 1998 and so forth...but the NBA takes the cake.  It really started with the NBA's "cult of personality" era with Jordan.  The Jordan Rules was the perfect name for that book, because Jordan got the benefit of call after call after call.  A stink got into the league as a whole and crooked decisions were made up and down the line.  Bad calls, lack of oversight, league thuggery, unfair administrative decisions (like when Celtics didn't get cap relief after Reggie Lewis died) and cooking the NBA lottery (different issue, but I truly believe the NBA has rigged it on some occasions, including last year) created this atmosphere of dishonesty.

So it was with no great surprise when an NBA ref got caught cheating.  The NBA - and David Stern in particular - had set the table.  And I believe Donaghy when he says others cheated.  I don't know if I believe that they cheated at the direction of the NBA, but I believe others have cheated.  Anyone with an open mind who watches a replay of Game 6 of the 2002 Kings/Lakers series would be hard-pressed to say otherwise.  The Lakers shot an astounding 27 FTs in the 4th - 18 in the final 6 minutes.  Journalists covering the contest labeled it horribly one-sided officiating.  If it looks like a duck and walks like a duck...

Again, I don't know whether to believe Donaghy when he says the NBA fixed games (and not just individual refs).  But I certainly think the NBA set the tone and looked the other way and shares in the responsibility - much like cycling (doping scandal) and baseball (steroids).
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Eel Snave
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« Reply #61 on: June 13, 2008, 11:00:21 PM »

Well, and my whole point about complete transparency is this:  The NBA made this mess.  When the majority of your fans believe a crooked ex-referee over the company line, that's a sign something's wrong.  The burden of proof is on the NBA to prove that there's no fix.  Complete transparency (at least for one season) proves that there's nothing going on.

Think back to Spygate.  Instead of brushing off the cheating allegations, the NFL fined the Patriots heavily.  For a team that lives and dies by draft picks, taking away their first-rounder was harsh, but necessary.  When the story wouldn't go away, Goodell met with Arlen Specter.  When it still didn't die, they met with Matt Walsh, even though Matt Walsh didn't have a ton of credibility.  The story still kind of lurks around, but you can't say that the NFL didn't do it's due diligence.

Likewise, the NBA isn't going to kill this story with a smirk and a dismissal.  It needs to attack a story this bad head-on.  This story affects the fundamental nature of competition in the game, and needs to be dealt with.
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Sarkus
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« Reply #62 on: June 14, 2008, 12:49:49 AM »

Yeah, Stern has handled this badly.  When he talks about it he goes on and on about all the safeguards in their system, ignoring that it wasn't the NBA which caught Donaghy, it was the feds.  Clearly the "system" doesn't work as well as he'd like us to believe. 

I can certainly understand his annoyance at this happening during the finals, but Goodell managed to deal with Spygate rearing it's head during the Superbowl last year, so Stern has no excuse.

Of course, being in Seattle, you can guess what the feeling about Stern has been around here for some time.  icon_biggrin
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