Remember when that NBA referee got nailed for attempting to change the game's outcome? Back then, I wrote in a post titled Tim Donaghy Did Not Act Alone:
Well, it's been a year, almost exactly and wonder of wonders Donaghy is saying that he didn't act alone. This at ESPN:
Let me make a few predictions:
When this first happened, I told my husband that this guy was not alone. No. Way. Impossible. That games could be rigged or manipulated by refs didn't surprise me at all. So many games have seemed intentionally blown by refs that it was just a finally, there's some proof.
- Tim Donaghy did not act alone. It is nearly impossible for one ref to destroy the flow of a game.
- Many big games have been manipulated.
- The NBA is in huge trouble.
I had always assumed that the conspiracy came from Commissioner David Stern with advice to refs like "keep it close" or "be kind to the home team in the last few minutes". Wink. Wink. The consistently crappy calls were so infuriating, the players lackadaisically phoning it in so pathetic, I quit watching the NBA even though I love basketball. But there's no teams today like the old LA Lakers or Detroit Pistons or Boston Celtics or the Bulls before Jordan's and Pippen's heads expanded to fill every stadium they entered.
The letter also details an incident in the 2002 playoffs in which Donaghy alleges that two referees, who were known as NBA "company men," wanted to extend a series to seven games. "Team 5" could have wrapped up the series in Game 6 but saw two players foul out, lost the game and ultimately the series.Donaghy faces 33 months in prison for his part. And of course his felon status will call into question his testimony against anyone else. The rest of the league owners, refs and commissioner David Stern will all deny.
The NBA makes money by playing more games. Everyone knows this. If a series can go to seven games, it's a benefit to everyone except the people who care about the integrity of the game. I think that ball has been dunked. The NBA has no integrity. Watch it with all the enthusiasm of professional wrestling, the outcomes are as valid.
Cross-posted at Right Wing News