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the.crooked

NBA game fixes

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bIG fuckin news flash SHERLOCK buttcheeks. This is like finding out Chinese discovered America, who was so gullable enough to not know that shit :cool: with the preverbrial wool over his eyes to eat up the propaganda of a fasade to begin with, oh yeah Timothy........I see you shades city my nigguh

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http://www.suntimes.com/sports/mariotti/479476,CST-SPT-jay23.article

 

 

An ethical and moral disaster

It's a worst-case scenario for the NBA, the league that could least afford to have the integrity of its officiating come into question

 

July 23, 2007

BY JAY MARIOTTI Sun-Times Columnist

Sadly, horrifically, our suspicions have become a dark reality today.

 

The ugliest word in sports -- F-I-X -- is in the house.

 

» Click to enlarge image

 

The gambling scandal involving referee Tim Donaghy could be serious enough to bring down the NBA.

(AP)

The league's ethical and moral foundation, already shaken by arena violence and off-court criminal issues, has been rocked by allegations that 13-year official Tim Donaghy bet on NBA games the last two seasons. If it's true Donaghy fixed the point spreads of games he officiated while under pressure from organized crime -- a practice that allegedly began last December -- Stern will face an integrity crisis that may take years to overcome. Leagues can survive almost any scandal these days, from steroids to Pete Rose to dogfighting, but the scab that never heals is when a fan no longer trusts the official who controls a game. The manipulation of outcomes by a ref poisons the very core of why people invest their money, time and energy into sports.

 

For their family-of-four, $350 investment, consumers should expect an honest product above reproach. Without that trust from league-employed officials, pro basketball might as well be pro wrestling. The embattled Stern, who is fighting a losing battle in trying to protect the image of his troubled enterprise, can't deny the blood that gushes from his biggest public-relations mess yet.

 

''We would like to assure our fans that no amount of effort, time or personnel is being spared to assist in this investigation, to bring to justice an individual who has betrayed the most sacred trust in professional sports, and to take the necessary steps to protect against this ever happening again,'' Stern said.

 

Suspicions abound

Mere words won't repair the disconnect. Unlike other leagues, the NBA has been plagued by a constant perception problem about officiating-crew funny business. Ever since Phil Jackson suggested the league and TV were favoring the hometown New York Knicks over the Bulls during those epic '90s playoff series, theorists have wondered about the power of officials and whether they can be trusted. In no other sport do fans worry so deeply that (fill in the blank) has it in for their team or likes their team. In no other sport is there a strong sense that a hometown team will get hometown calls. In no other sport do superstars tacitly receive preferential treatment. The paranoia is only fed when Stern, rightfully obsessive about preserving officiating credibility, had to suspend veteran ref Joey Crawford after he ejected Tim Duncan for laughing on the bench. Or when officials were nabbed in an income-tax snare over airline-ticket fraud. Or when Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, the prospective Cubs owner, complains incessantly to Stern and the media about officiating.

''If people only knew what goes on,'' Cuban once wrote me in an e-mail.

 

While all of these episodes were mysterious through the years, there never was any hard evidence that could confirm hanky-panky. Until now.

 

It would be frighteningly easy to control an NBA point spread, even as refs work in three-man crews. All it takes is two or three hokey calls to spark a rally that turns a 12-point spread into a five-point spread, or vice versa. Consider the 131 regular-season and 20 postseason games worked by Donaghy the last two seasons, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. How many were infected by his alleged gambling-fueled bias? How about a February Knicks-Heat game in New York, where the Knicks owned a 39-8 free-throw differential, benefited from technical fouls against Heat coaches and covered a 4½-point spread with a six-point win? Or a November Bulls-Knicks game in New York, when the home team was down by 22 points at intermission but shot 16 free throws in the first 5½ minutes of the third quarter?

 

And to think Stern once wanted to file lawsuits. Heck, fans could organize a massive class-action suit and demand refunds for being cheated. How about NBA teams burned by Donaghy? He worked important games this past postseason -- Mavericks-Warriors, Spurs-Suns -- and don't you think tapes are being popped in TV monitors across the league by seething coaches and players? What would stop franchises from taking legal action?

 

Just the beginning?

The question is whether this is an isolated, one-referee aberration, as Stern implies, or the tip of a filthy iceberg. The Donaghy story has the league down for the count. If there are other stories like it -- a law enforcement official told the Associated Press that other arrests are expected -- heaven help the NBA. That's how crippling the fix can be. Stuck at an integrity crossroads, we're about to see if Stern and his eventual successor, deputy commissioner Adam Silver, have the savvy to convince paying customers -- and the league's players and coaches -- that credibility can be restored.

''It's a hard pill to swallow,'' Kobe Bryant said. ''It's a very serious issue.''

 

''As a competitor, as hard as I play, it is disappointing, definitely,'' said LeBron James, who won't be joking about this when he hosts ''Saturday Night Live.''

 

It didn't take long, naturally, for Cuban to react on his blog. ''As bad as the allegations facing the NBA are, it's also an opportunity to face every allegation that has ever been directed towards the NBA and its officials and preempt them from ever occurring in the future,'' he wrote. ''Calamity can be a catalyst for significant change. The NBA took a hit. Behind that hit is a catalyst and opportunity for significant change that could make the NBA stronger than it ever has been. I have complete confidence that David Stern and Adam Silver will do just that and the NBA and our officiating will be all the stronger for it.''

 

Does Stern have the guts to face ''every allegation'' aimed at his league and its officiating? Unfair as that may sound, he'd better be prepared to do just that and explain how the mechanism has worked. When a ref drifts into mob territory and is investigated by the FBI, it's no longer the work of a conspiracy theorist.

 

It's sleazy, crooked reality.

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who gives a shit. thats what you all get for caring about basketball in the first place.

 

someones bitter cus they don't have the handles.

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this was what was up with all the bad calls during the kings vs lakers game in like 02...the kings got screwed out of calls.

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Doooooood, Vick should totally play basketball..

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This seems to be a little overboard.

Total sensationalist journalism at its finest right here.

But it wouldn't surprise me to know it goes on..

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Doooooood, Vick should totally play basketball..

 

...wearing a unifrom made out of bacon against a team of starving pits.

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...wearing a unifrom made out of bacon against a team of starving pits.

 

Yup.. I hear it's getting worse for him...

 

I'll have to watch some ESPN tonight..

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i read the headline a bout this the other day. not surprised. i keep telling the basketball obsessed fam, but they dont care

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There was an article on NPR or Pacifica the other day about voter fraud through cover-ups of manufacturer error and software instability for voting machines.

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i don't know about it being enough to "bring down the nba."

 

true, theres nothing wrong with crossing your fingers just in case, though.

 

 

man, im not sure what i hate more, baseball or basketball. maybe i should start a thread with a poll....

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