Skip to comments.The NBA is Fixed?
Posted on 12/07/2009 9:50:27 AM PST by big black dog
Players and coaches have been instructed not to talk about it, so they could not comment on this, but former NBA referee Tim Donaghys book Personal Foul: A First-Person Account of the Scandal that Rocked the NBA has found a publisher and is out just in time for Christmas.
Of note to Nuggets fans will be this passage, in reference to a Nuggets 93-67 loss in San Antonio in the last game of the 2003-04 regular season that was officiated by Donaghy along with Dick Bavetta. It is part of a longer excerpt posted on Deadspin.com not too long ago:
Two weeks before the 200304 season ended, Bavetta and I were assigned to officiate a game in Oakland. That afternoon before the tip-off, we were discussing an upcoming game on our schedule. It was the last regular-season game we were scheduled to work, pitting Denver against San Antonio. Denver had lost a game a few weeks prior because of a mistake made by the referees, a loss that could be the difference between them making or missing the playoffs. Bavetta told me Denver needed the win and that it would look bad for the staff and the league if the Nuggets missed the playoffs by one game. There were still a few games left on the schedule before the end of the season, and the standings could potentially change. But on that day in Oakland, Bavetta looked at me and casually stated, Denver will win if they need the game. Thats why Im on it.
I was thinking, How is Denver going to win on the road in San Antonio? At the time, the Spurs were arguably the best team in the league. Bavetta answered my question before it was asked.
Duncan will be on the bench with three fouls within the first five minutes of the game, he calmly stated.
Bavetta went on to inform me that it wasnt the first time the NBA assigned him to a game for a specific purpose. He cited examples, including the 1993 playoff series when he put New Jersey guard Drazen Petrovic on the bench with quick fouls to help Cleveland beat the Nets. He also spoke openly about the 2002 Los AngelesSacramento series and called himself the NBAs go-to guy.
As it turned out, Denver didnt need the win after all; they locked up a spot in the playoffs before they got to San Antonio. In a twist of fate, it was the Spurs that ended up needing the win to have a shot at the division title, and Bavetta generously accommodated. In our pre-game meeting, he talked about how important the game was to San Antonio and how meaningless it was to Denver, and that San Antonio was going to get the benefit of the calls that night. Armed with this inside information, I called Jack Concannon before the game and told him to bet the Spurs.
To no surprise, we won big. San Antonio blew Denver out of the building that evening, winning by 26 points. When Jack called me the following morning, he expressed amazement at the way an NBA game could be manipulated.
Now sports are a fraud.
I'm amazed people are burning this place down.
I have no doubt that most pro sports are manipulated. I stopped watching the NBA 15 years ago, and stopped watching the NFL 3 years ago. I still watch MLB, for the time being, in spite of it’s obvious problems.
Sounds like both gangstas and gangsters.
What a boring game.
Anybody watching the Saints/Redskins game yesterday would surely entertain such thoughts.
The NBA has been boring, if not borderline atrocious for most of the past 10-15 years since Jordan was in his prime. Though it wasn’t just him. There were dozens of other marque players who were worthwhile and most importantly, fun to watch. Now...gar-bage.
Now? Sports have been riddled with fraud since the advent of, well, sports.
"Do I even need to say it?"
When players took 4 and 5 steps with no dribble thru the lane and leapt to slam dunk the basket.. the game was over for me. Swish!
I call it "The Miracle in D.C.!"
After watching a completely zombified Vikings get shellacked by the Cardinals last night, I think you can toss the NFL on that fraud heap as well.
I’m (unwillingly to be honest) going down that same NFL road. The rules so subject to referee interpretation that the defender could be called on just about any given play in which there is contact. What really got me thinking about this was the Indianapolis/New England game. Indianapolis was badly behind in the fourth period and suddenly benefits from a 31 yard pass interference call, a New England TD called a fumble over the goal line and touchback, and a 4th & 2 New England pass reception for first down yardage marked short of a first down because the receiver was judged not to have been in control of the ball before being driven back by the defense.
Maybe New England has suddenly become that bad. Maybe all these were legitimate calls by the refs. Maybe my eyes were deceiving me.
But I’m really wondering now.
Just like the 'Rats in Washington placing the blame for the failed economy on the Bush administration.
Pete Rose will give you odds that you can’t prove that!
Most sport fouls are becoming as subjective as Olympic Gymnastic scores! They are TOTALLY arbitrary!
Did anyone see the New Orleans/Washington game yesterday? How about the Texas/Nebraska game on Saturday - the kickoff called down at the one for Texas? How about last year’s Super Bowl - there is less holding in Greco-Roman, WWE and sumo wrestling combined than what was NOT called in that game alone! Mavericks/Heat NBA championship series in 2006?
It is completely at the whim of the officials, the league and that’s just the way it is! I watch very few games now, and I can’t remember the last time I sat down and watched a complete game of ANY sport!
Im reluctantly going down that same NFL road. For example, the pass inerference rules are now so broad and subject to referee interpretation that the defender could be called on just about any given play in which there is contact. This essentially puts them in control of the game, if they wish to be so.
What really got me thinking about this issue was the Indianapolis/New England game. Indianapolis was badly behind in the fourth period and suddenly in quick succession was the beneficiary of a 31 yard pass interference call, a New England TD called a fumble over the goal line and touchback, and a 4th & 2 New England pass reception for first down yardage marked short of a first down because the receiver was judged not to have been in control of the ball before being driven back by the defense.
Maybe New England has suddenly become that bad. Maybe all these were legitimate calls by the refs. Maybe my eyes were deceiving me.
But Im really wondering now.
Yeah, and it has continued into this season. I can't believe how much James Harrison from Pittsburgh has been held without penalty.
Don’t get me wrong, Pittsburgh played the better game.
But, both teams were holding like heavy-weight boxers in the twelfth round, and only the Cardinals got called on them! The rules are the rules - for both teams!
If you aren’t going to call them, then don’t - or better yet, get rid of the rule and let them fight it out in the trenches like the NFL in the 1940’s!!
“Anybody watching the Saints/Redskins game yesterday would surely entertain such thoughts.”
Yes! The second foot was out of bounds and the forearm was on the ground.
Mustn’t ruin the “Will they remain perfect” suspense. Can’t have a team that might be in the Superbowl lose to a bunch of losers.
New England has lost 2 of 3 since.
I think one of your maybes has some validity per this-
Theyre just not that good anymore, really. Theyre not good enough to be forgoing field goals and theyre not good enough to win on the road, and they are certainly not good enough to win the Super Bowl.
A comprehensive breakdown of the Pats
Sonics vs Suns, game 6 or 7 I think of a conference finals game. Sonics had over 30 fouls in one half, and the Suns had 2. I stopped watching right there.
I hope Donaghy blows it up, and I hope he gets rich doing it. The hypocrasy of him getting hammered for betting on games he knew the NBA was fixing anyway is laughable.
The NBA needs their Kenesaw Landis.
Agree with both your posts to me. I love the parity, actually. The Pac 10 has been wonderful. Nobody gets out of that division undefeated except USC in recent years, and they generally have a great track record in bowls, regardless of their conference records.
USC has been exposed since Sarkisian and Holt left. Carroll did a great job mentoring those two coaches. I can’t wait to see what he does next.
I’m a Washington, WSU, and Cal fan. Very proud of the Pac 10 and what they’ve been able to do both in football and basketball over the years.
Love the Gonzaga story. Love the TCU/BSU story, and I hope Akey can do great things with Idaho.
Since I fell in love with college ball of all kinds, pro ball is only something I watch between NCAA matches. I do watch MLB, but I’d probably be just as happy watching minor league ball too.
I've been following the NBA to some extent or another since the 1950s, when there were Minneapolis Lakers, Fort Wayne Pistons, Syracuse Nats, and only eight teams in all. Even back then, there was talk that they were told to never call walking violations, especially on the stars of the time.
That was a horrendous call and almost surely decided the outcome. No question that the receiver's forward progress was past the line to gain and he was knocked back. In the NFL they are usually very liberal about giving receivers forward progress, so this was a deviation from the officiating norm.
That having been said, and perhaps irrelevant to the bad call, it should be noted that (1) New England should have never gone for the fourth down play in that situation and should have punted and (2) New England was unfortunate that it was unable to challenge the ruling by asking for a video review.
It seems that no amount of bad calls can go against New England to make up for the play in the playoff game several years ago when Tom Brady clearly fumbled in the final minutes against Oakland and was saved by the invocation of the inane "tuck" rule. The Patriots, saved from elimination, went on to win the Super Bowl that year, a championship undeserved.
So how can you watch when those teams play one another and one of them has to lose? No more ties in college football, remember (which I think is a bad rule).
I saw only a small fraction of that game and missed the play to which you refer.
But I can tell you that if that game was played only a few years ago, before they dreamed up the "horsecollar" penalty (which, IMHO, does nothing to lessen the risk of injury) and put in instant replay to give Texas an extra second when the game should have been over, Nebraska would have pulled off a well-earned upset.
I’d rather see WA win since I now live up here and enjoy the tradition of UW football. They’ve had a good program in the past, so its fun to watch. WSU is in a wonderful little town in Eastern WA.
They are, frankly, sick in the head out there in terms of their affinity for WSU everything. Once you’ve gone to WSU, even if you didn’t graduate, you’re a Cougar, and they just HATE UW. It even effects business relationships.
It’s not to the level of Auburn/Alabama in its hostility, but its up there.
Cal is where I grew up, and I knew it when Cal was one of the very best institutions of higher learning. Now its a joke - it nearly lost its engineering accreditation in EE in the eighties, for example.
I more feel sorry for Cal now. It’s actually doing better as a sports program as its prominence as an academic institution has declined. That’s been weird to watch.
What about the fraudulant.......WWA?
World Wildlife Association
Noah Wyle: polar bears are dying and only you can help them (by sending us money)
That was one hard fought game. Obviously, Nebraska has one helluva defense! I do not like the horse collar penalty either - it shouldn’t be in football - PERIOD!
But, that being said, the fact is, there was a second left on the clock when the ball landed, so that second was rightfully put back on the clock.
Again, obviously Nebraska was able to put a complete STOP to one of the most prolific offenses in college football this year and ALL the credit should go to them! Texas looked pretty bad on offense during that entire game and that is one way they have not looked all year so hats off to Nebraska!
Well, they did an outstanding job, but they did not stop Texas completely. After all, if they had shut them out, they would have won without any controversy.
I watched the Kings their first 15 years in Sacramento. No big names and they got jobbed time after time when some star would be in town and get every call. This on their own home court.
I meant they stopped the “prolific” part, unfortunately for Nebraska a little “eeegh” got through for just enough points.
Obviously, I wanted Texas to win, but I would not have been upset with a Nebraska win; they dang well worked hard enough for a win!!
Boston is a pretty rabid sports town and the radio talk shows have been dissecting the Patriots every which way over the past few weeks. The most perplexing issue is the team’s terrible performance in the second halves of games; both offense and defense seem to go comatose. Whether this is a function of poor reactions on the part of the coaching staff or of simple player fatigue is unknown. Other parties are commenting on the overall predictability and rigidity of the offensive game plans. The third point of view is that the defense, which lost three linch-pin players (Brusci, Vrabel, Seymour) before this season just isn’t as good as people like to think it is; I think that poor defensive coaching is also playing a part. Without by any means discounting the above observations, it’s also fair to say that the team’s run of success has cost it in terms of being unable to acquire top quality players in recent player drafts.
It appears unlikely to me as well that the Patriots have any realistic chance at the Super Bowl ...
justiceseeker93 wrote: It seems that no amount of bad calls can go against New England to make up for the play in the playoff game several years ago when Tom Brady clearly fumbled in the final minutes against Oakland and was saved by the invocation of the inane “tuck” rule. The Patriots, saved from elimination, went on to win the Super Bowl that year, a championship undeserved.
..... Heh! The feeling going around the Boston sports talk shows after that games was that, while the “tuck” call was B.S., it constituted fair payback for spurious “roughing” call on Sugar Bear Hamilton which cost the Patriot a big play-off game against Oakland years previously. Boston fans have LOOOONG memories. ;-]
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