NBA referees

After going through five years of blog entries and tagging them, something that is probably painfully obvious to the rest of you has come to my attention: I whine a lot about NBA refs and babble a lot about sports.  Oh, and politics, occasionally interrupted by some poetry.

Reading over my sports entries, my initial response was that I’m just another homer fan who sees persecution by the refs everywhere.  However, this story is sort of disturbing, because it sort of validates all my past outrage.

Maybe Donaghy is simply a disgrunted ref facing legal charges who is lashing out.  But he doesn’t have much to gain by calling out the NBA at this point, and it could prevent him from ever working as a ref in any sport again.  For those who don’t know, Donaghy was discovered to be a gambling addict who was betting on games in which he was the referee, and manipulating the point spread of those games for his own benefit.

But as the article points out, then there’s Joey Crawford, who ejected Tim Duncan from a game for laughing on the bench. There’s the flagrant foul contact that some players are allowed to get away with while others are suspended.  There’s the 2002 series between L.A. and Sacramento, which Donaghy says was fixed to force a Game 7, which the Lakers then won.   Sacramento fans have long been complaining about the unfair treatment their team has gotten from refs in the past.

On the other hand, the Spurs have managed to win 4 NBA titles.  But there have been many times when it felt like the Spurs had to beat their opponent and the refs.  Commissioner Stern has admitted openly he doesn’t want the Spurs to wind up in the Finals, because every time they’ve made it there (and they’ve won every time they have) the ratings have been terrible.

What does all this mean? It means that one of my favorite pastimes is irrevocably tainted.  It means I am not sure I can ever trust the integrity of the game again.  And that’s a shame, because the players are still out there, playing their hardest, putting their bodies on the lines, and it seems kind of sad to be doing that if it all means…nothing.

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~ by realsupergirl on June 11, 2008.

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