Refs Fix Games. Allegedly.
This is a special feature by guest blogger Christopher Sells.
I went to YouTube to search for some highlights from 2002's Western Conference Finals Game Six between the Kings and the Lakers. Game Seven is there, even Games Three, Four and Five. No Game Six.
Ordinarily, I wouldn't think much of this. It would be strange, since you can find almost anything on YouTube these days, but it wouldn't make me think that there was some sort of cover up in the works.
Considering that Tim Donaghy is alleging that this game was fixed by the referees, I think we can safely say that this is not ordinary.
When Donaghy last fessed up about a game that he impacted, no one was really surprised. I think the same thing holds true here. Unless you were a Laker fan, you saw the fourth quarter of that game and felt that you had witnessed something very wrong. 27 free throws in the fourth quarter? Mike Bibby getting called for a foul after he took an elbow from Kobe?
In response to these allegations, the NBA has taken to making sure that you know that Donaghy is a convicted felon. In fact, they've generally smeared his name ever since he confessed to being involved in that gambling ring. Somehow, David Stern and his underlings think that this will make people not belive the things that Donaghy is saying.
No one cares that Donaghy broke the law. That doesn't automatically make him a liar. If he is in fact saying these things to lighten his jail sentence, wouldn't that make them more likely true? I'm pretty sure that lying doesn't get you leniency from any judges.
We can see. We have eyes of our own. Show me a person who hasn't disagreed with the way a referee called an NBA game and I'll show you someone who hasn't been watching very long. All this would do is validate what we've all long thought: that the NBA wants certain teams to win and they want to make sure that playoff series run longer so that they can make more money.
Instead of denying any of this, the NBA should say that they'll look into it. Don't lie to us, fix it. Investigate and give us some real tangible evidence that the things Donaghy is saying are untrue. Don't lose fans because you want to maintain some pristine image. We know what's up. Tell us the truth.
And put the Game Six footage back on YouTube so we can decide for ourselves in the mean time.