A King’s Perspective
This is a special feature by guest blogger Christopher Sells.
In the wake of Tim Donaghy’s accusations that the NBA conspires with its referees to manipulate the outcomes of games, much has been said about how the Kings organization and the city of Sacramento should feel. In case you’ve been living under a rock and haven’t heard, Donaghy has said that the Kings were [cheated->http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/news;_ylt=Agbg2Z1EF5Vd64oY3ko4poC8vLYF?slug=aw-sternref061108&prov=yhoo&type=lgns] out of a game that would have sent them to the NBA Finals back in 2002.
Vlade Divac has [this->http://www.sacbee.com/kings/story/1007795.html] to say in reference to Game Six: "I knew something was wrong then, and I still know something was wrong. My first reaction to hearing this is that I hope it’s not true. There was defeintely something going on, but in my imagination, I never could have taken it so far to think that the league was behind it."
An anonymous King from that team said this recently when asked about that game: "I’ve been telling you that [it was fixed] ever since it happened. That games was called with one thing in mind– the Lakers winning. But i can’t say that publicly… But they got us didn’t they? Just like I told you they did when it happened."
Scot Pollard [disagrees->http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/12/sports/basketball/12refs.html?_r=2&pagewanted=2&ref=sports&oref=slogin] with those two players, though. "You can’t put credibility in a guy that wasn’t there, didn’t ref the game and doesn’t have a lot of friends in this world right now. That game was controversial, anyway. It’s an easy one for somebody to make up a conspiracy theiry about."
So a couple of the players have spoken, and I’m sure there are other opinions floating around. I’m sure David Stern is absolutely thrilled that there are players and fans alike who feel vindicated by the things that Donaghy has said. It kind of takes a little steam off of the dancing rogue felon image that the league is trying to create for Donaghy when there are plenty of people who agree with him, even if they aren’t the talking heads that you see on TV every day.
Stern probably loves it even more so that all of this is taking away from the attention that the Finals could be receiving. You hear less about Lakers and Celtics and more about Refgate. And there’s more to come as the league will try to shake these accusations.