Thursday, June 12, 2008

But still . . .

We all know that, as far as I'm concerned, football is the only true sport (with hockey a close second). Baseball is tolerable and much better on a lazy summer Saturday at the park than on TV. And the NBA? Well, let's just say that their best year was the strike-shortened season when they didn't start until after the Super Bowl and ended by Opening Day.

But there's this thing going on in the NBA that is reverberating throughout the sports world, and that would be the allegations by former NBA ref and game-fixer Tim Donaghy that the NBA league office instructed game officials to make sure a certain series went to seven games. Tim didn't specify names, but people have figured out that he's talking about the 2002 series between the Lakers and Kings.

Now we have to understand that Donaghy is a cheater who regularly bet on games he officiated and then worked to ensure a positive outcome for himself and his gambling buddies. It's important to know that everything he has done has been purely for his own self-interest. And it's important to remember that there is no honor among thieves, hence his statements about the league that come so close to his sentencing.

Do I trust what he says? No.
Do I worry about how people might react to calls I make on the field? Sometimes.

That being said, I found these two quotes interesting:

Tim Donaghy: [He] also alleged that there was a conspiracy to keep star players from being ejected because to do so would "hurt ticket sales and television ratings."

David Stern: NBA commissioner David Stern addressed the late starts on the East Coast in a Q&A session with sports radio WEEI's Dennis and Callahan this morning, arguing that the starts were that late in order to get more people to tune in nationwide . . . "we have had three networks, CBS, ABC, and NBC who have told us that despite the maniacal rantings of East Coast radio, that we would get the largest aggregation of our fans if we do it as close to 9 p.m. as possible." (my bold)

I don't particularly care for the NBA, but I would like to believe that the league office doesn't dictate to its officials what teams would make for a more financially beneficial championship series.

I don't particularly trust statements that Tim Donaghy makes about the league, especially since he is now looking to minimize jail time.

But still . . .


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