About a year ago, prompted by the Tim Donaghy scandal, I finally allowed myself to post my conviction that the NBA is fixed.
Now, credible source or no, Tim Donaghy is talking and his charges of game fixing have laid a big fat egg on the storybook Celtics-Lakers series.
I think that is part of the problem. Sometimes, the NBA wants a compelling story just a bit too badly. Two years ago, everyone was fawning over Miami Heat Coach Pat Riley. And we all know that Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is not the NBA’s favorite. So what happened in the championship series? After the clearly superior Dallas team went up 2-0, the refs started blowing their whistle anytime anyone breathed on Heat star Dwayne Wade, and Dallas then couldn’t stop Wade and the Heat. I don’t know if anyone could with such a rigging. As much as I wanted Dallas to win, I stopped watching because it was obvious the fix was in.
Or this year. The NBA dearly wanted a Lakers-Celtics championship series. So when the (small market and rather boring, ahem) San Antonio Spurs threatened to crash that party, the refs swallowed their whistles during an obvious and crucial foul at the end of Game 4, giving the game to the Lakers. Even the NBA confessed it was a foul.
So it should be no surprise that one of Donaghy’s allegations involves helping out the HOLY LA Lakers *genuflect* and getting them to a Game 7 in their sacred championship year of 2002. An interesting comment about that year from someone who was pulling for the Lakers: “I would not doubt for a second that that series was fixed. It was pretty obvious even as i was routing for the Lakers in that series that something was not right. I remember having a bet on the Lakers to win the title that year and was fortunate to have a lot of bad calls go my way.”
What’s amusing about all this is that the NBA wants Donaghy to pay it a million dollars in restitution. Perhaps, they thought that would intimidate Donaghy to be quiet. If so, it is certainly not having the intended result.