Well, I haven’t posted in a while… but who has time to post with all these NBA playoff games on?! I have so many thoughts on the NBA right now, just not enough time to write them all up. But one thing I must bring up is the decision tonight to have Dick Bavetta ref possibly the most important game of the playoffs so far, tonight’s game 7 San Antonio vs. New Orleans. This has all the making of an all-time classic, but I have a terrible feeling that I am going to sitting in my condo at 11:15 PM EST furious at another Dick Bavetta playoff travesty.
Where is the accountability, David Stern? How can the NBA possibly reward this guy after his performance during game 6 of the Cavs-Celtics series? I’m not even going to get into all the foolishness that went on in that debacle, but lets just say I’ve seen Harlem Globetrotters – Washington Generals games that were more legitimate. And what is Bavetta even doing still officiating important games? He should have been banned, arrested and possibly deported after his role in game 6 of the 2002 Western Conference Finals.
But, instead David Stern and the NBA continue to send Bavetta, Joey Crawford, Bennett Salvatore, etc. to fix… errrr, officiate the biggest games of the playoffs. Does Stern have this little faith in the quality of the NBA product that he feels he needs to turn the league into the WWE just to get his most marketable players and teams to advance in the playoffs? I just don’t get it. Why are you trying to ruin the game that I and so many other fans love?
The audacity of the NBA in how they deal with official really is astounding. Not only do they quite obviously officiate games way different depending on arena, team and player involved in each call, but they don’t even make an attempt to appear unbiased. How could anyone argue that Dick Bavetta of all the basketball refs on this planet is the best person to be officiating this (or any) NBA game. Think about that. The NBA could basically choose any referee in the whole world to work these games and Dick Bavetta, Joey Crawford and Bennett Salvadore are the best three people they could come up with. Seriously? You are telling us all that there is no one in the world who could do this better?
Why isn’t Arlen Specter calling for an investigation into all of this? Tim Donaghy was alleged to have fixed over 100 NBA games! And clearly, something else is very, very wrong with how these games are being officiated. And its not like this is something new. I can remember back in 1999 the refs giving every single call to the Jazz in their first round series win against the Kings. Ralph freaking Nader even chimed in on that absurd game 6 from 2002. And lets not forget last year’s Suns-Spurs series, the Heat-Mavs Finals, just about any Lakers game from the Shaq-Kobe era… I could go on and on. God help us all if Lebron ever goes to New York… it will be like the perfect storm of NBA referee fixing.
I would honestly feel better with Doneghy working the game over the guys I mentioned above; at least Doneghy was (from what I can tell) fixing the over/under.
Oh, and one more thing, Stern… I’m not sure if you’re aware or not, but many of us now have DVR/Tivo. This makes it very easy to rewind any questionable call that is made. Combined with clear HDTV, we can easily see these bad calls instantly. So, your strategy of having ABC not show replays on obviously blown calls is not going to stop us from seeing through the BS. (I wonder who got fired today for letting that Lebron jersey pull replay) In fact, if anything, the fact that you are not showing these replays gives more credence to those of us who believe these games are being fixed or at least assisted by the NBA and its refs.
Anyway, I sincerely hope that I am wrong and this game tonight plays out fairly and the only deciding factor is that the better team will win. We will see…