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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Cheating ref throws serious grenades at NBA

He confirms that NBA referees manipulate games all the time, and for some less-than-savory reasons. He names names and tells some shocking stories. Excerpts are here. [Via Dwight.]

Comments (15)

What would be a savory reason for a ref to manipulate a game?

No big surprise. That LA-Sac series pretty much let the cat out of the bag.

A savory reason? How about a filet mignon dinner?

I'm underwhelmed. And, unsurprised.

This is one reason I'm not enthusiastic about ANY additional professional sports in Portland. It just facilitates and enables this kind of arrogance and corruption.

Perhaps we need a ref-meter to replace the Oden-meter. We have some great examples to compare their play calling to.

I'm sure no Blazers fan are surprised that he attributes the famous Laker 4th quarter comeback against the Blazers in the playoffs to a league mandate to let the Lakers do just that.

This is terrible for the game. It makes me sick!

Bring back the replacement refs!

That's similar to my solution: Term limits on refs.

2 years and out. A half-million a year or something, pensioned compensation enough so none ever have to work again.

College ball refs move up. Or, also, a built-up (trained, tested, and provisioned on $50K retainers, say) in a pool of 1ooo at pro-level from which to draw 30 rookie starts each season.

Or, replace the current arrangement of 75 roster refs, needed for a schedule of a maximum of 18 games in a night, getting work in as many as 60-some games a season, banking $500,ooo; instead having a 500 roster, each getting 20-some games a season, banking $125,ooo. 3 years and out.

- -

As it stands though, I wouldn't attend any game ref'd by any one named in the book ... ever again.

They all gotta go. Swept clean and start over clean.

Twenty years ago when I was getting game paychecks as part of Blazer Broadcasting, and watching on my satellite dish 2 qtrs or more of over 800 games per year (I counted), I kept a spreadsheet for two years showing every ref and every game they worked, (also Home/Visitor wins/losses). I was studying the travel itinerary of refs -- to be able to predict which one(s) was due in Portland next game; (it worked: I'd know 2 on the crew of 3 a couple days in advance). That was when I saw that the refs rigged the game, "like the League (read: David Stern) wanted" as Donaghy says in his book.

I folded up my paperwork and chucked it, didn't answer broadcast crew calls again, turned the satellite dish to other spectra and ephemera, and haven't watched a game since. Not a live game.

When I see others, self-said fans, fully earnest and 'cheering' for the Blazers, they look to me as phony as pro-wrestling 'fans' cheering in pretense as if they didn't know/believe the outcome was preset and rigged.

Just, in principle, there is no way, in no sense, that any team 'athlete' (based on extraordinary 'talent') can be 'paid' on contract more than 5 or at most 10 million bucks a year unless someone's got a 'handle' on them in Vegas ... which means the mob. Basketball, football, baseball, hockey, soccer, or otherwise. Even Peter Jacobsen told me there's a ceiling limit, (he put at about 5 million), in income -- sports or otherwise, above which is senseless, useless, wasteful: you can't spend it and still be real and human. There is not a shred of difference in talent above a certain level, winning and losing is only the random bounce of the ball or puck, and any difference in players' 'salary' is telltale that there's sumpin sumpin unseen 'on the side' ... which means the mob. Which means politicos. Which means injustice.

The main part of the math I figure, about sports contract salaries, is in knowing the numbers for TV production costs, TV 'rights' exclusives, TV market size (cable subscribers), and ad sales revenue. Divided by the number of players on a team in the particular sport. Believe this: game tickets and concessions could all be given away free, or there could be not a single butt in the seats, only TV of the game and it'd still pay all the players' salaries ... and cover the spread in Vegas.

Look, Wilt Chamberlain claimed he 'bedded' 20,ooo women during his career. Do the math. 20-yr, 40-yr, 60(?)-yr 'career' figure it whichever way you like, even shrink his claim by half or more, and still, ya gotta ask: Who 'arranged' the women supply? 2-a-day? 730-a-year? continuously? The hotel room costs alone would be astronomical ... or free, in Vegas.

Remember when the Oregon Lottery began, and right at first offered betting lines on 10 NBA games, pick 3 beat-the-spread and you win the small prize and it goes up from there? Then the 'League' leaned on Lottery 'officials' something about 'enforcers' and 'enforcement' which would take the Blazers' ball and go somewhere else not playing in Oregon, remember? Oh the agony, the travesty, hilarity ensued. The Lottery blinked, canceled the NBA lines game.

I remember because I was set to make a bundle (with my 'insider' scoops of the latest poop under the bleachers in the locker room ... and TV production facility), I could pick 5 of 10 (at least) night after night -- and I did for the couple weeks it lasted. But Vegas didn't believe in 'sharing' in the action.

Vegas must be the biggest city in the country without a single pro-sports team franchise.

- -
Over on Dwight Jaynes' blog where this NBA Book story came from, the comments are running similar to mine -- 'Of course the games and scores are rigged, everyone knew, that's who.' And Dwight is trying to keep a straight 'League' game face on -- dismissing out-of-hand the entire expose because 'the author (Donaghy) is a jailbird and anything and everything he ever says is a lie, don't trust him don't believe him.' Or, as Groucho Marx said, "who you gonna believe: me, or your lying eyes?"

Give it up, Dwight. The game's over. The NBA's a con, not the author. The only honor or dignity you can save is by how deliberately you cut the cover-up connections to the Stern/League, and let the whole loser mob of them sink beneath history's horizon and faggedaboudit and along with the lost city of Atlantis. ... where, so I hear, the fishes got a game tonight.

My friends used to call the NBA "NADS." That's the National Association of David Stern. My favorite part of those excerpts:

"The 2002 series certainly wasn't the first or last time Bavetta weighed in on an important game. He also worked Game 7 of the 2000 Western Conference Finals between the Lakers and the Trail Blazers. The Lakers were down by 13 at the start of the fourth quarter when Bavetta went to work. The Lakers outscored Portland 31–13 in the fourth quarter and went on to win the game and the series. It certainly didn't hurt the Lakers that they got to shoot 37 free throws compared to a paltry 16 for the Trail Blazers."

That was the game that convinced me that that NBA was a lot like pro wrestling.

The book's publisher has now announced it will not release the book due to "liability concerns". Ya think?!

Didn't take the NBA long to act.

Also at the deadspin blog:

... the NBA came calling. "They came after Random House and threatened a lawsuit," the source says, "and Random House just rolled ...."

... he goes on, "... there was no logical reasoning other than an open threat. It just doesn't make sense. If they had come down and said, 'There are some specific things that are flat-out lies or they're wrong and we think there are fabrications or something,' then there'd be some basis to say, 'OK, we need to back up and double-check this.' But this was just an open comment. And so we don't know what the specific basis of that potential suit might've been."

Yeah, the courts and the law always gets wrapped up in (disclosing) those stupid facts things. Picky, picky, picky, when obviously the author should bury the book, forget his experiences in life, don't ask and don't tell ....

Oh, come on, folks. I believe most of the stuff in this book probably has a lot of truth to it, but the reffing in the 4th quarter of Game 7 in 2000 was very unremarkable. We lost the game because we went ice cold from the field and played like shit. Watch the tape if you can stand it.

The Kings/Lakers series, however, I can completely believe.

Man, don't know if I want to get into this season after reading that. What's the point?

I'm not surprised that Random House is scared out of publishing. Hope the whole book leaks to the net. Some teams/players/cities should consider suing the NBA right back.

Allen Iverson should sue based on that anecdote. Get his $25,000 back. I like that the author acknowledged that the other ref had a vendetta against Iverson, but then punished Iverson anyway for saying it out loud. There's more honor in a street gang....

I am shocked simply shocked that anyone would think that Dick Bavetta ever called games in a less than completely professional and disinterested manner.


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