Tag Archives: David Stern

The NBA and the Miami Heat double-standard: the Stern Crime Family strikes again

Let’s review.

This was an automatic, on the spot flagrant 2 and ejection.

But this – a blindside cheap shot, a two-handed shove and some subsequent manhandling of the ref – earned only a flagrant 1.

Note that LeBron flopped like a Portuguese midfielder while Hansbrough remained upright.

And this flying WWE-style flying elbow from Dwyane Wade was assessed a flagrant 1, but only after the league office reviewed it the next day.

Flagrant 1s earn the opposition a free throw and the ball. Flagrant 2s get the offender ejected. And if you’re the sort of conspiracy theorist who thinks the NBA is protecting its cash cow, the star-studded Miami Heat, well, there’s not much in this sequence to prove you wrong, is there?

(I guess the league might still take some extra action against Anderson, seeing as how he’s a role player and not a superstar. Of course, he’s an important role player and the Miami/Indiana series is still tight, so maybe not. We’ll see.)

[UPDATE: The league has apparently been embarrassed into suspending Anderson for a game.]

Some advice to the NBA league office. If you want your fans to stop seeing the hand of the Illuminati in every controversial call, if you want smart-asses like me to stop using phrases like “RICO investigation” and “Stern Crime Family,” you should stop, you know, acting like an organized crime family.

Just saying.

Who’s the biggest Heat and Celtics fan in the world?

Want to know who woke up screaming this morning? This guy:

Miami, home to one of the NBA’s showpiece franchises, is in deep trouble versus Indiana. Continue reading Who’s the biggest Heat and Celtics fan in the world?

The uneasy truth behind Tim Donaghy’s allegations

Disgraced former NBA referee Tim Donaghy, who was convicted of two charges related to betting on NBA games (some of which he worked as an official), is out of prison, pimping a new book and telling his story to 60 Minutes and ESPN. What he’s saying, and who’s backing him up, has to be giving NBA Commish David Stern a king-hell case of the nightsweats.

We’ll stipulate up front that the witness has a credibility issue. Continue reading The uneasy truth behind Tim Donaghy’s allegations

The NBA: where will “fixed” happen this year?

We watch sports for a variety of reasons. To revel in the thrill of head-to-head competition. To marvel at the athleticism. To root for the home team, in which we have somehow invested a piece of our own identities. To mark our place in the timeless ritual. To learn, even.

With the NBA, there’s one more reason: to see which narrative the league has decided is the most compelling.

Now, I’m not generally a conspiracy theorist. I don’t think the world is biased against me personally and I don’t believe that the refs are out to get my team. In most cases, my attempts to explain bad officiating, whatever the sport, need go no further than “basic incompetence.” Continue reading The NBA: where will “fixed” happen this year?

Four simple steps to solving the NBA’s persistent ref problem

I don’t write about sports issues here very often, but … let’s make an exception for this one.

The NBA is in the news big time today, and not because of last night’s Lakers win over the Celtics. Former referee Tim Donaghy, convicted of taking bribes and betting on games he officiated, has now alleged that at least two games – one in 2002 and another in 2005 – involved inappropriate behavior by game officials. In 2002, he says, game 6 of the Western Conference finals between LA and Sacramento was fixed outright. Continue reading Four simple steps to solving the NBA’s persistent ref problem

Summer of scandal and the death of sport?

I love sports. Always have. I grew up playing all the usual sports and eagerly tried out a lot of others when I got older. I’ve always been a big spectator, too, watching everything from football, basketball and baseball to soccer, track, cycling, volleyball, water polo – whatever was on, you know?

But these days I watch less sports than at any point in my life, and it seems likely that this downward trend is going to continue. The why is pretty simple. I was raised old school by a grandfather who grew up playing through the Depression. People who knew him back then and saw him play said that under different circumstances he might have been good enough to play in the Bigs. Maybe. Hard to say, because the hard realities of life intruded on the dreams of many in his generation. So he wound up working for a few dollars a week and playing ball on the weekends.

There was a right way and a wrong way to play. Hard, but fair. Sportsmanship mattered. Continue reading Summer of scandal and the death of sport?