Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Shooting Bricks

Oboy, it appears that the NBA has stepped into a big pile of shit, and it's not gonna be easy for Daniel Stern to wipe this mess off his thousand dollar shoes. Mitch Lawrence from the New York Daily News tells us more:

Quite simply, this is the NBA's worst nightmare.

For commissioner David Stern, 30 NBA owners, some 400 players and 60 refs, it can't get any worse than having a referee caught smack in the middle of a mob-inspired, point-shaving scandal.

The integrity of the NBA is open to question because referee Tim Donaghy allegedly bet on games he officiated and made calls over the last two seasons that affected the point spread of games.

The rumbling you heard yesterday was the foundation of a pro sports league shaken like it has never been in 60 years.

"There's nothing worse for the integrity and credibility of the game," said one ownership source. "This is horrible."

That's because when you buy a ticket for an NBA game, as for other pro sporting events, you are putting your hard-earned money and trust in the fact that the action is on the up and up.

It's not supposed to be pro wrestling.

Steve Bornstein, the ex-head of ESPN who's now running the NFL network, was asked why he thought sports was so popular, and he answered, "You can't go to Blockbuster and rent tonight's game."

Unlike novels, movies, or the theater, sporting events are unique because it's real and you don't know what's going to happen next. The World Series isn't a fake HBO movie written by a doofus from Hollywood. Those athletes doing those impossible things in front of you aren't holograms manufactured by Industrial Light and Magic. Kirk Gibson really did hit that game-winning home run. The Catch, The Drive, and The Fumble really did happen. Michael Jordan really did win six NBA championships.

But now a creep with a whistle has fucked that up. It doesn't matter that referee Tim Donaghy has resigned, because that poisonous seed of doubt has been planted in people's minds, and nobody knows how deep the roots go down. Daniel Stern and the NBA have a bigger problem than dull games or Allan Iverson's tattoos, and it's not going to go away anytime soon.