The Orange Mane -  a Denver Broncos Fan Community  

Go Back   The Orange Mane - a Denver Broncos Fan Community > Other Sports Discussion > NBA & NCAA
Register FAQ Members List Calendar Chat Room Mark Forums Read



View Poll Results:
0 0%
Voters: 0. This poll is closed

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 06-19-2006, 12:40 AM   #1251
Clockwork Orange
Persona Non Grata
 
Clockwork Orange's Avatar
 
I seen him!

Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 21,352
Default

Does this mean that you're done watching? You know, since it's rigged and all.
Clockwork Orange is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-19-2006, 12:42 AM   #1252
Rulon Velvet Jones
You're not really here.
 
Rulon Velvet Jones's Avatar
 
Tight Butthole

Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Dallas, TX
Posts: 6,693

Adopt-a-Bronco:
Rent-A-DC
Default

Whoa! How do you get the Adopt a Bronco thing?
Rulon Velvet Jones is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-19-2006, 12:43 AM   #1253
-Slap-
Ring of Famer
 

Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 31,806
Default

Two weeks ago.......

Quote:
06-04-2006, 03:44 AM #967
angryllama
on a mission


Kasey Keller

Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Abilene, TX
Posts: 6,861

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Shaq better show a little better than the last time they played.

Dallas won by what...37? 36? 38?

Miami fans are awfully confident for a team without home court, without an answer for the best player in the post season Nowitzki, and without the benefit of knowing that a Miami Heat team with Shaq has ever beaten Dallas. They are 0-4 against Dirk and co. under Shaq.
-Slap- is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-19-2006, 12:43 AM   #1254
Clockwork Orange
Persona Non Grata
 
Clockwork Orange's Avatar
 
I seen him!

Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 21,352
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rulon Velvet Jones
Whoa! How do you get the Adopt a Bronco thing?
Click on User CP (top left, same place where you check your rep), click on Edit Profile, scroll down and find the space that says Adopt A Bronco and fill it in however you like.
Clockwork Orange is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-19-2006, 12:43 AM   #1255
NFLBRONCO
Ring of Famer
 
NFLBRONCO's Avatar
 
Go Nuggets Go Lakers

Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Lafayette Colorado
Posts: 8,435
Default

No worries Heat fans will cry a river next game its a typical NBA thing. Game 3 might come back and haunt the Mavs they had Miami out and blew it.
NFLBRONCO is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-19-2006, 12:45 AM   #1256
RhymesayersDU
Go Broncos, Nuggets, Rox
 
RhymesayersDU's Avatar
 

Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Back In The 303!
Posts: 15,022

Adopt-a-Bronco:
Ty Lawson
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by angryllama
The NBA fan on average is from a different demographic. You still cant tell me whose shoes and jerseys are the most popular. Why not? Is it because they prove your juvenile trust wrong?
Believe me, I know jersey sales. It makes me smile that Carmelo has been near the top every year he's been in the league.

But that is only one small part of their revenue. They make more from TV revenue, ad sales, and ticket sales and all that.

You can take one small thing and blow it up all you want, but there are so many other issues with the NBA it's absurd. Hell, how much does the NBA really make off jerseys anyways? Reebok makes them and sells them. Same with shoes. You think the NBA gets a penny from my Carmelo's? I'd venture to guess that the Jordan brand and Carmelo Anthony do.

Why can the NFL make ESPN and Fox and ABC and NBC fight over TV contracts? Because the NFL is the number 1 sport in the USA. The NBA doesn't have those numbers, and race has a lot to do with it. Sure, you have inner city youth, but the people with the real buying power (and not just that of a 75 dollar jersey at the mall) are the white businesspeople, and that is who the NBA wants to target.

Do you honestly believe this is all about jersey sales? Pretty small-minded... But then again, Dirk should have been MVP.
RhymesayersDU is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-19-2006, 12:46 AM   #1257
epicSocialism4tw
Tebowing the long haul
 
all the way to the title

Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: TX, USA
Posts: 36,819

Adopt-a-Bronco:
Champ Bailey
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Clockwork Orange
First, I want to congratulate you for having the courage to actually show up after a loss, llama. That's very big and unexpected of you.
Thanks, I always know that you'll be there waiting with your two-penny wit and your half minded analysis.

Quote:
If you honestly believe that anyone is jealous of you or your team, you must be living 4 feet up your own ass these days instead of the 3 I estimated before. Your classless organization is the envy of no one.
Except for every Nugget fan who dreams that his thuggish brawlers will one day amount to anything more than pot smoking, snitch killing losers. Be patient though, Anthony is a marketable character. He's got success written all over him.

Quote:
You won't talk about Howard gagging on his own balls or your hero turning back into a soft jump shooter. Nah, you're a Mark Cuban sheep through and through. You're now just rehashing your conspiracy theories from earlier in the playoffs when the Mavs were on the brink of elimination. Funny to see how you've come back to this after all your chest thumping about breaking out the brooms before.Proof positive that there is no such thing as accountability with the Mavs. That goes for the organization and the fanbase.
A truly remarkable piece of literature. You must have put in hard earned hours thinking of ways that you could approach this moment in this message board. The eloquence, the scissor-sharp deductions, the dry wit, the biting quality of the delivery...has there ever been a finer moment on the orangemane? I applaud the sheer poignancy and timeliness of the moment that you captured so beautifully above. I think that I am brought to tears. What a piece.
epicSocialism4tw is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-19-2006, 12:47 AM   #1258
-Slap-
Ring of Famer
 

Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 31,806
Default

Quote:
06-04-2006, 12:15 PM #973
angryllama
on a mission


Kasey Keller

Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Abilene, TX
Posts: 6,861

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Miami is in trouble. Dallas is the best team in the league. I'm wondering if we should go ahead and get out the brooms or not.

And by the way, this is the same Miami team that Dallas trounced by thirty-something, and no amount of smack talk and "we're different now" talk can change that.
__________________


M R C H O K E
?
-Slap- is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-19-2006, 12:49 AM   #1259
Bob's your Information Minister
Chiefs > Broncos
 

Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 26,184

Adopt-a-Bronco:
CHRIS KUPER!!!
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by angryllama
It wouldnt matter if Howard made those free throws or not.
I disagree completely.

Howard makes those, Dallas is up 3 with 36 seconds left.

Miami has to make a three to tie. Unlikely.
Bob's your Information Minister is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-19-2006, 12:51 AM   #1260
epicSocialism4tw
Tebowing the long haul
 
all the way to the title

Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: TX, USA
Posts: 36,819

Adopt-a-Bronco:
Champ Bailey
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Clockwork Orange
Does this mean that you're done watching? You know, since it's rigged and all.
I am done. I havent watched any coverage of the finals, and havent logged on to the net for anything but world cup coverage. Combined with the official hosing the Uraguayan ref in the US/Italy game and the absurdity of the Superbowl, I think that sports as a whole have become alot less attractive to me.

I'll watch the Dallas boys because I know that they are fighting the machine, but after that I am done.
epicSocialism4tw is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-19-2006, 12:53 AM   #1261
Clockwork Orange
Persona Non Grata
 
Clockwork Orange's Avatar
 
I seen him!

Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 21,352
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by angryllama
Thanks, I always know that you'll be there waiting with your two-penny wit and your half minded analysis.
And I know that you'll be here with your delusional conspiracy rantings and Dirk fellating.......if the Mavs win. If they lose, your attendance seems to get a little sketchy.

Quote:
Except for every Nugget fan who dreams that his thuggish brawlers will one day amount to anything more than pot smoking, snitch killing losers. Be patient though, Anthony is a marketable character. He's got success written all over him.


Yeah, he's also way ahead of Dirk's scoring average at the same age, so he has that going for him too.

But if he doesn't win a championship, I'll just cry about a league conspiracy against him and the Nuggets. Seems to be what "classy" fans like yourself come equipped with.

Quote:
A truly remarkable piece of literature. You must have put in hard earned hours thinking of ways that you could approach this moment in this message board. The eloquence, the scissor-sharp deductions, the dry wit, the biting quality of the delivery...has there ever been a finer moment on the orangemane? I applaud the sheer poignancy and timeliness of the moment that you captured so beautifully above. I think that I am brought to tears. What a piece.


Anything to avoid talking about your teams shortcomings, right? Priceless.

You should have just stayed on the World Cup thread. Oh wait, all you did was cry about the officiating there too.
Clockwork Orange is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-19-2006, 12:53 AM   #1262
epicSocialism4tw
Tebowing the long haul
 
all the way to the title

Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: TX, USA
Posts: 36,819

Adopt-a-Bronco:
Champ Bailey
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by RhymesayersDU
Believe me, I know jersey sales. It makes me smile that Carmelo has been near the top every year he's been in the league.

But that is only one small part of their revenue. They make more from TV revenue, ad sales, and ticket sales and all that.

You can take one small thing and blow it up all you want, but there are so many other issues with the NBA it's absurd. Hell, how much does the NBA really make off jerseys anyways? Reebok makes them and sells them. Same with shoes. You think the NBA gets a penny from my Carmelo's? I'd venture to guess that the Jordan brand and Carmelo Anthony do.

Why can the NFL make ESPN and Fox and ABC and NBC fight over TV contracts? Because the NFL is the number 1 sport in the USA. The NBA doesn't have those numbers, and race has a lot to do with it. Sure, you have inner city youth, but the people with the real buying power (and not just that of a 75 dollar jersey at the mall) are the white businesspeople, and that is who the NBA wants to target.

Do you honestly believe this is all about jersey sales? Pretty small-minded... But then again, Dirk should have been MVP.
Jersey sales represent marketing power. The jerseys that sell belong to the players that get the big endorsement deals. The NBA gets a cut.
epicSocialism4tw is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-19-2006, 12:54 AM   #1263
-Slap-
Ring of Famer
 

Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 31,806
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by angryllama
I am done. I havent watched any coverage of the finals, and havent logged on to the net for anything but world cup coverage. Combined with the official hosing the Uraguayan ref in the US/Italy game and the absurdity of the Superbowl, I think that sports as a whole have become alot less attractive to me.

I'll watch the Dallas boys because I know that they are fighting the machine, but after that I am done.
Done with spectator sports?

Whither goest the Angry Llama?
-Slap- is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-19-2006, 12:55 AM   #1264
Bob's your Information Minister
Chiefs > Broncos
 

Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 26,184

Adopt-a-Bronco:
CHRIS KUPER!!!
Default

Wade set a record with his 21 made free throws tonight.
Bob's your Information Minister is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-19-2006, 12:56 AM   #1265
RhymesayersDU
Go Broncos, Nuggets, Rox
 
RhymesayersDU's Avatar
 

Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Back In The 303!
Posts: 15,022

Adopt-a-Bronco:
Ty Lawson
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by angryllama
Jersey sales represent marketing power. The jerseys that sell belong to the players that get the big endorsement deals. The NBA gets a cut.
They get a cut, but do you think that cut is bigger or more important then TV revenue? I'd venture to say it's not.
RhymesayersDU is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-19-2006, 12:57 AM   #1266
epicSocialism4tw
Tebowing the long haul
 
all the way to the title

Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: TX, USA
Posts: 36,819

Adopt-a-Bronco:
Champ Bailey
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by -Slap-
Done with spectator sports?
Whither goest the Angry Llama?
Back to more of Plato, Aristotle, Kirkegaard, Augustine, Neuroscience, gardening, penning music, mountainbiking, my girlfriend, Saul of Tarsus, Moses, and Yeshua.
epicSocialism4tw is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-19-2006, 12:57 AM   #1267
Clockwork Orange
Persona Non Grata
 
Clockwork Orange's Avatar
 
I seen him!

Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 21,352
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob's your Information Minister
Wade set a record with his 21 made free throws tonight.
Wade was 4th in the NBA in free throws made and 5th in the NBA in free throws attempted during the season. That's his game.
Clockwork Orange is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-19-2006, 12:59 AM   #1268
Bob's your Information Minister
Chiefs > Broncos
 

Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 26,184

Adopt-a-Bronco:
CHRIS KUPER!!!
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Clockwork Orange
Wade was 4th in the NBA in free throws made and 5th in the NBA in free throws attempted during the season. That's his game.
Yeah I'm sure he was making 21 every night.
Bob's your Information Minister is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-19-2006, 01:01 AM   #1269
Clockwork Orange
Persona Non Grata
 
Clockwork Orange's Avatar
 
I seen him!

Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 21,352
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob's your Information Minister
Yeah I'm sure he was making 21 every night.
If he got to the line 24 times, he probably would. He attacks the basket and draws contact, he gets to the line a lot. If you actually watched basketball, you might know that.
Clockwork Orange is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-19-2006, 01:02 AM   #1270
-Slap-
Ring of Famer
 

Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 31,806
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by angryllama
Back to more of Plato, Aristotle, Kirkegaard, Augustine, Neuroscience, gardening, penning music, mountainbiking, my girlfriend, Saul of Tarsus, Moses, and Yeshua.
Those guys sat around talking yang all day because they didn't want to get jobs. The other stuff is not as good as sports. You'll come crawling back on your belly.

You don't think stealing one of the most revered nicknames in pro sports has caused karma to shit blue lights upon your head then?
-Slap- is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-19-2006, 01:14 AM   #1271
epicSocialism4tw
Tebowing the long haul
 
all the way to the title

Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: TX, USA
Posts: 36,819

Adopt-a-Bronco:
Champ Bailey
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by -Slap-
Those guys sat around talking yang all day because they didn't want to get jobs. The other stuff is not as good as sports. You'll come crawling back on your belly.
Philosophy is a necessity to me. One cant live if he doesnt have his bearings. To paraphrase: Is an unexamined life worth living? I am not one to be content with riding the wave without understanding the energy that compels it. There is joy for me in understanding.

As for sports, I am an athlete. I played at a very high level in my youth, and I still love to compete. I enjoy sports and always will. I'm sure that I will catch some things curiously and check on what the Bronco news is here, but I just cant subject myself to the inconsistencies of pro sports. College sports are more trustworthy, but there are serious questions about the integrity of every major American sport in my mind and it's not worth it to endure the wretched campaigns by the concerned industries to keep those consumers in the seats and in the fan shops. It literally makes me ill of mind, and that's not worth it to me.

Quote:
You don't think stealing one of the most revered nicknames in pro sports has caused karma to shit blue lights upon your head then?
No....Im not superstitious at all.
epicSocialism4tw is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-19-2006, 01:14 AM   #1272
Bob's your Information Minister
Chiefs > Broncos
 

Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 26,184

Adopt-a-Bronco:
CHRIS KUPER!!!
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Clockwork Orange
If he got to the line 24 times, he probably would. He attacks the basket and draws contact, he gets to the line a lot. If you actually watched basketball, you might know that.


OK, whatever dude.

Wade shot 24 free throws COMBINED in the two Dallas games.

HOME MOTHER****IN' COOKIN.'
Bob's your Information Minister is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-19-2006, 01:20 AM   #1273
Clockwork Orange
Persona Non Grata
 
Clockwork Orange's Avatar
 
I seen him!

Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 21,352
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob's your Information Minister


OK, whatever dude.

Wade shot 24 free throws COMBINED in the two Dallas games.

HOME MOTHER****IN' COOKIN.'
Just like game 3 against San Antonio (in Dallas, no less) when Dirk attempted 24 free throws? You sure didn't mind it then, so spare me your whining now.

It's real simple, dumbass. You attack the basket, you get to the line more. You settle for jumpers, you get to the line less. I know you're a little slow, you are a Chefs fan after all, but I'm confident that even you can figure out that concept.

But keep crying if it makes you feel better.
Clockwork Orange is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-19-2006, 01:23 AM   #1274
epicSocialism4tw
Tebowing the long haul
 
all the way to the title

Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: TX, USA
Posts: 36,819

Adopt-a-Bronco:
Champ Bailey
Default

Accusations of fixing the finals gnaws at the NBA's integrity By Bill Peterson
Something is seriously amiss with the NBA on the eve of its championship finals, which are alleged to be more made for TV than the law should allow. Of course, speculation as to which teams the league would prefer on its June stage has run for so long as to have become a rite of spring. But the sides of the Milwaukee Bucks' mouths muttered the conspiracy theory with bristling detail last week, which is pretty damaging gossip whether it's true or not.
The Bucks ultimately lost the Eastern Conference Finals to the Philadelphia 76ers in seven games, so they're spared the prohibitive task of tipping off against the Los Angeles Lakers for the league championship. Even before their series ended, though, the Bucks all but came right out and said the fix was in. It wasn't the only sign that the Bucks, and the league, have lost their composure.
The Sixers made 186 trips to the free throw line in the series, compared with only 119 for the Bucks. On the face of it, the Sixers stand to go to the line more often, anyway, because they drive to the basket and the Bucks pull up for the jumper. But the Bucks were outraged by several specific calls, often of the ticky-tack variety on the perimeter.
Beginning after Game 4, when the Bucks said Glenn Robinson was fouled on a fourth-quarter possession that cashed out a layup for the Sixers, the Bucks were distracted by their sense of injustice. In Game 5, early touch fouls were called against Sam Cassell and Ervin Johnson, Cassell went berserk after being stung with a technical, flagrant fouls were called against Robinson and Tim Thomas and a moving screen call went against Jason Caffey. At the end of the game, Robinson missed from the baseline with the game on the line in the final seconds and Ray Allen missed the putback, later to say goaltending should have been called against Dikembe Mutombo.
After that game, Allen told reporters he's suspected the NBA was fixed since he was in high school, adding that members of his family told him they saw NBA Commissioner David Stern carrying on at a game as if he were rooting for the Sixers. Bucks coach George Karl said three other NBA coaches called him to raise the issue. It was Bucks power forward Scott Williams, of all people, who said the Bucks were losing their cool.
So, in Game 6, Sixers star Allan Iverson drove the lane and took an elbow in the face from Williams, who would have to be on his knees to elbow Iverson's ribs. After that game, the NBA revised the call against Williams to flagrant foul 2 from flagrant foul 1, requiring that Williams sit out Game 7.
Just as one hates to see the referees decide games with late calls that are largely subjective, it's disturbing when the league basically decides a series by making a key player sit out on a reversal of a subjective decision. Not that Williams is an All-Pro, but he makes a big difference for that team, which doesn't have enough inside presence even with him. And how the Williams foul is flagrant 2 when the infamous Juwan Howard hack that knocked San Antonio's Derek Anderson out of the playoffs isn't would take some explaining.
It would be wrong, though, based just on this year's playoffs, to conclude that the NBA fixes its results for maximum television revenue. After all, the NBA has lost millions on the Lakers' 11-game blitz through the first three rounds of playoffs, which could have been made longer and more interesting with a few well-timed calls.
But the problem isn't that the NBA is fixed. The problem is that the Bucks can be comfortable talking about the possibility so openly.
The problem isn't that perception is reality, but that perception is everything respecting the integrity of athletic competition. And the NBA doesn't help itself by dismissing and laughing off the suspicion, which, if not confirmed, remains a suspicion.
The NBA's silence on the matter is almost creepy. One would expect some kind of fine against Allen for conduct detrimental to the league. It wouldn't be unprecedented. The issue isn't a lot different from the controversy for which Pete Rose serves a lifetime suspension from baseball.
Whether a league is perceived to be compromised by gambling or its own machinations, any suspicion that the games aren't fairly played and honestly won cuts at the integrity of the competition. Without that integrity, the NBA is professional wrestling or the XFL. The NBA ought to walk every last mile to protect that integrity. Instead, the league just hopes the problem goes away.
Maybe it will. Because the Bucks are right -- the NBA clearly has an interest it pitting the Sixers against the Lakers in this year's finals, which is exactly what it's got. It's national star power and two huge television markets. It's the Lakers, the defending champions and the hottest team in the game, against the Sixers, featuring the MVP who's also the most discussed figure in the league.
Iverson will never be able to get rid of all those tattoos, which will always remind his detractors of his thuggish past. That's unfortunate, because he has otherwise made every effort to resist blowing on himself by saying the right things and acknowledging the right people. He plays hard and hurt and can even be said to be a team player when he hits six of 30, because it's only the threat of his scoring that illuminates the marginal talents with which he's surrounded.
Meanwhile, the Lakers have effected a remarkable transformation since Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant were openly bickering in January. Now they're playing together and patting each other on the back.
The Lakers haven't lost a game in two months, and longtime observers are saying they're playing better than the teams that featured Jerry West and Wilt Chamberlain 30 years ago or Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbbar 15 years ago. That's rather extravagant praise, and it's pretty hard to confute.
Among the showcases in these finals is two coaches, Phil Jackson and Larry Brown, who have demonstrated just what an achievement it is to win with great talent. In Brown's case, he's pulled maximum grit out of his role players, who are walking wounded, while reversing his once contentious relationship with Iverson. It's been no small feat to win over Iverson, which has clearly been the key to Philadelphia's success.
Jackson appears to be on his way to winning his eighth NBA championship, but he's not a paragon of humility and a lot of people, frankly, are sick of seeing him win. In some ways, he's comparable with Sparky Anderson, even if the comparison is strained by Anderson's lack of a zen vocabulary. But both have been hammered for winning with talent, as if it's not a coach's prerogative to surround himself with guys who can play.
The problem with talent, though, is that talent knows it's talented, which isn't the same as talent being committed to winning. Anderson and Jackson both have fought that battle adroitly, basically by letting players settle their own conflicts. Both know what many professional coaches forget, that the players are the team. If the players happen to be pretty good, you don't have to say Anderson and Jackson have done their jobs well, so long as you don't forget to give them their rings.
Neither Jackson nor Anderson have been the type to sit quietly in the background, especially when speaking out can deflect pressure and criticism from the players. Sometime early in this finals series, if it doesn't break right for the Lakers, Jackson is sure to make some remarks about the officiating -- but he'll stop short of declaring a fix.
At this point, the NBA doesn't need the criticism. It already has the series it wants.

http://www.citybeat.com/2001-06-07/sports.shtml
epicSocialism4tw is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-19-2006, 01:25 AM   #1275
epicSocialism4tw
Tebowing the long haul
 
all the way to the title

Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: TX, USA
Posts: 36,819

Adopt-a-Bronco:
Champ Bailey
Default

Perception more harmful to NBA than reality
<HR width="100%" noShade SIZE=1>By David Aldridge
Special to ESPN.com
SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- The NBA has a problem.
The problem is not that there is a conspiracy to put the Lakers (or, in their day, the Bulls) in the Finals, or that playoff games are fixed.
The problem is that so many otherwise rational people think there is a conspiracy to put the Lakers (or, in their day, the Bulls) in the Finals, and that playoff games are fixed. The problem is that the very teams who compete now state openly that they expect to get screwed in important games.
For 15 years, I've listened to crackpots tell me how the league is no different than pro wrestling, that I should be ashamed to cover a sport where the results have been determined in advance by a cabal of power-mad men (the list is never the same but frequently includes David Stern, NBC Sports President Dick Ebersol, the heads of various Fortune 500 companies, and once -- only once -- Suzanne Somers). I laugh to myself, for there is nothing I can do to help these people.
And then comes a game like Friday's Game 6 of the Western Conference finals. There is nothing I can say that will explain 27 free throws for the Lakers in the fourth quarter -- an amount staggering in its volume and impact on the game. It gave me pause. How can you explain it? How can you explain a game where Scot Pollard fouls out when he's two feet from Shaquille O'Neal, or that Doug Christie is called for a ridiculous touch foul just as Chris Webber spikes Kobe Bryant's drive to the hoop, or that Mike Bibby is called for a foul deep in the fourth quarter after Bryant pops him in the nose with an elbow? Regardless of whether the fouls were called correctly or not, they put a black mark on what has been as compelling, dramatic and well-played of a series as I can recall in recent years.
What gives one pause, though, is not that these fouls were called against the Kings in this one game. The pause comes because these fouls were called against the Kings in Los Angeles two days after O'Neal fouled out of Game 5 in Sacramento -- the same game in which Bryant was saddled with five fouls. How can consecutive games be called so diametrically opposite -- with such dramatic differences in the impact on the respective teams?
This is my problem: the 180-degree turns from day to day in the playoffs. One day, Shaq is allowed to drop his shoulder and knock any defender senseless. The very next day, if Shaq looks at Bibby, he gets the foul. How can it be the exact opposite of what it was the game before? And I think people pick up on that, and think something is not right.
I am not speaking here of your garden variety fan who roots for his or her team passionately, sometimes nonsensically, and who will thus create boogeymen to explain his team's losses where none exist. Nor of the poor souls who have to assign the state of their own wretched lives to some unseen, omniscient force. Nor of the professional cranks and nutjobs who earn a living by finding gunmen in grassy knolls -- no, they fired from the bridge above! No, wait -- it was from the sewer below! But of ordinary folks who pay their taxes and hold themselves responsible for their lot in life.
After Game 6, I went out to dinner in L.A. with a couple of sportswriters and three or four other folks who aren't in the business. Each one of us at the table had a college degree. None of us had a dog in this Lakers-Kings fight. But us Sports Guys wanted to see if we were overreacting. So we asked the woman with the business degree who has season tickets to an NBA team (not the Lakers, not the Kings) what her immediate reaction was after watching Friday.
"They stole the game from the Kings," she said, matter of factly.
The next morning, I call for a bellman for help with the bags. The door is open five seconds when he says, and I'm paraphrasing here because I don't generally quote bellmen, "What was up with that game last night? I mean, I'm a Laker fan, so I appreciate the calls. But I don't want to win that way. It was like Chris Webber was saying, 'I can't win, so why should I play hard?' "
Which, if the bellman had been in the Kings' locker room on Friday, was exactly the demeanor he would have seen from Webber. His lip was literally quivering, he was so angry. He spoke in guarded tones about how "we're still the Sacramento Kings" and how he had been told it would be impossible to beat the Lakers Friday. "I was warned," he muttered. Twenty feet away, Vlade Divac was asked if he played O'Neal any differently than he had the first five games. "Of course," Divac smirked. "I thought 'Tonight, I will play him very aggressive and foul him every time.' "
You can dismiss this as sour grapes from the losing team. But this has gone on for so long in so many losing locker rooms over the years, it is now part of the postgame procedure: Winning coach compliments spirit of losing team, losing coach laments horrible officiating. It is so matter-of-fact as to be a cliche: We got the calls tonight; they'll get the calls tomorrow. Only in the NBA does a coach who's won eight championships whine more than a stuck engine valve about refs. You may hear Lou Pinella rant about the strike zone on Monday, but he's not still at it on Thursday. Officials blow calls every Sunday in the NFL, but that league makes sure you know about it on Tuesday, while the NBA still muzzles all discussion about its officials' performance.
So why do NBA coaches do it?
Because it appears to work.
When Phil Jackson gripes about the Knicks and Pistons not allowing flow and freedom in a game -- when he says that Dennis Rodman is being persecuted; when he says that Shaq isn't being allowed the same freedoms a man six inches shorter receives -- he's not talking to the guy or gal that asked him the question in the news conference, and he's not talking to you, dear reader. He's talking to the three people in the striped shirts who will call the next game.
Please understand: I think NBA refs have the hardest job officiating of all the major sports, and that includes the guys who do it on skates. Basketball -- and pro basketball in particular -- has more subjective calls in a half than you'll see in a season of football. Block or charge? Did he jump straight up, or come over the back? Is he hooking, or using leverage? And I think because the game is so subjective to call, no one knows what to expect night in and out.
The NBA also suffers because of the nature of the game. One dominant player out of five will necessarily have more impact than one out of nine in baseball (including the pitcher, who only plays once every four or five days) or one of 11 in football. So someone like Michael Jordan or Magic Johnson or Larry Bird or Isiah Thomas -- or Shaq -- tends to win more often than in baseball or football. This tends to lead to the same teams winning championships -- which creates the impression that this is desired by the Commish, the networks and advertisers looking for common themes, one-name superstars and storylines to sell to the public.
(Of course, the public is as hypocritical on this as it is on so many things. The very people who say they're sick of seeing the same faces win year after year in the NBA are the same folks who stayed away in droves, and didn't watch, during the league's most democratic era -- the 1970s, when talented if nondescript teams like Golden State, Washington, Portland and Seattle won championships.)
I acknowledge I am at a loss about what to do. The Commish acknowledged last week that the game has gotten, in some ways, too quick for the refs, which is why he's now behind some form of instant replay. The Competition Committee will receive a proposal from the league for replay at its meeting this week. And here, the NBA can learn from the NFL, which is always perceived as tinkering with its game to improve officiating and make the game more pleasant for fans.
Of course, the NFL often does no such thing. But people think it does.
Perception is reality.

http://espn.go.com/nba/playoffs2002/...d/1389713.html
epicSocialism4tw is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes



Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 03:31 PM.


Denver Broncos