Tuesday, July 24, 2007

NBA Faces Gambling Issues

I'm not one to usually write about the negative aspects of sports, but after what has happened this past week in the NBA and the NFL, I feel compelled to at least say something. Today, I'll discuss the NBA and the gambling allegations against one of the league's officials. At some later point, I may discuss the NFL and the Michael Vick situation, but quite honestly that particular issue really sickens me to the point where I have a hard time writing about it.

For those of you that don't know, the NBA's scandal involves referee Tim Donaghy betting on and changing the outcome of an unknown number of professional basketball games. Donaghy has been an official in the league for 13 years, and apparently has been under investigation by commissioner David Stern before for gambling allegations. Now he is under investigation by the FBI, and they are now just basically waiting for Donaghy to turn himself in. Apparently, they have quite a lot of evidence to support the allegations.

As someone that has been a fan of the NBA ever since I was very young thanks to the many great Los Angeles Lakers championship teams, I have personally suspected something like this going on for quite some time. Over the past several years, I've noticed a steady decline in the quality of officiating - in particular I've seen A LOT more inconsistency in foul calls. There was a time a few years ago when I used to post a lot on the ESPN fantasy sports boards. I often made reference on those boards to the fact that I thought NBA games were now being rigged. Most of the other posters thought I was crazy to say something like this, but there were a few that did share my sentiments. Now the other shoe has FINALLY dropped...

As I've become more jaded with the NBA, the past few years I began doing something I never used to do before - I started turning games off before they were over due SOLELY to my frustration with the officiating!!! I'd be willing to bet (no pun intended) that more than one of the games I've turned off the past few years has involved some coveniently blown calls by Donaghy.

Don't get me wrong, there can still be some excitement and fun in watching an NBA game - every once in a while, I'll see something really special like Kobe Bryant going off for 81 points in the 2005-2006 season, or the Washington Wizards' Gilbert Arenas dropping 60 on the Lakers in a game last year... The NBA was, for quite a long time, my favorite sport to watch on television. Now with me, it probably ranks a distant seventh behind major league baseball, pro football, golf, college football, college basketball & auto racing.

Commissioner Stern had a press conference yesterday about the allegations and in not so many words is treating this as an "isolated incident." Given what I've seen the past several years, I highly doubt (unfortunately) that this is the case. Was it just me, or did it seem like he was hiding something during that hour long press conference??? Personally, I think Stern is a lot of the problem. Full scale brawls have broken out in games in each of the past two seasons - something which rarely used to happen... As commissioner, his suspensions and fines over the past few years have become more and more inconsistent. The number of fights and incidents in games has been on an upward swing for many years now. It also seems like that the more personal dislike or disdain Stern has for a player, the worse the fine/suspension is for that particular player. If he likes a player, then the player may get off with just a fine for the EXACT same offense! It is well known in league circles that he doesn't care for the aforementioned Bryant and several other players, yet Steve Nash and others can seemingly do no wrong in his eyes. Stern, first and foremost, needs to stop playing favorites!!! As for the gambling allegations, Stern should have dealt with this properly when it first surfaced. Way back in 2005, there were gambling allegations surrounding Donaghy and though they were investigated, no evidence of gambling was found. A deeper, more thorough investigation at the time may have nipped this in the bud.

To me, there really is only ONE solution at this point, and that is to get a new NBA Commissioner. The NBA needs someone who will be fair and impartial and also someone who is truly looking out for the best interests of the league. Stern may have been good for the league at one point, but I think it's time that someone new is brought on board to give the NBA a much needed fresh start.

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My top 20 favorite songs...

1. First Time - Lifehouse (1 week @ #1)
2. Makes Me Wonder - Maroon 5 (1 week @ #1)
3. I Told You So - Keith Urban
4. Home - Daughtry (3 weeks @ #1)
5. How I Feel - Martina McBride
6. I Wonder - Kellie Pickler
7. Teardrops On My Guitar - Taylor Swift
8. Take Me There - Rascal Flatts
9. (You Want To) Make A Memory - Bon Jovi
10. I Need You - Tim McGraw & Faith Hill
11. A Different World - Bucky Covington
12. Lost In This Moment - Big & Rich (1 week @ #1)
13. I Got More - Cole Deggs & The Lonesome
14. 4 In The Morning - Gwen Stefani
15. Johnny Cash - Jason Aldean
16. Undeniable - Mat Kearney
17. Hey There Delilah - Plain White T's
18. Big Girls Don't Cry - Fergie
19. Never Wanted Nothing More - Kenny Chesney
20. Online - Brad Paisley

1 comment:

Nate said...

Hey John when you going to start posting your PC on Pulse again?

It is great and will help out many songs/artists I like move up.

From CarrieFlattsEDFan13 on Pulse.