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Now it gets interesting

Former NBA referee Tim Donaghy has turned himself in and today plead guilty to two felony gambling charges. So far, it appears that Donaghy is saying he only fed key information related to games he and others bet on but it will be interesting to see how this all plays out. You can bet that David Stern and the NBA is praying that he is the only ref involved.

My question is this: do hard core NBA fans such as those who read this blog still care about this story? If Donaghy is found to have worked alone and isn't discovered to have actually fixed games and/or shaved points, will you feel confident that all is on the up and up with the reffing in this league?

I'll be working on this story as well as Wiz stuff today.

By Ivan Carter  |  August 15, 2007; 11:31 AM ET
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Next: Checking in with Gilbert


Ivan, it is August, you should be drinking lemonade and otherwise recreating. Looks like Donaghy was freelancing. The spotlight, however, may help the NBA realize the officiating is not always awesome. See for example, the rd 1 treatment LeBron enjoyed in 2006 v. Wizards. See also, game 5 of the 2006 Finals -- Wade gets 25 free throw attempts (21-25) and the home team wins by one.

Posted by: Steve C. | August 15, 2007 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Not me. The NBA has long had a funny relationship with things being fixed. The Ewing draft, various suspensions, and these are without the crazy calls that have been made over the years.

The evidence might point to one man acting alone in this case, but it's just one man that happened to be sloppy enough to get caught.

Posted by: | August 15, 2007 11:56 AM | Report abuse

I think rabid fans do care about this story and will for some time. Even if there is not another Donaghy out there betting on games, the fact that he did so (1) exposes that there are people out there trying to get refs and others to do things like this; and (2) shines a bright light on the many flaws in the NBA's referee system that Stern has always dismissed as b.s.

Posted by: Sean | August 15, 2007 12:00 PM | Report abuse

As long as they determine that he is the only ref involved, it won't really affect my opinion of the NBA. There's a bad apple in every bunch......

BTW, Ivan - I caught you on tv earlier this week and loved your commentary and deep voice!!!! Very thought provoking.

Posted by: sf | August 15, 2007 12:31 PM | Report abuse

I've never felt the officiating was on the up and up... There's too many games where there are phantom calls, or no-calls... Especially if you're a Wizard's fan you see this stuff all the time!

All this scandal has done is confirm what I've thought for a few years now... That said, I hope this helps to correct the problem...

Posted by: SantanaClaus89 | August 15, 2007 12:48 PM | Report abuse

of course it impacts my opinion of the NBA. Im tired of all the bs. I want to know more about April 10, 2007 (Wizards-Nets). Donaghy definitely made a lot of suspect calls and no-calls in that game. I demand satisfaction for he has impugned our honor.

This is some serious stuff. What do we do about the games he already threw. There were lots of implications from that one Wiz-Nets game that was without a doubt thrown by Donaghy. Our draft positions would have changed for one but beyond that how different would the end of last season had been if we were able to pull a win out a little earlier.

It seems that it is yall (and the league) that want this to go away. Me, I want answers and not face saving rug sweeping about what happened on April 10th.

Posted by: Pindar | August 15, 2007 12:52 PM | Report abuse

I think that one ref could be recruited says enough about the problem. Stern needs to pay more attention to the officiating and less attention to "image issues" like the dress code. (Like I care what Josh Howard wears off the court).

Unless they address the problem, they'll have more than just an image problem. It's already started. People are dragging up every lopsided free-throw game in the past 10-years as proof that the league is fixed.

The referees don't make enough money.
There is no visibility into the grading system for officials.

Let the coaches grade the officials.
Pay them enough to reduce temptation.

Do something, besides talk.

Posted by: Rook | August 15, 2007 12:53 PM | Report abuse

I'm a true NBA fan always have been, always will be. I was with them during the rough period the post Bulls MJ era(93-94 & 1999-2001). Now with all that said, no I won't change my tune on being a NBA fan, I believe it was an isolated incident and I don't think David Stern is out to "fix" NBA games. (Although game 5 of the Kings v. Lakers game was extremely odd) I do however feel the media is more crtical of NBA than they are of other professional sport. For instance, NFL has the highest number of players in more voilent crimes(abuse, drunk driving, dog fighting) than an other sport but yet every fall everyone is geared up to watch football and not one person talk about lossing fans becuase of the increase in arrest/violence off the field. Well thats my 2 cents.

Also please let us know on the JCN what round pick will it be? My guess is prob early second round. But if JCN is the next Ginbolli, then the Wizard would have screwed themselves again.

Posted by: Robert C. | August 15, 2007 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Money destroys everything and everyone. Purity will not be achieved until money is gone, but its a business that needs revenue to pay for everything. Professional Sports should change there name to Catch 22.
Wiz 4 life!

Posted by: Burg w/ a U | August 15, 2007 1:04 PM | Report abuse

I had to look it up - couldn't remember if the 4/10 game vs the Nets was when Carter killed us all game, or when Carter hit the back of the rim prayer from 3 to send it into OT. Turns out it was the former. That game was called poorly it seems, so I suppose it is worth looking at.

That said, we can get the Donaghy story from a lot of places. I would rather focus on the JCN move, news on Blatche, and info regarding the location of practice (VCU again?)

Posted by: AndNone | August 15, 2007 1:05 PM | Report abuse

I think it would actually be good for the game if all the facts come out and we know that he fixed games. The fans have always expected that the NBA -- if not the refs-- is crooked, so this will be a bad enough story for the NBA to be motivated to fix its act. This would mean instant replay like the NFL; uniformity requirements for ref performance and better internal review procedures; and more scrutiny of players and refs when they make mistakes/calls at the end of games that affect the Vegas spread. This is all a roundabout way of saying, of course I care.

Posted by: DC | August 15, 2007 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Jerry rice is the greatest

Posted by: Anonymous | August 15, 2007 1:19 PM | Report abuse

I think we should trade jamison, Ab, AD and Brenda for michael petrius

Posted by: Anonymous | August 15, 2007 1:20 PM | Report abuse

I just heard we are going to trade jamison/BTH/blatche for kirelinko. What do you gus think?

Posted by: rook | August 15, 2007 1:26 PM | Report abuse

I think thats a solid trade rook. Hopefully it is true.

Posted by: bulletsfever | August 15, 2007 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Wow the trades you guys come up with are absurd. This why I never come here anymore.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 15, 2007 1:30 PM | Report abuse

I just got off the last blog. All the name calling needs to stop. Somebody should be held accountable for this.

Posted by: greg | August 15, 2007 1:31 PM | Report abuse

I think Donaghy probably was an aberration. The problem in the NBA isnt' that the refs are crooked, but that they tend to be astonishingly inconsistent about certain calls (loose ball fouls under the rim, moving screens) and tend to let certain marquee players get away with murder. For example, LeBron routinely uses his non-dribbling arm to push off the defender (especially when he's going to his left, where he's got a weaker handle). Just about anyone else who did that would get whistled for an offensive foul, but I've never seen him called for it even once.

Posted by: John Brisker | August 15, 2007 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Rook you spelled guys wrong

Posted by: tim | August 15, 2007 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Honestly, I dont really care about the gambling scandal. I dont think it affects the games that much. I just think he is stupid.

Posted by: John | August 15, 2007 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Fans who care about the NBA as a sport care about it a ref fixin games. Fans that care about it in the same way someone cares about WWF might care only about the entertainment value.

My point is that if the NBA wants to be considered a sport then they need to concerned about integrity of the game otherwise the more drama and the more controversy and the more bad publicity they have maybe the more it attracts a certain element.

They can't be both things to both sides. Pick one... sport or theater.

Posted by: Muddapucker | August 15, 2007 1:39 PM | Report abuse


the fact is he is a racist bigot who cares about nothing but increasing his revenue while exploiting his "slaves," for petty 1,000's and millions while he and the rest of the white collar criminals rank in billions. modern day slavery.....the house n*gger ate the masters scraps (millions and thousands) while thinking he is a big shot for it... while the master ate the feast (billions, control, stock, power, etc).

Posted by: young-i | August 15, 2007 1:50 PM | Report abuse

young-i you my friend are a complete idiot. That might be the dumbest comment I have ever read. I wonder what race you are? The NBA players make pennies what a terrible slavery filled life they live.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 15, 2007 1:58 PM | Report abuse

yikes....welcome to capitalism, homie. i don't understand why we say things like this. if the nba had a black commissioner and the owners were black, nothing would be any different. every profession/business has a hierarchy: an employer, employees, and clientele. the employer needs his employees to provide a product to clientele, which turns into profit (hopefully), which is allocated appropriately. none of those nba players have to take that check and you certainly don't have to support it by watching. i can only hope that you're an entrepreneur and have your own business, and if that's the case, i should hope that you don't have employees, because they will undoubtedly think the SAME things about you that you do about stern

Posted by: RichBoy | August 15, 2007 1:58 PM | Report abuse

I dont care about this story anymore. Partially becuase i am not a season ticket holder, so i spend little money in support of a potentially tainted product. In addition, if it is true that he only affected spreads and not outcomes, i care even less.

I find peoples obsession with the "purity" of sports misguided. Sports is no more or less pure and fair as life is in general

Posted by: Ledell Eackles | August 15, 2007 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Give us free!!!!

Posted by: Cinque | August 15, 2007 2:00 PM | Report abuse


For all those complaining about people calling people names and posting anon etc..., try IGNORING it!!! If you respond, you invite more of it.

One of the most interesting aspects of his guility plea was the judge stating: "Donaghy had 'unique access,' including what crews would officiate at games, the interaction of different officials and players..."

- Is this an acknowledgement through Donaghy that refs call games differently based on the player and their "relationship" with them??? That is not good.

Overall, I think it's not that big a deal and an isolated event. I do hope it is an impetus for Stern to improve the refereeing! Don't you feel bad for the good refs this year?

Posted by: Rob P | August 15, 2007 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Hey Tim,

I didn't post that. Someone using my name again.

Posted by: Rook | August 15, 2007 2:01 PM | Report abuse

I want to believe that Donaghy is alone in this. I choose to be naive at this time. However, for his sake, I hope he doesn't give up names without SUPREME witness protection. He should have spent his last free days watching Donnie Brasco and pondering the "what-ifs."

Posted by: RichBoy | August 15, 2007 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Commenting on the young-i post is exactly what I am talking about!!!

Posted by: Rob P | August 15, 2007 2:05 PM | Report abuse

Rob P.

I made a comment on a previous blog when this whole thing started about the effect it may have on the officiating during the upcoming season.

My feeling is that the Refs will stop with the "superstar" treatment. Lebron will be called for travelling, Shaq will be called for charging, and Arenas will not get to the line every time he drives to the paint. etc...


Posted by: Rook | August 15, 2007 2:16 PM | Report abuse

JCN + Blatche + Ruffin for Tim Duncan and a unprotectd 1st round pick and coach popovich and ginobili and robert horry

Posted by: Anonymous | August 15, 2007 2:23 PM | Report abuse

I'm hoping it's an isolated ref.
Good thing is it will draw greater scrutiny on the other refs including the NFL,NH & MLB.

Posted by: sam | August 15, 2007 2:23 PM | Report abuse

I just pray the FBI never releases the exact games he might have bet on/gave info on. Nothing good can come from it.

Posted by: Philips | August 15, 2007 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Hey Rook, I hope your right especially about the LeBron traveling and the Shaq charge being called way more often. Gilbert, I truly believe gets just about the right amount of calls. There are some calls missed, but he gets an equal number of bail out calls. If you have ever played ball, you know when you blow by your man and get to the rim you are fouled a large percentage of the time. GA does this as well as any player in the league without the traveling (lol).

So, anyway, hey let's hope the "superstar" treatment goes away. I did just read a piece on about NBA refs and it seems there is growing dislike amongst the refs about how they are graded and told to call certain things etc...based on averages and percentages. I do agree that the job is more art than science and trying to make it a science might be hurting the quality of the refereeing more than helping.

Posted by: Rob P | August 15, 2007 2:27 PM | Report abuse

Rob P - I would say that the way the league grades the refs is hurting the league.

If a referee is told that he has to start making more blocking calls, but can't even be told which calls he got wrong, there's something wrong there. It's the whole 'secrecy' thing that has me puzzled.

Obviously the current grading system was not good enough to weed out Donaghy.

Posted by: Rook | August 15, 2007 2:35 PM | Report abuse

JCN to Atlanta for one of their many big men.

Posted by: DC Man88 | August 15, 2007 2:44 PM | Report abuse

I didn't write the post from above.

Posted by: greg | August 15, 2007 2:57 PM | Report abuse

I think someone is writing as a couple different people.

Posted by: greg | August 15, 2007 2:59 PM | Report abuse

we care now slightly cause there are no other good stories out there.

If the nba can keep things going smoothly, then we will look at this as a turning point for the better, but if things get messy with more bad calls or scandals then problems will get multiplied x10.

Posted by: steve t | August 15, 2007 3:09 PM | Report abuse

True...I was trying to find the ref article and I could not. Anyway, they probably spend too much time being graded and told what to call. Your basically using quotas, which are very useful to being a good ref.

I do know I liked the no bs arguing a foul call rule. I got tired of the player's antics after EVERY foul call. Of course, as the season progressed the strictness of this rule faded unfortunately.

Also, I have alwyas wished for stricter enforcement of the traveling call. The NBA is almost the "never call a walk" league. I used to spot 3/4 travels a game - easily - that were not called.

The last sore spot with me is the moving screen play not being called at all. It's simple. You have to be "set" to set a screen. It's so bad these days your allowed to "set" jogging screens and I'm not talking as the ball is being dribbled up the court either.

Posted by: Rob P | August 15, 2007 3:11 PM | Report abuse

edit: "which are not very useful to being a good ref"

Posted by: Rob P | August 15, 2007 3:13 PM | Report abuse

The NYT article says Donaghy "admitted to betting on games in which he officiated," but didn't go as far as to say that he "fixed" those games. I ask you, how could you NOT fix a game that you are officiating, when you bet on the game? It would make no sense to bet on a game, tell the bookies which team you're betting on, then let the OTHER team win. I wonder why the reporting on this situation seems to be dancing around the real issue? Maybe he cut a deal with the prosecutors which fell short of him admitting that he actually fixed the games, even though he bet on them? If so, I would expect that he handed over the goods on some other people as part of the deal.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 15, 2007 3:18 PM | Report abuse

The Donaghy story is bad news, but overblown.

If this was an entire crew, or a much broader scandal, then we'd have real problems.

What are the odds though that this would happen at least once in a 30 to 40 year period? Almost 100%?

Sure the NBA needs to look at what happened and readjust its hiring process accordingly. Still, you can't eliminate extreme stupidity and greed from human nature -- we all have our moments.

Donaghy apparently just went a little further than most of us on a full-time basis.

He gave up a dream job--something he could have done until he was 90 like Dick Bevetta. In exchange he gave it up for doing time in the pen. What an idiot.

Posted by: JPT | August 15, 2007 3:19 PM | Report abuse

The real problem with this whole issue is David Stern. Does not! or will ever address how to solve the problem with making Ref'ing fair. His ego will always get in the way. The people who really pay for these mistakes are THE FANS. As a SUNS fan I knew this would happen again. I knew we would be cheated out of a championship because of the ref'ing. And we are not the only FANS who have paid for the years of corruption. I just thought is was funny how Stern kept addressing the issue with the SUNS-SPURS series well after the NBA finals. Including making comments at the NBA draft. Just prior to the start of the draft I knew then we would not get ATL's pick because of his comments.

Posted by: Riptek | August 15, 2007 3:22 PM | Report abuse

If the NBA vanished tomorrow I could care less. Go to a regular game and they loaf through three quarters and then play for the final one. College sports and X Games baby!

Posted by: FLvet | August 15, 2007 3:27 PM | Report abuse

I think the story is important -- if Donaghy was acting with other referees, it unravels a lot of what the NBA has done in the last few years. Plus it vindicates all who felt the players and coaches could not accomplish things without occasional help from the refs.

Maybe this will force the refs to call games better -- especially blatant fouls and MORE moving screens, like Rob P said. There are far too many moving screens and illegal backscreens set these days.

Posted by: iceberg | August 15, 2007 3:38 PM | Report abuse

Refereeing has been and always will be based on human judgment, perspective, and outside influence.

I'm more worried about the superstar influence on calls then games being fixed.

Everything about this story and all the past month have been overhyped since baseball is boring us to tears.

Posted by: pg posse | August 15, 2007 3:42 PM | Report abuse

I'm kinda over this story. I was sad when it happened, but only because I knew the conspiracy theorists would have a field day with it. Now...meh. The league will be fine.

Posted by: Aaron | August 15, 2007 3:46 PM | Report abuse

The problem is officiating was always suspect to begin with. It's hard for officials to call games as there is a lot of contact on almost every posession. Officiating was very inconsistent to begin with.
Anytime someone criticized a blatant, David Stern came down on them. This Donaghy case may or may not be isolated. But when you see a Joey Crawford toss out Tim Duncan for laughing on the bench or some questionable call or suspension. You are always going to think something fishy is going on.

Posted by: Allen | August 15, 2007 3:50 PM | Report abuse

I use to love the NBA in the late 80's and through the 90's.

The players use to be likable, personable. They could be your neighbors (Drexler, Isiah Thomas, David Robinson, etc). It has nothing to do with race, these guys were likable.

Now, it's turned into a boyz in the hood thug league, nobody identifies with the players anymore. These aren't the kind of guys you're going to invite over for dinner.

They've got an image crisis, the quality of play has gone down, mistrust is up (Lakers, Kings a few years ago, nuff said). There's a mistrust about the lakers, bulls, knicks and big market clubs.

If Donaghy acted with others, the NBA will feel it. There's too many other competitors now, they cant coast through life. I hope it clears up, and they can move on, and improve the product.

Posted by: JohnB | August 15, 2007 3:57 PM | Report abuse

where did you hear that trade rumor about Jamison?

Posted by: Dee | August 15, 2007 4:26 PM | Report abuse

The officiating the NBA is the worst of all the major sports. This event adds to a legacy of mediocrity.

Posted by: Elliot | August 15, 2007 4:55 PM | Report abuse

This calls for dramatic action from the NBA. It is time to take the job of the ref seriously. More training, more education, more pay for the refs is whats needed. Its time to stop repaving over the same old cow path. Lets reinvent the NBA ref system. Add two refs to each end of the court to just watch the paint. Add two refs in the sky box, just watching video tape. Call the game the way it is played, not based who is playing it. A fundamental change is needed and now is the time. This exposure of Donaghy may only be the tip of the problem, we all know is there. Quit turning a blind eye to it, like baseball did to steriods. You think that sport lost a lot of fans...just wait if and see what happens to the NBA fan base if the ref system is not fixed and soon.

Posted by: oddjob | August 15, 2007 5:02 PM | Report abuse

I, too, would like to see better officiating in the NBA, but I am not sure how you make that happen (not disrespecting oddjob's post above).

BTW, I was not the "tim" that corrected the apparent fake "Rook" above.

Posted by: Tim | August 15, 2007 5:12 PM | Report abuse

Prepare Netizens for the Suns whining to intensify. The government's affadavit states that Donaghy, although he officiated the infamous Game 3 Suns-Spurs game, HE DID NOT BET ON OR PROVIDE INFORMATION TO ANYONE regarding that game.

Recap-So that he might gain favor during sentencing he provided the Feds with a boatload of info. He spills the beans on the whole scheme and provides dates of telephone conversations, dates of payoffs, dates of games 'worked'.

Suns-Spurs Game 3 of the WC semifinals was NOT one of those games.

Start screaming Suns fans! (The Feds are Spurs fans would be good!)

Posted by: Scott | August 15, 2007 5:14 PM | Report abuse

Bill Simmons posted a column about the types of trades today:
Which type of trade do you think best describes the Navarro deal? None of his categories seem to fit perfectly, but I would vote for #7.

(And while I can't argue with Wes getting his own category, the definition only applies to the Rasheed trade. The Webber trade was a #5.)

Posted by: Sean | August 15, 2007 5:16 PM | Report abuse

I remember when the Bullets played Knicks when Ewing was in his prime and the Bullets were terrible.

Ewing always seemed to get the calls. He could ram his should into the Bullet defender and defender would get called for the foul.

It seemed to me like since the Bullets were bad that they just got no respect from the referees, like it was not bad enough already.

Perhaps this has already been posted, but the officiating should be as consistent as possible (there will always be bad calls) for all teams and all players. If Lebron walks, then he gets called for it.

Posted by: Tim | August 15, 2007 5:24 PM | Report abuse

Stay on this story. Officiating in the NBA is a disgrace and the only way that Stern will ever do what's necessary to fix this (fire most everyone and make sure the ones that are left and the new ones call to a similar standard, no more star system). That's what MLB and the standard of umpiring has gone up considerably.

Posted by: George Templeton | August 15, 2007 6:03 PM | Report abuse

Actually Wes was not trying to mortgage the teams future in trading Rasheed Wallace for Strickland.

He had three young players playing the PF position: Juwan Howard, C-Webb, and Rasheed Wallace. And the Bullets needed a PG. So why not trade a position you have plenty of for a need. So far so good.

Everyone was so high Juwan for a brief while that who knew he was really over rated. Who knew C-Webb would self destruct with the team and have to be traded.

Stickland did have some PG skills but we all kmow how that turned out.

No, I am not advocating bringing Wes back as a GM.

Posted by: Tim | August 15, 2007 6:07 PM | Report abuse

The NBA has been suspicious for as long as I can remember. David Stern is upset because the "fixing" was supposed to stay inside the league. You don't think he tells the referees what he wants to see and advance in playoff?

Posted by: Anonymous | August 15, 2007 6:36 PM | Report abuse

Out of a stinking pile of corruption comes one "rogue official" who was hardly noticed

Posted by: moogsmasher | August 15, 2007 6:41 PM | Report abuse

I agree Sean the C-Webb trade for Ritchmond was a 5.

Posted by: Tim | August 15, 2007 6:44 PM | Report abuse

Stern needs to make sure that refs call the games equally. A similar foul committed by a rookie and a 10 year vet does not always get called equally. The vet gets away with it but the rook doesn't. Why Not?

Posted by: SAM | August 15, 2007 6:51 PM | Report abuse

i have been telling people for years that I thought the nba was fixed. I believe it was game 6 of the 2006 playoffs when the cavs beat the wiz. lebron james took like six steps to get past jamison for the game winner. when the game was over, charles barkley was like "the wiz don't know how to play defense" what I was thinking was, "how do you guard the nba six step." I think stern tells all the refs to make the games close, but let the team with the biggest stars win. I think stern is pooping himself cause he knows he isn't completely innocent. as far as my perception of the nba. I have always thought it was cheap. I am a die hard wiz fan. I try to watch all thier games. but if the wiz are not playing i couldn't give a fat fu(k

Posted by: Roger Lodge | August 15, 2007 7:04 PM | Report abuse

"...will you feel confident that all is on the up and up with the reffing in this league?"

The short answer is "no" Ivan.

As you and Mike have pointed out, NBA refs have the ability to control games like no other sport.

I've "witnessed" it over many years as the blogger above me stated. :P

I've heard several reporters such as yourself(without naming ref names) say that when a certain crew comes in you know how that crew is going to call games.

It should be straight accross the board and it's not. I think no matter the result of the Tim Donaghy case I do not feel confident in the officiating and never have.

- Ray

Posted by: Ray | August 15, 2007 7:30 PM | Report abuse

I've cooled down to the NBA since they started calling games differently on opposite ends of the court. Touch foul on Wade while on the other end a player gets raped going to the hoop and no call. Makes no sense and ruins the enjoyment of being able to watch a clean game.

Posted by: NBA Man | August 15, 2007 7:33 PM | Report abuse

An interesting thing, a league that scours the world for the finest talent seems to have blinders on when looking for referees.
But the NBA isn't alone on this, the NFL has more money riding on their games than any other sport but uses partime weekend officials. And major league baseball finally cracked down and got rid of some of their serial buffet line addicts but now has umps who don't have a clue of where they need to be to make a basic call.
Anyone who ever ump'ed a game above Little League, where there is no base stealing, knows that if there's a runner on first you shift your position. But I've recently seen an American League ump blow three stolen base calls at second standing where he's screened completely out of the play. You'd think someone would tell him where to stand, he doesn't have a clue.
The NFL seems to think that you protect your league against gamblers by hiring insurance executives for the weekend. Now those are people from an industry that is above repoach.
The money generated by pro sports has gotten huge, but owners driven toward ever higher profits (I own a business and people don't spend millions to buy teams to lose money) have tried to keep the overall costs of operating their leagues as low as possible.
Now with the growth of legalized gambling, and it's increased social acceptance driven by our States financing the growth of gov't via gambling, we have games where their are millions riding on calls being made officials who frankly may not be the best that we can get.
The NBA is the world's finest basketball league, the finest players in the world all want to play here. Shouldn't we all expect that the NBA would put a system in place to scour the world for the best referees?
A good place to start would be to take a look at NCAA referees. Top NBA refs should be well enough paid that their jobs should be considered the premium refing jobs in the world.
Just the fact that the league would even consider reinstating 70 yr old Joey Crawford should give anyone pause to wonder,"is this the best that we can get"?
So I guess in the end like everything else, this problem boils down to Pollin being cheap... Just like poor Andry Blatche was set out on the streets to look for a little love, all because the tight fisted Wizards haven't come up with a multi yeared multi-million dollar deal, so he can have a madam provide the best in "lovin" to right to his crib.
There's not one insightful comment I can think of, so I'll leave it at that....

Posted by: GM | August 15, 2007 7:53 PM | Report abuse

All you posters just don't know the NBA like it was...with just 2 refs...making all the calls. Anyone know who Mendy Rudolph is. Was one of the best of all refs ever, always had the big games, big series, always very respected. The 60's into the 70's...exciting and honest.

Posted by: ECMM | August 15, 2007 9:25 PM | Report abuse


Yes, I'd like more reporting on the matter. I've been following this game since the 60s, and (1) It will take a lot to convince me that Donaghy is the only cheater, or (2) that the special treatment of "stars" will diminish. Still, I'd like to know who's going to be sacrificed to allow Mr. Stern to continue the show.

Posted by: Bill Carr | August 15, 2007 9:42 PM | Report abuse


I want and expect more reporting on this matter. Obviously many Wizards fans and NBA fans in general suspected for a long time that the outcomes were fixed. The end of the line for me was the Kings Lakers series that others have discussed. If any care to go back to the reporting at the time, it was obvious, and even Michael Wilbon started referring to the NBA as "sports entertainment" and not true sport.

The ref's have too much control of the game. If you started calling fouls correctly, the players would adjust and my guess is you would start to see more emphasis on drafting players with better shooting skills and not drafting big skilless thugs. Additionally the youth begin to erode the perception of what the game used to mean, they make everything an "and one" focus and not focusing on the skills and basics of the game. If Shaq can take three or four steps and travel why can't they? That is why our international teams have gone downhill, when the rules are enforced correctly, our teams struggle. It is all tied together.

I'd like to see Stern work less on "star building" and more on the good of the game. THe good TV match-ups create themsleves. If memory serves, Larry Bird was not the best looking marketable star player (none of the Celtics were), he let his play do the talking.

Posted by: DTC | August 15, 2007 10:21 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Anonymous | August 15, 2007 11:24 PM | Report abuse

Re: Wes. Agree that the Sheed for Strickland deal didn't seem bad at the time. Webber for Richmond was atrocious from the getgo.

Posted by: SnrFrijole | August 15, 2007 11:57 PM | Report abuse

Excellent post GM.

Posted by: George Templeton | August 16, 2007 12:17 AM | Report abuse


If fouls were called correctly, not only would you get players with better shooting skills, but defense would become alot better because you would have to stop the great shooters somehow.

Posted by: aprius | August 16, 2007 2:21 AM | Report abuse

Who gives a flying fart about Tim Donaghy and his stupid gambling and giving guys "picks" on what teams to take and tips on what referees were working what games - all that is crap and the general NBA fan will have forgotten all about it in no time and be on to some other idiotic topic of conversation like debating whether Penny Hardaway can still dunk.

In the meantime there are more important matters going on right now in the world of sports - matters of professional life and death mind you that could possibly strike down a high profile player in the prime of his career and simultaneously send an entire franchise down the toilet.

Plea agreements. All 3 of em. Tony, Purnell, Quanis, all of my boys just turned tail and left me standing by my lonesome looking like the Grinch that illegally shipped and fought canines. Will somebody please tell me what the heck am I supposed to do?

Posted by: Michael Vick | August 16, 2007 7:51 AM | Report abuse

As long as Michael Ruffin is patrolling the paint for the Wiz, the NBA doesn't have to worry about any scandals. You can fix a game-- but you can't stop the defensive intensity.

Posted by: Dersh | August 16, 2007 8:37 AM | Report abuse

Michael Ruffin is no longer a Wizard - who is he playing for now?

Posted by: Anonymous | August 16, 2007 8:39 AM | Report abuse

Jarvis may be out of the league for this season too. Too bad, b/c he's a good guy with athleticism and can shoot but needs more consistency.

Posted by: DC Man88 | August 16, 2007 9:07 AM | Report abuse

According to today's Post, Wizards is bringing back Donell Taylor. I was hoping Wizards can sign a more true 3rd string pg. We all see what happen when Arenas got injured last season, Wizards simply did not have anybody that was capable of backing up AD. So what if either one get injure this season? Is the other going to play the entire game?

Posted by: Sagaliba | August 16, 2007 9:24 AM | Report abuse

roger mason can back AD give him more than 1 or 2 min. a game.

Posted by: wiz43 | August 16, 2007 9:32 AM | Report abuse

i love how people refer to Ivan like they know the guy. you guys are sheep. grow some nuts

Posted by: roger lodge | August 16, 2007 9:50 AM | Report abuse

roger lodge is the man...I love everything you have to say.

Wiz43 Roger Mason is terrible he is suposed to be a shooter and he shot either 37 or 38% last season. We need to keep mike hall over roger mason. The last thing we need is another guy on the bench who loves to jack up shots.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 16, 2007 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Donnel Taylor is back? Oh joy...

Posted by: Anonymous | August 16, 2007 11:02 AM | Report abuse

Who in the league wants to rely on their third string PG??? If that happens virtually all teams are screwed, the Wizards aren't unique in that regard!!!

I am on record as liking Mason. He played defense, he hustled, and he has a nice shot. I think his shooting % is a little misleading in that he got little to no consistent playing time. Try sitting on the bench for however many straight games and not play and then all of sudden you get 7/8 mins of action out of the blue. Hard to stay game sharp no matter how hard you practice.

Posted by: Rob P | August 16, 2007 11:31 AM | Report abuse

roger mason is a good combo guard, he can run the offense, somebody has to take the shot!

Posted by: wiz43 | August 16, 2007 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Good to see Etan down at Robert Parrish's big man camp. The Chief has good things to say about Etan and the Wiz:

Posted by: Prazak | August 16, 2007 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Mason, Taylor who cares?

The Wiz need to make a big move for someone like AK-47 or JO from Indy. We can't come with the same team this year.

Everyone else in the East is improving meanwhile we still can't defend the basket or score in the post.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 16, 2007 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Mason, Taylor who cares?

The Wiz need to make a big move for someone like AK-47 or JO from Indy. We can't come with the same team this year.

Everyone else in the East is improving meanwhile we still can't defend the basket or score in the post.

Posted by: Omar | August 16, 2007 11:38 AM | Report abuse

do u mind copyin and pasting the link regarding the etan article on here...i cant access it from my work...thanks

Posted by: Anonymous | August 16, 2007 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Glad to see Taylor coming to camp, especially on a non-guaranteed contract, meaning that he will have to compete for his spot during camp.
Thanks to Prazak for that link about the big man camp.

Posted by: Sean | August 16, 2007 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Interesting that in the picture of Etan from Parish's big man camp he looks very lean and conditioned. Wasn't someone on here posting a couple of weeks ago that he was completely out of shape?
With Songalia back for a full season after about a year to recover from back surgery along with the newcomers Pecherov and McGuire our frontline depth will give Eddie many more options then last year when he was left playing Hayes at the 4 often.
Camp should be competitive, the fur may fly as these guys jockey for a job. Maybe competition in practice from some new sources may just be what is needed to wake up Etan and Haywood.
Couldn't hurt, have the Wizards signed Booth yet, or is there a chance they could take a look at bringing in a guy like Foyle? He might be a pretty poor fit in the Princeton, but he could mix things up a bit in training camp.

Posted by: GM | August 16, 2007 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Not interested in Donaghy, think he was isolated. Agree with some of what DTC and others are syaing, calling could be alot more consistent. BTW, I hated when Cavs Boobie Gibson started getting calls against Detroit just cause he runs into the post and jumps at a big man's chest.

Posted by: jb | August 16, 2007 12:15 PM | Report abuse

From the article:

"Kobe Bryant, Kevin Garnett, Etan Thomas - I respect guys like that, who bring it every night. I like Chauncey Billups and his running mate (Rip) Hamilton. Those types of guys, the workers. Ben Wallace, Dwight Howard - I like those type of players."

That is a pretty ringing endorsement, Parrish is a living legend, and he mentions Etan Thomas right after Garnet... Now, I'm not suggesting that Etan is as good - I don't think Parrish was either. But anybody who thinks Etan doesn't play hard and 'leave it all out there' might have to consider this.

Posted by: gconrads | August 16, 2007 12:20 PM | Report abuse

I posted the above, forgot to put my name in it...

Posted by: gconrads | August 16, 2007 12:24 PM | Report abuse

stop hating on taylor mason

Posted by: wiz43 | August 16, 2007 12:50 PM | Report abuse

taylor and mason

Posted by: wiz43 | August 16, 2007 12:53 PM | Report abuse

What difference does it make? So gambling was involved. Do I really care about that when the games that don't involve gambling are called just as bad. When refs allows "stars" to get away with fouls, then call fouls on the other players for simply breathing on the so called "star" ... then this too is not fair. It affects the outcome of the game just as much as if a fix was involved. Actually, that means a fixed is involved ... One sanctioned by David Stern himself. Do I want to let this go ... hell no. I'm a Wizards season ticket holder ... every time I see a bad call, my rallying cry will be, "Hey ref ... are you blind or simply on the take". I'm glad this incident has shed light on the sorry, no account, state of officiating in the NBA. It has reach WWF credibility. Before the Wizards got Gilbert, they couldn't buy calls in a game. How many times have we seen Alonzo (in his glory days) bulldozer over people, or hold their jersey's at the end of close games ( and never a call made ). The only way any trust can be restored for me is for David Stern to clean this mess up. Officiate the games fairly. If a person is truly a superstar, then they don't need help from an official. Who couldn't be better if they always got favorable calls from the refs? Memo to David: officiate the games fairly for both teams. You would be surprised at how fast people would notice the difference.

Posted by: Pat | August 16, 2007 1:01 PM | Report abuse

if the NBA refs are babying the stars, the international refs aren't, which doesnt help our olympic teams. doesn't duncan refuse to play on the international level now? a better question then the reffing, but a related one, would be when does the US care about international play again?

when does the rest of the world realize they may be better than the NBA and the best international players stop coming over here? is that after the US loses in bejing? i hope they don't, dont get me wrong. but couldn't the reffing they're used to for 82+ influence how they play nationally? how many olympics do they have to not win gold for the NBA to become just North America's superleague?

Posted by: CreditZard | August 16, 2007 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Rob P,

who is talking about relying on third string PG?

3rd string PG is an insurance policy, and right now, the insurance policy does not look good!

Posted by: Sagaliba | August 16, 2007 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Mason is garbage....He shouldn't be on the wiz or even in the league at all. He should be in Europe. We should just give his spot to Mike Hall who is much better than him anyways.

Gconrads nice post.......Goes to show all you Etan haters he is better than you think. Get rid of Brenda and keep Etan

Posted by: Anonymous | August 16, 2007 2:50 PM | Report abuse

I hear we signed Donell Taylor to a contract. Does that mean he takes up a roster spot to could have gone to someone with more skills to help the team?

Posted by: Derek | August 16, 2007 3:03 PM | Report abuse

I missed the earlier posts regarding Donell, as I was skipping over the Donaghy stuff. Never mind.

Posted by: Derek | August 16, 2007 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Glad to see Etan laying a strong foundation for a productive season by studying with the best. It's inspirational to see him, Gil, and others working to improve their game and ability to help the team. Championship teams typically have a large percentage of members working hard and smart during the off season.

Even Brendon can get better if he wants it enough to work at it. They don't have to like each other, but they can earn each others respect. As Gil has proven, staying focused in the off season equals more production. I'm hoping our Bigs can produce a couple extra points and rebounds per person in the post position.

Posted by: Derek | August 16, 2007 3:44 PM | Report abuse

what NBA team do you play on you hater?! Mason is good guard.

Posted by: wiz43 | August 17, 2007 7:39 AM | Report abuse

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