I love NBA basketball, and I can’t get enough of it. But, what I have had enough of is the unfair ways that refs call the games. Now, I’m not going to go into the illegal sports betting issues that have appeared in the news in recent years. I’m more concerned about the big market teams & stars getting preferential treatment from the Refs. Although I’m not totally discounting the possibility of gambling being involved in some NBA games.
Let’s talk about the San Antonio Spurs game, and Tim Duncan in particular. While watching the game, I counted no less then 5 illegal screens being set by Duncan. These aren’t small or highly debatable infractions, nor were they off to the side where the Refs might have missed them. In fact, they were within a few feet of the ball carrier and in one case 5 ft from the Ref.
In one instance, Duncan walked over between Parker and the defender, put his chest right into the defender and continued walking forward pushing he defender backwards. Parker then had a
uncontested 3pt shot and made it. Late in the 4th quarter when the game was still undecided (I believe we were down by 3 to 5pts), Parker cut between Duncan and the baseline. As Beno followed, Duncan stepped his left foot out into Beno’s path. And, as Beno tried to get around Duncan, Tim threw his left hip out and almost knocked Beno out of bounds. All this time the Ref is no more than 10 ft away, and watching the play. I’d list more of Timmy’s indiscretions but I think you get my drift.
Duncan wasn’t the only Spur who got a pass from the Refs. There’s the time when Beno made a nice defensive play on Parker as Tony tried to cut into the lane. Parker ended up traveling, but the Refs called Beno for blocking, even though he hardly touched him. But, later when Tyreke tried to make the same move on Genobili, Tyreke got called for the charge. One of my favorite moves was by McDyess. It came on a Duncan missed FT and cost the Kings 3 pts. As Duncan shot the ball, JT stepped toward the basket from the right side of the lane. McDyess stepped in behind JT and using his chest (not his hand, which were up) he pushed JT completely under the net. McDyess got the rebound from the exact spot in which JT had been standing. All tolled the infractions I described here cost the Kings in excess of 11pts. And presumably more since Duncan would have fouled out if all of his had been called.
As frustrating as this unfairness is “What can we do?” As a fan of the Kings, I’m not going to boycott the team. Which would only hurt my team, and unless the league folded, would have no affect at all on the refs. Certainly, David Stern isn’t going to do anything. His denial that there ever was a gambling problem shows he’s not ready to step up and take action. So, what recourse so we have?
I think I finally came up with a plan. Let Congress deal with it. I know your thinking “How’s Congress going to legislate how the Refs intrepid the rules. And, even if they could, we all know that half the time when Congress gets involved they make it worse. No, what I’m thinking is that Congress should step-in and recognize the high potential for Refs to fix basketball games. And, therefore to protect us, Congress should outlaw Legalized Gaming on Sporting Events. Can you imagine the outcry from Casino’s & the Mob. Even if the law never gets passed, the morning that Stern wakes up with a horse head next to him in bed, the problem would be fixed.
So, Kings fans, call your Congressmen. Tell him you have a gambling addiction, and if he doesn’t do something to clean up Sports Betting, you’re going to lose your house, your wife, and your job. Your going to have to go on welfare, you won’t be able to make any more donations to the (enter Congressmen’s party here) Party. And, that you’ll be so distraught that you won’t be able to vote for him in the next election.
Don’t live with the fact that your team is going to get shafted by the Refs, and there’s nothing you can do about it. Call your Congressman today.
PS. No horses were hurt during the creation of this post. Nor do I condone such actions.