Monday, July 23, 2007

Suns v. Spurs Fixed Game 3 Video

Some of these fouls could go either way. Others are absolutely ridiculous.

To Bill Simmons credit, he has been ALL OVER this officiating situation WELL before it even came out that the refs were actually on the payroll of the mob (as he points out in nauseating detail). He killed the refs during the playoffs in more excrutiating detail than anyone covering them and is now REVELING in the fact that his insights and suspicions were confirmed. He never takes credit for knowing that the refs were under the Mob's thumb. He instead seemed to feel that the refs just had this air of invincibility and power due to the backing of Stern and his "no public comments about the referees" policy. It was more "unfair" than it was "corrupt." The refs could do whatever they wanted because ultimately there was no accountability other than to whiny NBA scribes like Simmons and the like. NOW, the tables have turned. The players have a renewed sense of entitlement to further their complaints. They have a whole new line of criticism angles from which to draw and the craftier ones (as well as the craftier fans) will have a whole new line comments that the refs will be powerless to combat. If a player or coach makes some comment about the game being fixed or asking what Italian restaurant the ref is dining at that night, what's the ref gonna say? Is he gonna "T" him up? Wouldn't that reinforce the already tarnished image. What's most scary about this scenario is that the players were angry about bad calls when they assumed the refs were calling games objectively; before the Joey Crawford - Tim Duncan situation and the Mob / Ref / Fixed Games scandal. Now that they have reason to believe that any bad call was influenced by outside sources, can you imagine the level of anger and utter contempt from the already hot-headed guys like Stephen Jackson and Rasheed Wallace? If you watch the above video, D'Antoni, Stoudemire and the usually mild-mannered Nash seem as though they are a hair away from blowing their top and punching a ref right in the face. The smugness with which some of these calls are made has always driven coaches and players crazy because it seemed as the the mere suggestion that the calls are going the wrong way was enough to receive a technical and wry smile from the men in stripes. Now what do they do? The anger level will be ratcheted up a notch from the fans, coaches and especially players. With the refs integrity now called into question, how do you intend to keep the already tense relationship between players and refs under control? What are the odds that Rasheed Wallace or Nate Robinson flies off the handle and physically assaults a ref after the third bad call in a row no matter how innocuous it was? These guys had to be held back in the past. This just reinforces their perception of the refs. It's almost a fait accompli that something really bad is going to happen ("almost a fait accompli..." a paradox, I know). It just leaves me wondering one thing: Where can I sign up to bet on this action?

1 comment:

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