Blog Entry

Nuggets accuse Lakers of buying a win

Posted on: May 28, 2009 5:30 am
LOS ANGELES -- An NBA playoff series doesn't begin until you have a good ol' referee conspiracy.

Conspiracy theory, I should add.

And a deeply flawed one.

Nonetheless, we're in for an interesting day in the Los Angeles area Thursday now that a member of the Nuggets has told the Denver Post -- anonymously, of course -- that he believes the Lakers bought their 103-94 victory over the Nuggets in Game 5 Wednesday night for the very reasonable price of $50,000.

For those keeping score at home, that's how much Lakers coach Phil Jackson and the Lakers paid in fines for complaining about the officiating after Game 4.

"The Lakers paid $50,000 to win that game," the anonymous Nuggets player told the Post. "They got their money's worth."

The player did not allow his name to be used, for fear of retribution from the league, the Post reported. But let's be fair. The player didn't allow his name to be used because he didn't want to pay a fine himself for such a salacious comment. If I were Nuggets owner Stan Kroenke, I'd make it my business to find out who said that, and deduct the inevitable fine that will be assessed to the Nuggets from his paycheck.

If it was Kenyon Martin, for example, I'd ask him to forfeit $10,000 of his game check for each of the nine shots he missed from the field.

If it was Nene, for instance, I'd ask him to pay up for each of the 33 points Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom combined to score in the paint that he was supposed to have been defending.

It doesn't matter who said it, really. What matters is that the Nuggets have resorted to a different sort of dirty trick than the one that raised Jackson's ire after Game 4. This was worse than Dahntay Jones tripping Kobe Bryant in that game. This reeked of sour grapes.

The Nuggets were called for 30 personal fouls in Game 5 Wednesday night. The Lakers were called for 22. The resulting disparity of five free throws wasn't enough to account for the nine-point difference on the scoreboard. But that's not the point.

I don't pretend to have watched all 52 fouls called in the game, nor have I gone frame-by-frame through all the fouls that weren't called. And as busy as I'll be Thursday getting reaction from the various parties involved, I won't have time. But that's not the point. To the naked eye, it was a liberally officiated game at both ends of the floor by referees Monty McCutcheon, Ron Garretson, and Tom Washington. Obvious contact in the act of shooting and/or driving to the basket was ignored at both ends.

Before the game, Jackson playfully commented on his $25,000 fine -- an additional $25,000 was assessed to the Lakers -- by saying, "I'm a gardener. I like planting seeds. Constantly."

After the game, Nuggets coach George Karl channeled his inner Stan Van Gundy, lamenting the fact that playoff games have turned into a contest of which coach can gripe the most in hopes of influencing the officials.

"I'm not going to get fined," said Karl, who proceeded to make comments that almost certainly will get him fined. "... It was a difficult whistle to play, no question about that. Every player in my locker room is frustrated, from guards to big guys. Look at the stat sheet. Gasol goes after at least 20 jump shots and 20 shots to the rim and gets one foul. Our big guys have 16. I don't know. Nene has six fouls; three or four of them don't exist. And it's frustrating when you take one of your big guys off the court for that many minutes.

"I think Stan Van Gundy says it right," Karl continued. "In the postgame, we're lobbying for the league to help us with the refereeing. And this is too good a series. It's too good of teams competing that we're sitting here just confused by the whistle."

I don't think the referees had anything to do with the Nuggets' 5-for-21 shooting in the fourth quarter. I don't think the referees had anything to do with Denver's four consecutive turnovers in the third, when the Lakers started making their move. But I disagree with one anonymous Nuggets player -- speaking for the entire locker room, apparently. We'll see Thursday, when the teams speak with the media before flying to Denver, if anybody backs him up.

My guess? It's going to be a costly day for both sides.
Category: NBA

Since: May 4, 2009
Posted on: May 28, 2009 3:25 pm

Nuggets accuse Lakers of buying a win

LA is the better team.  They don't pretty or dominant all the time but they are the better team.  The referees were awful in game 5, but it went both ways.  I thought Denver would have had a better shot had Nene not been in foul trouble the whole game.  If Nene was playing down the stretch, we might be looking at 3-2 Denver lead instead.  However, despite all that, the Nuggets had more than a few chances to come back in the 4th quarter.  They couldn't make a shot, while LA took advantage of Nene being out on the defensive and offensive end.

Since: Apr 30, 2009
Posted on: May 28, 2009 3:23 pm

Nuggets accuse Lakers of buying a win

I think that quote was taken out of context. I could see the anonymous player referring to the Lakers complaining about the refs after the previous game, and the $50,00 that they were fined for that. 

Since: Aug 18, 2006
Posted on: May 28, 2009 3:18 pm

Nuggets accuse Lakers of buying a win

There were plays both ways that didn't get called. Kobe drove to the basket several times and got bumped with no call.  Melo did the same.  The refs let them play a little more than they have all series.  Gasol altered and blocked shots there was lots of contact but that went the same on both sides.  Nene did get some bad calls against him and Chauncey's charging call should have been a blocking call.  However how many times this series has Chauncey bumped our guy on a jumpshot and got the And 1?  The 4 point play on Kobe the other night was bogus.  Chauncey creates a lot of contact but that doesn't take away from the fact that he is a good player.  Melo and Kobe weren't bailed out by the whistle this game and I think that was good.  Kobe drove plenty and got hacked and got no calls.  5-21 shooting in the 4th quarter is all I have to say.  JR Smith missed a bunch of shots that went down Monday night.  Chauncey took some horrible shots as well.  KMart made shots early and missed late but no way can you say the Laker bought the game unless you are being a complete HOMER!!!  There are plenty of no calls going on in this series and to suggest that Denver couldn't overcome a whistle that has been pretty consistant the last 5 games is unbelievable. 
Luke Walton was called for a T and then 3 straight fouls for standing next to Melo (who is a banger and creates lots of contact) but never did a Laker player say the game was bought. 
LA wins in Denver game 6!!!

Since: Nov 26, 2006
Posted on: May 28, 2009 3:15 pm

Nuggets accuse Lakers of buying a win

Terrible one-sided article! YOUR FIRED!

Since: May 14, 2009
Posted on: May 28, 2009 3:08 pm

Whoa There ... That's Some Funky Math

The Nuggets were called for 30 personal fouls in Game 5 Wednesday night. The Lakers were called for 22. The resulting disparity of five free throws wasn't enough to account for the nine-point difference on the scoreboard. But that's not the point.
The resulting disparity of five free throws ...

Let's see.

30 - 22 = 8 more fouls called. The last 8 being more important.

8 x 2    = 16 more possible free throws for the Lakers.

Now I know some were called before the penalty or bonus kicked in but ... 5?

Since: Apr 2, 2009
Posted on: May 28, 2009 3:03 pm

Nuggets accuse Lakers of buying a win

Another frustrated Nuggets fan who can't accept the reality that his team although great, are just not as good as the Lakers...Kenyon Martin maybe got fouled on one of his missed shots (The beauty of Tivo is you can see the game over and over)..the rest of the time he just straight up shanked a wide open shot (which he made early in the game, yet chocked in the 4th quarter)....or got blocked may not like it, but it's reality... Gasol and Odom scored so many because they were AGGRESSIVE...that's why Denver won game 4, its why Nene (although the last foul was bunk) got into foul trouble often and early...if you say his first 5 fouls were bull, well then your just smoking them over and over again, as I have...they were LEGIT...Look for the 5-21 shots again my friend, most of those shanks were wide open shots...presssured, but wide open...they like in game 1 and 3....CHOCKED!!!!

As far as the turnovers...please...your an NBA player...blaming their mind sets, just proves you'll make any excuse to drive your point...Just maybe Denver can't adjust well to the Lakers turning it up a notch, especially after witnessing Shannon Brown posterize "The Birdman"...or was that an offensive's funny how Denver fan's can't fathom the Lakers beating their team legitially...They have no problem with Game 4 when they shot 15+ more free throws, yet when the Lakers learn and become more aggressive themselves...OH, then its the Refs fault....Your team just isn't good enough, and if Denver players are thinking the same way, No way will you be playing in a game 7...Bring on the Magic!!!

Since: Sep 19, 2006
Posted on: May 28, 2009 2:58 pm

Nuggets accuse Lakers of buying a win

Of course this is going to happen.  Don't you think that the NBA is panicking over a potential Denver vs. Orlando series.  That would be a ratings nightmare for the NBA.  I expect the game tonight to be called in favor of Cleveland as well.  Call me a conspiracy theorist if you want but prove me wrong.

Since: Dec 30, 2006
Posted on: May 28, 2009 2:53 pm

Big Chief Triangle Strikes Again!

Man, how long have coaches tried to get an edge through crying to the media? Jackson even admits it himself with the gardener reference - but I don't think he was planting a seed with the refs as much as he was with the Nuggets. Now he's got the Nugglheads thinking about this vast conspiracy instead of trying to figure out a way to put the ball in the basket. You're not going to win very many games shooting 5-21 in the fourth quarter. Quit crying and man up. 

Since: Apr 2, 2009
Posted on: May 28, 2009 2:50 pm

Nuggets accuse Lakers of buying a win

AMEN!!!! Keep speaking the truth!

Since: Apr 2, 2009
Posted on: May 28, 2009 2:49 pm

Nuggets accuse Lakers of buying a win

Guess whose a Nugget Fan?? And for a guy who claims to "no longer watch the NBA," why the hell are you commenting on something you don't watch?  It's like bashing a movie because you heard it sucks, even though you haven't see the game, then you can comment on it!

Please, if you really feel the Nuggets were screwed over, then why be gutless and speak these outlandish claims without attaching your name to it...So what if you get fined $25000 or even $50000 your making Millions as a player, which would mean your losing at best 1 to 5 percent of your salary, not much to give up to make your point....Officials aren't perfect, and I was screaming at many of the calls that didn't go the Lakers way, but there is no way you can say this game was officiated any worse than game 4 was...And at least Phil Jackson had the balls to say he hated the way the game was officiated..even though he was wrong to blame them for the Lakers loss.  The Lakers loss game 4 because Denver had more heart, and REBOUNDED really well....the Lakers won Game 5 because they only lost the rebound total by 1, and because Denver, in the critical 4th quarter, missed their first 11 SHOTS, and had a stretch where they turned it over 4 straight time....No team in either confrence final is going to win a game when that happens. 

So yes the officials are human, and make tons of mistakes, but to blame a loss on officiating is just plain chicken sh*t to me.  Those who blamed the officials for Lakers game 4 loss...Shame on You...and Ditto for you Nuggets fans who are doing the same for game 5.  Enough with the conspiracy theories, next thing your going to say is that We never landed on the moon...If you feel this way, stick to X-files, and stop REALLY watching the NBA...but you and I know that your just all talk, and you'll continue watching...just hoping, as a Laker Hater, that things boucne Denvers way and the Lakers lose the series....Admitt it!  Looking forward to your additional comments on Game 6, a game "you won't be watchin".....Sure you won't.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or