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: Feb 8, 2008
Posted on: May 28, 2009 2:48 pm

Nuggets accuse Lakers of buying a win

XZMaster take a deep breathe. Kobe didn't buy the refs. It's the high being...NBA/Vegas if you want to put a face to it. I knew the Lakers was going to win last nite but were they going to cover the 6 points was the question. The NBA is a money making business and Vegas is right there next to STERN. Just accept it and try to make money off it also.

Since: Aug 18, 2008
Posted on: May 28, 2009 2:39 pm

Kobe Bought His Was Out Of A Rape Charge

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nbsp;     If Kobe can buy his way out of going to prison for rape, then buying a NBA game should be easier. The people in Colo. had enough to put him away for a few years, but opps the girls changed her mind and didnt want to sit in court and tell how he raped her. I dont know what it cost to buy her off but it cost him 5 millon on a ring so his wife wouldnt bring it up. But since he has that kind of power, paying off a couple of refs off should be cheap.

Since: May 28, 2009
Posted on: May 28, 2009 2:38 pm

Nuggets accuse Lakers of buying a win

  I've been a high school official for 17 years and I can tell you the officiating of the playoffs has been awfull. The calls that are made during the regular season are not called during the playoffs. The excuse that the officials make are that its the playoffs. Well a foul is a foul an illegal screen is a illegal screen no matter if its the playoffs or the regular season. There are officials used by the NBA who should not be officials. Joey Crawford are you listening. The idea of most teams now is lets commit as many fouls as possible because the officials won't call them all.  The clutching and grabbing in the NBA is a joke.

Since: Dec 18, 2006
Posted on: May 28, 2009 2:27 pm

So, what else is new?

I'm getting tired of reading about the bad calls, game fixes, the refs, Stern and on and on and on. The point is that no matter what, the losing team will always complaint about something, thats just how it is. Now I'm not saying I agree or disagree, all I'm saying is that complaining about why your team lost is almost part of the game itself. Lets take the game tonight, no matter who wins, the Cavs or the Magic, the loser will have something to complaint about tomorrow. It could be a legitimate complaint or not is base on whose side you're on or which team or players you like. The point is, its nothing new.

Since: Jan 9, 2008
Posted on: May 28, 2009 2:15 pm

Nuggets accuse Lakers of buying a win

Another note for the writer. Here's your conspiracy theory:

ABC has the television rights. ESPN is owned by ABC. Disney owns everything. I wonder how "Magical" it would be to have an Orlando World vs Laker Land final?

Since: Jan 9, 2008
Posted on: May 28, 2009 2:11 pm

Nuggets accuse Lakers of buying a win

 I suppose the Nuggets paid off the refs in Game 2 to ignore JR Smith's blatant lane violation on the jump ball in the closing minutes, or to give Chauncey Billups free throws any time he went to the basket in the 4th quarter, or to ignore any contact made on Kobe whatsoever? Yeah, they must have been paid off, no other explanation for it.

You've missed the point. Last night, the spread for the game was LA by 6 points. The game was tied after each of the first three quarters, and despite some already questionable officiating, we had a ball game. Then the man with the whistle that stood under each basket took over. Go back and watch the fourth quarter. See what a fix looks like.

The teams don't have any say in who is going to be "pretty" tonight; Vegas does. If you don't grasp that, then the problem is beyond you.

Since: Jan 2, 2008
Posted on: May 28, 2009 2:06 pm

Nuggets accuse Lakers of buying a win

I actually got a chance to watch the entire game, and it apeared tol me that   both teams were given a lot of latitude when the game was on the line. Even the stars Kobe and Carmello were not given their normal im a star fowls, and quite frankly I think these playoffs are some of the best in an awful long time. Let the players decide the outcome.  GREAT JOB NBA!      
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Since: Feb 14, 2009
Posted on: May 28, 2009 2:02 pm

This is disappointing

Not that it happened, but that you are giving it any pub. I suppose the Nuggets paid off the refs in Game 2 to ignore JR Smith's blatant lane violation on the jump ball in the closing minutes, or to give Chauncey Billups free throws any time he went to the basket in the 4th quarter, or to ignore any contact made on Kobe whatsoever? Yeah, they must have been paid off, no other explanation for it.

Refs are bad on both sides. Last night's game was not even close to egregious as far as these playoffs are concerned. FT discrepancy was minimal, foul discrepancy was minimal, and both were even less when you consider the last part of the 4th was the Nuggets sending the Lakers to the line on consecutive possessions.

Basically, what I am saying is: If you are gonna pay for refereeing to go in your favor, you better get better results than last night's game! Pony up some more cash Lakers for Game 6!

Since: Apr 8, 2008
Posted on: May 28, 2009 1:56 pm

Nuggets accuse Lakers of buying a win

Hey Berger, Wake up this happens all the time in Pro ball whenever there is a complaint by one team(Lakers), there is a shift in officiating.  Refs in the NBA love the limelight and the theatre of it all.  Refs are not objective and favor the superstar all the time.  I love basketball but I hate the NBA.  I am hoping for a Denver-Orlando series because these are the two best TEAMS.

Since: Aug 11, 2006
Posted on: May 28, 2009 1:55 pm

Nuggets accuse Lakers of buying a win

Maybe if it wasn't so obvious in the past and one referee hadn't already been in trouble for fixing games, we wouldn't be having this discussion.  Then David Stern quickly shoots down any argument that some of his other referees were doing the same thing because Tim Donahee can't be trusted.  Yeah, sort of like how we shouldn't trust Jose Canseco when he names people like McGwire, Palmeira, and Sammy Sosa.  The biggest difference between the WWE and the NBA is the players know beforehand in the WWE that the outcome is predetermined. 

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