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: Sep 18, 2006
Posted on: May 28, 2009 1:31 pm

Nuggets accuse Lakers of buying a win

No one's saying that reffing is easy, or that officials should be held to 100% accuracy standards.  What is concerning (to me, at least) is the inconsistency I see in Basketball calls, especially in the late game.  Compare it to other major sports:

In Baseball, an umpire may call a wide or a narrow strike zone, but is typically constant in his calls from the first inning to the ninth.  By the third inning, every batter knows what's going to be called a ball or a strike, and knows that the same calls are being made for the other team as well.

In Hockey, players know that nothing but the most blatent of penalties will be called from the middle of the third period on, if the game is close.  Whether one likes the lack of calls or not, the important thing is that the players know what will and won't be called, and can adjust their game accordingly.

In Basketball, by contrast, players regularly seem confused and uncertain with the foul situation, not clear on just how much contact will be called, and not sure that the calls will be consistant from play to play.

I surely don't believe that the ref's job is an easy one, but I do worry that Basketball refs have, as a group, been less reliable and consistent than those of other major sports.

Since: Nov 18, 2006
Posted on: May 28, 2009 1:25 pm

Nuggets accuse Lakers of buying a win

Can a guy be more of a homer for the Lakers then this HAM berger guy? What a joke, with Clevland going down in flames there is no way Stearn was going to let the same thing happen to the Lakers. The NBA is a joke.

Since: May 28, 2009
Posted on: May 28, 2009 1:23 pm

Nuggets accuse Lakers of buying a win

OK people I have been a fan of the NBA for 30 years and watched it evolve through the years or should I say degrade ? In the past when they played organized basketball instead of the street ball we are forced to watch now, if you simply touched a player it was a foul and a guy like Shaquille O'Neal would never have played at all. Skill is needed to be a great player of the true sport and only a few players posess that ability today and none can handle the ball properly. As for the officiating is concerned you would be a moron if you do not beleive that the refs control every game to an extent and David Stern controlls the refs. It is this simple, every NBA game is worth upwards of 10 million dollars to the NBA and they have an obvious motivation to make a series extend longer, for the star players to be playing, large market teams to be in the finals so of course the refs will pick and choose when to call a foul and who to call it on because that is the way they can control the games and who has the best opportunity to win each game and each series. It has to be understood that the NBA is nothing more than predetermined entertainment so don't get your boxers in a bunch because the controvery, argueing and banter is exactly the reaction that they are looking for. Don't be manipulated by Stern, remember he is a lawyer !  As for the last Lakers/Nuggets game George Karl is just crying because he is about to lose again and has a stigma in the coaching circles as a guy that can't lead his team to big wins, you see he had no problem with the officials in Denver when they gave him 49 free throws !!!  I am sure he felt that game was well officiated right ? but when the lakers get 35 only 5 more than his team then the refs are screwing him ? These guys are a joke. It is up to you if you continue to allow these idiots to manipulate you and your emotions but I figured the fools out long ago that is why they do not make one red cent off of me.

Since: Nov 26, 2008
Posted on: May 28, 2009 1:15 pm

Nuggets accuse Lakers of buying a win

Are you kiddn' me!?!?! There are three well paid refs on the court. If you don't see a foul don't call it, but you better be watching the action that is right in front of you.  Melo was butcherd last night.  Denvers Guards and Wings did not get a call at the rim from the half way point in the third and forced them to settle for deep 2's and 3's.  The REFS did that not the Lakers Defence. Last night just proved that the NBA has to have one if not both of thier SuperStars in the finals.  I have no idea how you can say the Lakers are the best in the west.    Denver has out played LA in 14 quarters, both teams have played even in three quarters and LA has won only three quarters in five games. 

Since: Jan 16, 2008
Posted on: May 28, 2009 1:13 pm

Nuggets accuse Lakers of buying a win

Wow,  talk about a bunch of Denver homer's.  Let's face it.  If they Lakers lose that game then they can say the same things Denver is saying but the wouldn't.  They would talk about the hard foul Carmello had on Kobe going to the hopp which should have been a flagrant just as the "trip' by Dhanty in game 4.  Bottom line, Denver is being outplayed and outclassed and they cannot handle it which in turn pushes them to take cheap shots on the floor.  Maybe someone should talk to the Nuggets about actually trying to make a jump shot without diving onto a defender.   The Laker's made a big adjustment defensively and that was to not react to the initial pump fake that every Nugget player was doing.  This takes a few more seconds off the clock and in turn causes a hasty unbalanced shot which in turn ends up in a brick!

Since: Oct 23, 2006
Posted on: May 28, 2009 1:13 pm

The bias begins right in the title

I clicked on this article because it said “Nuggets accuse…” in the title, as if the whole Nuggets organization had officially made an accusation. No, it was one lone “Nugget”. Just the title of the article shows bias.

I think the NBA is unwatchable because any game that is close but not within 4 points just turns into a foul fest that seems to take forever over the final minute. No excitement in that, and no excitement in blowouts, and not much chance of any games staying within 3 points and being foul free and undecided by the refs late anymore, so why bother watching?

The refereeing in the NHL has not been perfect, but last night’s game 5 between the Blackhawks and Detroit was virtually non-stop action with a minimum of penalty calls and no calls in the final period or overtime. It was way more thrilling of a game than anything I expect out of the NBA; it’s just too bad the only place to see it was on Vs.

Since: Mar 2, 2008
Posted on: May 28, 2009 1:09 pm

Nuggets accuse Lakers of buying a win

You have nailed the problem with the NBA! Albiet in a round-about way.....

A foul is a matter where the game is played! 
"That is why you play for the homecourt"?!?!  Seriously??? Homecourt advantage should be for crowd/comfort purposes only, not so you can get the calls to roll your way!
C'mon No Joke, your argument is a joke!

Since: Mar 2, 2008
Posted on: May 28, 2009 1:04 pm

Nuggets accuse Lakers of buying a win

The absolute worst thing in the NBA is when, for example, Kobe drives to the rim and only gets a foul called if he misses the shot! If the shot were to fall, nothing would be called.  I mean, I realize the guy is amazing in every aspect of the game, but if he misses a shot, it doesnt mean he was fouled...he quite possibly could have just missed the shot.

Consistency is what is going to drive the NBA into oblivion...not the "thug" mentality of its players....

Stern, you need to worry about what you can control...officiating.  Leave the pre-game attire to the players, its not an issue!

Since: Jan 10, 2008
Posted on: May 28, 2009 1:04 pm

Nuggets accuse Lakers of buying a win

They weren't fouled on every shot attempt. I rememeber seeing many bricks go up as they beagn to panic shooting threes from all over the place and K Mart missing a wide open jumper with no one near him. The officiating favored the Lakers as much as it did Denver in the previous game when the Lakers players were in foul trouble. That is why you play for home court advantage. They had plenty of games in the regular season to get it. They didnt the Lakers now have the advantage. like it or not. Kobe is not loved by the officials and doesnt get as many calls as other stars in the league.

The refs are a facor in every game and Denver is the type of physical team that pushes the limits gets the calls at home not always on the road.

Since: Sep 12, 2006
Posted on: May 28, 2009 12:59 pm

Nuggets accuse Lakers of buying a win

The Nuggets are used to being fouled and going to the free throw line. They led the league in that catagory. They have just gotten spoiled on getting all the calls. When Chauncy Billups was going to the line every single time he drove the lane I did not hear Crybaby Karl complaining then. Now that there has been an adjustment made he wants to blame the officials. This is just another expmple of Denver imploding again from the top down. In this series the Lakers have also suffered from the poor officiating. As for NeNe fouling out that was our strategy to take it to their big men and get them in foul trouble. It worked just fine. We also lost Andrew Bynum due to foul trouble but we played through it. Just to show you that I am fair I think J.R Smith did the best defensive job on Kobe this playoffs in game 5 it just was not enough to win. So Denver stop throwing the rock and hiding your hand. If you feel a certain way be MAN ENOUGH to take responsibility for your statements. "I DON't WANT TO GET FINED" is a WUSSY STATEMENT if I ever heard one.

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