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: Mar 2, 2008
Posted on: May 28, 2009 12:59 pm

Nuggets accuse Lakers of buying a win

Let me just preface this with....I am not a Nugget or Laker fan....Im a Bulls fan!

That being said....So you can honestly say that the foul called on Nene that fouled him out of the game was actually a defensive foul????
Even the commentators say it was offensive, if anything!  Pay attention before you blanket statment things like this.

Everything said, the calls will probably fall in Denvers favor in game 6....and hopefully, the players get to decide game 7 on the court without the whistles deciding who gets the momentum.

The NBA needs refs that dont get intimidated when someone twice their size gets passionate about a huge play, in a huge game...that stuff happens.  David Stern needs to take a serious look at who/what product he puts on the floor next year in regards to refs.  Why are there only 3 refs on the court? Cant you have one ref under each hoop that doesnt run the court with the play?  Im sorry refs, but most of you cant keep up with the 20-something players that are faster, quicker, and more agile than you guys.
Time to look into major overhaul of the NBA refs....I thought it would have happened after the scandal last year, but Stern seems to get his ego in the way of what could better his league!

Since: Sep 18, 2006
Posted on: May 28, 2009 12:58 pm

Nuggets accuse Lakers of buying a win

This one of the most ridiculous things I have read about this and thats saying a lot about what a whiny post you made. Kenyan Martin is only so good but you must think different. He misses lots of uncontested shots. Gasol is one of the best inside players in the league and Odom is pretty good also. They have done it lots and don't need help but you can't smash guys and get away with it. That why there are refs. Any team can go cold....heck, Carmello went 0 for his first 10 the other night but thats basketball. Not a conspiracy like you make it out. If any team can't focus now then they should go home and figure out if they should keep playing. You give excuse after excuse for why Denver lost except the real one and thats that they got outplayed in the fourth when it was crunch time. Its a great series and both teams have things go for them and against them . Thats how it works. Your post was sad and very whiny !!

Since: Sep 18, 2006
Posted on: May 28, 2009 12:50 pm

Nuggets accuse Lakers of buying a win

I find it amazing that anyone can say that the refs go either way for any team in basketball. Its a game that has so many things called and not called and it goes both ways. It seems random at times for sure but I don't think the refs go out to help a certain team. Some whiners may disagree and thats their opinion but it makes them sound like poor losers. Those who say different have their own agenda. The ones that say it goes for Denver are Nugget fans or laker haters, they say it went the Lakers way they you are a Laker fan or nugget hater etc. The thing I hate to watch is stuff like what coach Karl did. He talks about others whining to get calls and says he won't do that and then goes on for 5 minutes doing the very thing he accuses others of. does he think people are stupid and don't see how he goes about it ?? It was insulting ! If you have something to say then act like a man and say it or shut up ! I am enjoying both series and hope it continues. It is a game after all and we will all move on to something else when its done.

Since: Feb 18, 2009
Posted on: May 28, 2009 12:49 pm

Nuggets accuse Lakers of buying a win

I'm glad to see i'm not the only one that thinks the nba is bias, along with there partner in crime and obvious lakers fan ken berger. Arent writers supposed to be neutral in there storys, when berger writes a story you can clearly see who he's in favor of. Now i dont care for either of these teams but i have cared for basketball for a very long time, and it makes me sick to see the lakers get every call in the 4th quarter, like kobe elbowing artest in the throat and artest picking up the fould, or last night with gasol holding billups and lamar throwing the ball away but guess who  picks up the foul.

berger acts like these conspiracy theorys are outrageous, i believe it wasnt to long ago we had a referee by the name of tim donaghy fixing games, do you really think he was the only one doing it. Jus because it isnt blatenly obvious doesnt mean it doesnt happen. referees dont just come out and pick the winner, but they do give a team more chances than the other, and when you have such talented guys out there and there getting 2 or 3 tries to score yes its going to effect the outcome 90% of the time, which is why you see the star players for that team getting to the foul line every time they get the ball at the end of the 4th quarter, for example kobe gets just as many free throw attempts in the 4th quarter then he does in the previous 3 quarter combined. another example bynum who is a scrub gets 4 or 5 fouls a game yet gasol only has 1 and plays twice as long i dont care if your the best player in the league which gasol clearly is not your going to pick up more then 1 foul especially if you a big man. Now all these lakers fans will say this stupid, but when they lose they complain just as much as the nuggets fans, which is why jackson complain cause he thought his team was getting screwed  but of course berger wouldnt say anything about that. except to credit him.

Since: Dec 19, 2007
Posted on: May 28, 2009 12:47 pm

Berger, Did you watch the game?

I find it real hard to believe you watched the game.  The information you have used in your article can all be atributed to ESPN News after the game.  The number of fouls each team had, the comments the coaches made before and after the game.  The fine amounts, Denver shooting 5-21 in the fourth.  Had you watch the game you would have realized that the officials took Billups out of the game in the first quarter. Billups made a fast break lay-up and the officials called him for a push when the defender was clearly in the circle and Billups had both hands on the ball until he released it.  The anouncers didn't even know what to say when they played the replay.  It may be the worst call of the entire playoffs.  Watch the tape, first quarter about 4 or 5 mins left, Billups picks up second foul.  Then there where numerous no calls on both teams.  A foul is a foul.  It shouldn't matter what player is involved(Kobe, Lebron, any of todays "superstars") if they commit a foul.  Nene's sixth foul in the fourth quarter was a joke.  Nene beat Gasol to the spot,  Gasol tried to slow down and began to trip.  While he is falling he collides with Nene who is standing in a defensive position, with his arms out to his side and squared up on Gasol, and the call blocking.  Then Nene gets upset and now he gets a tech. About two minutes later they show Carmelo going across the free throw line with a defender on his shoulder the entire way and no whistle.  

What you wrote about the Denver player saying the officials got paid was interesting but your take on the game sounds like you got home late from a dinner party and watch sportscenter.  I know you get a check from Sportsline and that is great but you gotta at least watch the games if you are going to blog about them or write an article on the game.  They have thing out now like TIVO and other dvr's that will record the games if you can't watch them live.  ESPN News should send you a bill for this article.

Since: Nov 14, 2007
Posted on: May 28, 2009 12:39 pm

Nuggets accuse Lakers of buying a win

#1- Kenyon Martin would not miss so many shots if he wasn't being fouled

Martin is a BUM! He cant shoot worth a damn anyway thats why the Lakers havent gaurded him all series.  Seriously every shot he takes is wide open..

- The Nuggets don't shoot 5-21 in the fourth quarter if they aren't being fouled in the process a lot of times

WAHHH WAHHH, Bull Lakers were fould plenty of times and nothing was called as well.  Stop crying!  Let them play.  Your not going to get every call, some calls get missed, and some calls are made that are questionable.  Thats what is called human error and it a judgement call.  Just like flags in the NFL, pitches in the strike zone in MLB, etc

nothing new here..

Since: May 28, 2009
Posted on: May 28, 2009 12:33 pm

Nuggets accuse Lakers of buying a win

Until the NBA starts having officials call games without the "Star Power" factor and gets back to calling a foul a foul, more and more people will continue to tune out its games. Home court, super star, or any other factor has to be at least diminished if the NBA wants to attract more fans.I don't believe games are intentionally fixed, but if a team gets home court calls or star calls it will still influence the game. And please, don't give me the "we are in the entertainment business" rhetoric. Basketball is a sport. However, any time big money is involved, money talks and everything else walks. (Including the fans)

Since: Oct 1, 2008
Posted on: May 28, 2009 12:32 pm

Nuggets accuse Lakers of buying a win


Since: May 28, 2009
Posted on: May 28, 2009 12:32 pm

Nuggets accuse Lakers of buying a win

The one thing that I will never understand is how Phil Jackson can comment after game 4 about the officiating and how the Lakers don't even know what a foul is and it is not a big deal. George Karl tries to sidestep the officiating questions, refuses to talk directly about it, and every calls him a whiner and a cry baby. Seriously? How in the world is one so different from the other.

I am a Nuggets fan and while I didn't think the officiating was very good last night, I also think that losers blame losses on the referees. Yes, the officiating didn't HELP the Nuggets but they also made some bad mistakes at the end of the 3rd and beginning of the 4th.

I'm tired of people thinking that this Nuggets team is the same as years past. It's not. I'm tired of reporters reporting on Jackson's criticism of officials but bashing Karl when he does it more quitely. I'm tired of people saying that the Lakers lost instead of talking about what the Nuggets did to win.

Since: Oct 1, 2006
Posted on: May 28, 2009 12:32 pm

Nuggets accuse Lakers of buying a win


I agree with you but it is very difficult to call an NBA game.  It seems very much like an art rather than a science.  Science being...Smacking a hand during the shot is a foul.  Does not matter if it is 5 secs into the game of there are 5 secs left. etc.  The inconsistancy creates such a huge perception that it is rigged that it becomes frustraing to watch.  It is draining to invest 2.5 hours into a game only to have a game decided by a no-call or bad call.

It is chicken-shit to fine players and coaches who complain about the officiating, stand up to the acusations and defend yourself.  When the complaints are happening every night you should review your system and acknoledge somethign is wrong with it.  Yet Stern ignores it and blows it off.  They pretty much did this with the crooked ref that was fixing games.....swept it under the rug as much as possible.  After tha incident there should have been a huge over haul of their system, but there was nothing.  Stern Sucks.

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