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 19, 2008
Posted on: May 28, 2009 12:29 pm

Nuggets accuse Lakers of buying a win

If you no longer watch the NBA how do you know all the details of this series?????  Fraud!!

Since: Mar 6, 2008
Posted on: May 28, 2009 12:27 pm

Nuggets accuse Lakers of buying a win

As a Laker fan I will admit there were some calls that should have been called against the Lakers that weren't and some that should not have been called against the Nuggets.  But to think that just because your team got beat was because of fouls is ridiculous.  Each time down low when a shot was blocked by a Laker big man on the Nuggets it was replayed and sorry, it was a clean block.  Get over your simple feelings and understand that bad calls are made each and every night and sometimes it doesn't come out in your favor.

Game 6 the Lakers will probably saying and crying about the same thing that you are.  I have accepted the officiating is not that great, but I also understand that I want my team to win so when things don't go my way, it can't be my team isn't playing well, it must be something else and the only other people on the court are the officials, not a superior team.

Good Day!

Since: Nov 18, 2006
Posted on: May 28, 2009 12:22 pm

Nuggets accuse Lakers of buying a win

Kobe drives the lane, charging is called. Carmello drives the lane, blocking is called. Two similiar drives, two superstars, very opposing calls.

The refs were giving all the calls to LA. $50,000

Odom was wacked a few times underneath the basket complained and again no calls.

Another, obvious Laker call. $50,000

I suppose it was the Lakers who paid the Nuggets off for their terrible 4th Quarter shooting. $50,000

How can a player make a comment and then hide behind the scenes, please if you are gonna make a biased statement, give your name. If your man enough to make a statement, you should be man enough to admit to that statement. $50,000

Since: Jan 9, 2007
Posted on: May 28, 2009 12:21 pm

Nuggets accuse Lakers of buying a win

I cant allocate this to this one particular game last night,..
but as far as all you clowns out there, that think that one Donohee, or whatever his name was, referree, was the only ref involoved in point manipulation, u need a reality check, and need to stop watching MTV, bc u probably also think 10 teenagers with no job runnign around a fun city, going out drinking every night, is ALSO, the "real world".
Over/unders... back door covers. Phantom foul calls. NBA, NFL, NCAA, u name it, there is video to prove it.
Wake up. 
This problem is worse than steriods. 
Id u see the look on some of the players faces sometimes, THEY KNOW when they are getting hosed DURING the game.
And how many fines has the NBA givne out on coaches complaining. Fine them $2k for what? being wise? being observant? Knowing they wasted 3 hours of their life, with thier world class athletes, while some guy with a whistle, blows their hard fought game.
If YOU KNOW a refs name, or names, for a sport (example Ed Hocholi. in NFL, we all know his name, he blew NUMEROUS calls last year)  that is NOT a good thing.

Since: Aug 1, 2007
Posted on: May 28, 2009 12:19 pm

Nuggets accuse Lakers of buying a win

Being an basketball official for the past 10 years I can tell you that the officiating throughout the whole playoffs has been terrible. The one thing an official looks to be in any game is consistent. The calls you are making early in the game should be called late in the game no matter the circumstance. And if they are being called on one end call them on the other end. If the refs are doing their jobs then they are terrible at it. Refs should be prepared for a situation like Carmelo's 3 pointer against Dallas that should not have happened because clearly he was fouled before the shot and the referee should know the situation, expect a foul with one to give and call it since it was right in front of him.
These are the best players in the world and they deserve officials doing there best.

Since: Apr 23, 2008
Posted on: May 28, 2009 12:13 pm

Nuggets accuse Lakers of buying a win

Your a douch bag who is just looking for any excuse for the Nuggets. That game last night got called pretty evenly. Yeah maybe they missed some fouls but it went both ways. You cant even breath on Carmelo and its a foul, he is not that good that he should get every single call. If it wasnt for the fouls in the 1st half the Lakers would have won by 20. So shut up about all the calls Denver didnt get and watch the games objectively.

Since: Oct 13, 2006
Posted on: May 28, 2009 12:09 pm

Nuggets accuse Lakers of buying a win

Like the bogus foul where Lebron James just gets up a head of steam and the end of regulation and Pietrus gets called for a foul?  Total bailout, and he was way way out of control.  Or Paul Pierce everytime he drives to the hoop, flailing his arms, and getting a foul call darn near every time he does it.   The technical foul called on Dwight Howard, that cost the Magic a point in the game, but gets rescinded by the league?  What good does that do after the fact if the Magic lose by a point?   Why is 7 technicals an automatic ejection?  Why can't big men be allowed to play like they don't have skirts on?   Why is every minor bump a skirmish a double technical (the single stupidest call in the NBA).  Barring a major cheap shot, a little shoving is bound to happen if you are a true competitor.  What ever happened to just stepping in and telling guys to cool it or the next one is a T??  NBA officiating is brutal.  I don't care what team you root for, you just know what calls you are going to get, and what calls you are not.  That is sad.  These two series have been as poorly officiated as I've seen, and I don't care who wins either series.  I just want to see quality basketball not interrupted by officials who want to influence the game.   The NBA is so stupid when they fine these guys for post game comments too.  If they don't want them talking, don't make it mandatory for the players to have to talk to the media after a game, or have TNT or ESPN jamming a microphone in their face for a soundbite.  For God Sake's, they are all competing for a freakin championship,and they are bound to be upset after a loss.  Most fans get that.  The whole system is a joke in and of itself.  That said, the Nuggets lost that game fair and square with poor shooting....Period.  Not a Kobe fan at all, but he showed last night why he still is the best player in the game.  No one closes like the Black Mamba....No one even close.

Since: Sep 28, 2006
Posted on: May 28, 2009 12:02 pm

Nuggets accuse Lakers of buying a win

The Nuggets fans are bigger whiners than Jay Cutler.

The Lakers got into the paint instead of living on jump shots and they played better than the Nuggets in the 4th quarter.  The Lakers bench players finally showed up and played better than the Nuggets bench players.  Kobe Bryant facilitated instead of playing one on one basketball which allowed the rest of the Lakers to get involved.

That is how the Lakers beat down the Nuggets.  Period !!!

It was the refs, whaaaa.  The refs gave the game to the Lakers, whaaa.  The sky is falling !!!

Come on at least have some self respect and admit your Nuggets got out played and lost to the better team last night.

Since: Mar 10, 2009
Posted on: May 28, 2009 12:00 pm

Nuggets accuse Lakers of buying a win

Not an expert here, just an opinion. I've been exposed to and involved with basketball at every level except the pros. From junior leagues for five year olds to high school ball to college ball. And I've had opportunity to officiate at the lower levels and hang with officials from all of those settings. A couple of things are common among all: 1) Refs generally try to keep things even. There are plenty of calls available to be made, even if some are considered "ticky-tack." So, they try to keep the number of calls on each team (assuming that both teams are playing a similarly physical game) roughly even.
2) They try to be consistent with their calls. If a certain type of contact is a foul for one team, it's a foul for the other. Also, if a certain type of contact is a foul at the beginning of the game (or NOT a foul), the same is a foul (or still, NOT one) at the end of the game.
The general goal of the officiating crew is to keep the game under control and allow the teams to compete within the bounds of fair play and the rules of the game.
The enigma of NBA officials is that the above rules don't seem to come into play, especially during the playoffs. I've been a proponent of the "the league wants certain teams to win," but it could easily be just that the whole philosophy of the officiating arm of the league is just not regulated. Whenever I look at game previews, I always check the officiating crew so I can know how the game is going to be called. Sometimes I will not watch a game because I know it won't be a GAME, it will be a bunch of whistle-blowing with one or two ball bounces in between. Or, I know I'll be frustrated because a team will be absolutely destroyed by the refs and won't get a chance to play.
As it relates to the Lakers-Nuggets last night, here's my take: I didn't see the game, but looked long and hard at the play-by-play and the box score. Tied after 1,2 and 3, something had to give in the fourth. It was interesting that even though the full-game fouls and free throws weren't mind-bogglingly disparate, if you look at the fourth quarter alone, things get really dicey. Look just at the fourth quarter and you will see some pretty crazy stuff.
Look, we all know about all-star calls and home-team calls, etc. I've seen games where Kobe shoots more free throws in a quarter than the entire opposing squad. But when a playoff game is on the line, a foul/FT stat that lopsided has something wrong with it. You can't tell me that a team that has hung close, played with poise and control, etc., will suddenly go berserk in the fourth and foul every 15 seconds.
Just my opinion. FWIW.

Since: May 13, 2009
Posted on: May 28, 2009 11:56 am

Nuggets accuse Lakers of buying a win

I have never entered a comment on this sight. but, after watching that game. i can say that the Lakers get away with murder on the court. when
gasol can just lower his head. and run over and thru NENE. I that fouls NENE out of the game. That is a disgrace to the Ref's. if the players are held responsible for their actions. The ref's should be called out too....

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