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
Comments

Since: Apr 6, 2009
Posted on: May 28, 2009 11:39 am
 

Nuggets accuse Lakers of buying a win

The officiating in the NBA is VERY VERY inconsistent. It seems like they call fouls just to call fouls. And they always give the Superstars aka Lebron James some called fouls that were not fouls. For example, game 4 should have never gone into overtime. That "foul" on Lebron was just him tripping over his own feet and the ball went out of bounds. Oh but the league can't stand to not have Lebron have those free throws so they call a foul.



Since: May 21, 2009
Posted on: May 28, 2009 11:38 am
 

Nuggets accuse Lakers of buying a win

Then why are you even here offering your lame opinion?



Since: May 16, 2009
Posted on: May 28, 2009 11:36 am
 

Nuggets accuse Lakers of buying a win

For you to not watch the NBA and then blog on it seems ignorant to me.




Since: Nov 9, 2008
Posted on: May 28, 2009 11:35 am
 

Nuggets accuse Lakers of buying a win

Somewhere in jail Tim Donaghy sits and laughs... and waits for the day he gets his Jose Canseco-like vindication when the game fixing in the NBA comes to the surface for all to see.



Since: Apr 11, 2009
Posted on: May 28, 2009 11:29 am
 

Nuggets accuse Lakers of buying a win

I agree with you BlueCollarIT... there is no way 3 officials can see everything 10 players do.. it's impossible.  Of course they miss calls here and there, but that's way better than calling a foul because it looked like someone might have been fouled, even though he didn't see it.  People love to complain and think they are the underdog... they love to think that they are "wronged".  They are not wronged... they are simply WHINERS.  I am a Cavs fan.. have the refs missed some calls in that series?  I am sure they have, but that is not the reason why the Cavs are losing.  They came up short in a couple of close games... it's not the refs fault.



Since: Sep 19, 2006
Posted on: May 28, 2009 11:14 am
 

Nuggets accuse Lakers of buying a win

This is the stupidest response ever.  To criticize the article as ignorant without watching the game is amazing.  Go back to watching TV reruns and leave the sports watching to the real fans.



Since: May 6, 2008
Posted on: May 28, 2009 11:13 am
 

Nuggets accuse Lakers of buying a win

NBA fines are a joke.  50,000 to these guys is like a normal guy dropping a dime.  Most of us wouldn't bother to pick it up.  If the NBA really wanted this nonsense to stop they would give them suspensions and a loss of a game check.  I think they would stay in control if they knew they wouldn't get to play in a critical playoff game.  But if they only fine these guys 10, 25 or 50 thousand they won't care, hell they spend more on strippers in a night. 



Since: Oct 12, 2007
Posted on: May 28, 2009 11:11 am
 

Nuggets accuse Lakers of buying a win

Agreed 100% , Its easy to nit pick from the TV. Theres a reason why Phil Jackson has done this before. Hes got to protect Kobe. I get a kick out of how people believe The NBA is scripted out or that Stern tells the officials anything.I believe that the refs have a tough job and I play in 2 leagues(recreational ofcours). There going to miss calls.



Since: Jan 30, 2009
Posted on: May 28, 2009 11:11 am
 

Here's a thought...

If you're a coach or a player and you think that the officiating is not going in your favor, then I would go into practice the next day and work on some things to assure I'm not called for hard or flagrant fouls.  Not much you can do about the ticky-tacky stuff.

It's the same way you would go about correcting say....inbound passes.  If you made some mistakes inbounding the ball in the final seconds of a crucial playoff game, you would go into practice and make sure that it doesn't happen again.  Hold on wait, a minute......



Since: Aug 18, 2006
Posted on: May 28, 2009 11:10 am
 

Did Berger even watch the game?

Hey Ken Berger, if you're going to do post-game writeups, make sure you actually watched the damn game to begin with. I have three main problems with your article:

1. "If it was Nene, for instance, I'd ask him to pay up for each of the 33 points and combined to score in the paint that he was supposed to have been defending."
Proof #1 that you must have been watching some other game because if you did you would have seen Nene getting called for 3 phantom fouls that left him on the bench for most of the game. So how can it be his fault that Gasol and Odom scored 33pts when he was on the bench?  And that 6th foul was absolute b.s.! Even the obviously Lakers biased tv announcers took time to note what a joke that call was.  Let's see, Nene establishes position, Gasol runs into him, Gasol shoves off with a forearm and Nene gets called for a foul?


2. "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."
Not only is it obvious you weren't watching the game but last time I checked 30-22 = 8 ... not a disparity of 5. So apparently in addition to your biased game watching, you must be mentally disabled as well - although it's unfair to mentally disabled individuals to be compared to you.


3. "... to the naked eye, it was a liberally officiated game at both ends of the floor by referees..."
Liberally officiated?  How about flat out cheating? 5 times in the first half the Nuggets took the ball hard to the basket, was there a single foul called on the Lakers? Nope. Apparently the Lakers are the only team on the planet that can block 5 dunk attempts without committing a foul. Nene called for simply standing in the low post with Gasol draped on his back - WTF!?
Both ends of the floor? I suggest you go back and analyze the fouls and non-foul calls and you might be singing a different tune if you could only pull your head out of the Lakers a$$ long enough to see clearly.

So a word of advice for you Ken Berger ... next time you're assigned to do a writeup for a Lakers game, take the time to remove your lips from Phil Jackson's butt and actually WATCH THE GAME!






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