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 17, 2008
Posted on: May 28, 2009 11:06 am

Nuggets accuse Lakers of buying a win

I hav watched the NBA for 40 years and every one always has complained about the officiating, i have refereed basketball and it is hard 50% of the people dont like every call. In the old days they had maverik refs like Richie powers , Jake O Donnell, Don Murphy ect, people were upset. Today they have them act like robots have all sorts of rules changes which lead to more fouls but no one is happy, different ref have different standards and depending how they are matched up is how the game is called. Phil Jackson has always made his views know about the ref the same as other coaches, if their is a NBA mandate for tv rating how did we get Spurs Cavs a few years ago or how did spurs win 4 since they have a small tv market. The nuggets can not defend Gasol in the post , nene is not quick enough, Anderson tries hard but gasol is one great player when motivated and enough said. the key to basketball is match up , defense and hitting shots, i saw no one including the refs hitting the nuggets on their wide open shots in the last 6 minutes last night, you lost now get ready for friday night, quit whinning

Since: May 27, 2009
Posted on: May 28, 2009 11:06 am

Nuggets accuse Lakers of buying a win

Ocelot, I don't follow the sport. I did for 40 years and then decided it wasn't worth it. I have watched the two conference finals because I get the Cleveland games in my TV area and wanted to see how the NBA would stage its finals. The NBA has always been a superstar-oriented league in that the stars are so protected it's ridiculous. It's like giving Albert Pujols four strikes per at-bat or allowing Larry Fitzgerald to only get one foot inbounds on a catch. It's not fauir, but Stern knows that no one will watch a Finals that does not have two of the league's biggest stars.

Since: Feb 8, 2008
Posted on: May 28, 2009 11:06 am

Nuggets accuse Lakers of buying a win

This series will go to 7 games. If anyone is ignorant to think that the NBA/ref is not controlling it needs to pull their head out of the sand. The players all know it also especially the more senior players like Kobe, Chaunsey and the coaches. Take the foul call on Chaunsey when he went in for the lay up and got called for an offfensive foul. And as the game progressed, he could tell that the NBA/ref will have the Lakers win. That is why he only attempted only 7 shots. And this is from a player who went to conf finals 7 times in a row (or is it 8 times). Remember this is only game 5. no one has won the series yet. I am not a fan of either team. I am a bettor. You can also tell by the line. It opened at 5 1/2 and went to 6 (with the Lakers fav) even through 60% of the bets was on Denver. Vegas wanted more action on Denver and increased it from +5 1/2 to +6 when they should have lowered the line to +5. Vegas knew what the NBA/ref knew and the 4th qtr calls went that way. Now tonight's game has Cleveland fav by 7 1/2. You're saying how in the hell is Cle favorite by 7 1/2. Well that is exactly what the betting public is thinking right now as 87% is on Orl. If I was a betting person and if there is no other changes to the betting or line, I would take Cle also knowing the the NBA wants Cle to win the series and it's only game 5. That's my two $$$$. I put my $$$ where my mouth is not like others saying this or that. I might be wrong but I am willing to back it with $$$ not bs words. Good luck to all.

Since: Oct 15, 2007
Posted on: May 28, 2009 11:03 am

Nuggets accuse Lakers of buying a win

People need to stop pointing fingers at the refs. I bet a lot of people on there dont even know the actual rules of basketball. They may think they know what a foul is but they dont and a lot of the announcers dont too. My biggest pet peeve is players bitching about player control/blocking foul. Its a lot harder to make that call seieng it live than watching it 15 times on slo mo replay. They arent trying to cheat anyone. I see coaches bitching about endline calls from 90 feet away when the referee is right there.

Since: Dec 30, 2007
Posted on: May 28, 2009 11:03 am

Nuggets accuse Lakers of buying a win

I still watch the NBA but I agree that this seemed like a Lakers post rather then a article or blog from a reporter.

Since: Mar 4, 2008
Posted on: May 28, 2009 11:00 am

Nuggets accuse Lakers of buying a win

You know whats funny? You never hear Players or Coaches pissing and moaning when they are the ones getting all the calls. Where's the guy that says, "That should have been a non call for the other team." Or, "that was a bad call that went our way." Who, who will say it? Noone. Because its the Refs fault when they can't score. Give me a break.

This is what is making the NBA less and less appealing to me. It's become more about the officials than the players. Officials can dictate games. Guess what? The players know how this is how the game is, so get over it. It sucks, but Stern isn't going to change anything so deal with it, and quit crying.

Since: Jun 10, 2008
Posted on: May 28, 2009 10:59 am

Nuggets accuse Lakers of buying a win

The NBA is rigged and you guys hate it but yet u follow the sport and come here and make comments...Go find the guy on the grassy Knoll and the UFO in the hanger at area 51... As absurd as those things are does any of us have enough evidence that those things are real or not real.We watch a game and take our obvious homer stances so when our team losses we look to point the blame at the refs. I will admit I am a laker fan and at times i have done it. But I dont get on here with all this conspiracy stuff, even in the Lakers lean years when they were not as successful as they have been lately. Most of the time the home team get the advantage of a few more calls their way.... But if it was so rigged whats up with Cleveland........ Someone really messed up.......The sad part is if Cleveland makes a valiant come back all u conspiracy theorist will point the blame to the refs, David Stern Etc.

Since: May 27, 2009
Posted on: May 28, 2009 10:58 am

Nuggets accuse Lakers of buying a win

The NBA is virtually unwatchable. The only difference between the league and the WWE is that the WWE knows it is rigged.

Since: Apr 16, 2009
Posted on: May 28, 2009 10:57 am

Nuggets accuse Lakers of buying a win

Guess who's NOT a Lakers fan?

You don't watch the NBA, but you read columnists who write about it, and take the time to write about how you don't watch the NBA?

Show me a fan who complains about the refs, and I will show you a fan who was rooting for the team that lost.

Show me a fan who complains that the NBA is unwatchable, and I will show you a fan whose favorite team isn't any good.

Since: May 28, 2009
Posted on: May 28, 2009 10:53 am

Nuggets accuse Lakers of buying a win

I have often felt that the NBA had the worst officiating of the 4 major sports.  Calls at the beginning of the game are completely different than at the end.  Superstars are protected.  The home team typically gets the benefit of close calls, especially late in the game.  The biggest way to address it is consistency.  Consistency is needed from start to finish, home and away, superstar or scrub.  That should be any officials' goal.  Until the NBA improves in this area, the "conspiracy theorists" will have ammunition.

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