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: Jun 9, 2008
Posted on: May 28, 2009 10:52 am

Nuggets accuse Lakers of buying a win

Coach Karl was crying about the ref's but it was the most fair i've seen it. In fact, Denver received waaay more calls at home the last game compared to that of the Lakers.
On Monday Denver received 49 fouls compared to the Lakers 35. This game Lakers had 35 compared to Denvers 30.

So in Denver, the got 14 more calls than the Lakers. In LA, Lakers only got 5 more calls than the Nuggets.

If the refs call a straight up game Lakers should win on Friday.
Denver has nothing to do but cry about the refs because they cant win the game straight up. Kobe was mugged last night and there were no calls. You dont see him crying. Kobe was tripped, Pushed. And there was no anonymous comment. In fact Kobe said he fell.

Denver, when you quit crying like little players on the WNBA, you might finaally reach the NBA Finals!

Since: Nov 10, 2006
Posted on: May 28, 2009 10:48 am

Nuggets accuse Lakers of buying a win

This player is absolutely correct.  The NBA has been rigged for years, between the league and referee's, why would this comment be so outlandish. 

Since: Dec 17, 2008
Posted on: May 28, 2009 10:48 am

Nuggets accuse Lakers of buying a win

I'm one of those who thinks it is unwatchable.  I'm neither an NBA fan nor hater.  I basically follow all the UConn players, as a former alum, to see how they are doing.  I've been watching quite a bit this playoffs, but my interest it deminishing due to all the calls.  I turned the TV off last night in the 4th quarter, as the calls seemed to be ridiculous.  For one, the refs do sk and they make some weak calls and often seemingly biased calls.  What I hate the most though, is seeing Labron and Kobe really fake being hit to get the call.  Please they get enough calling during a game, no need to fake them as well.

Since: Sep 4, 2006
Posted on: May 28, 2009 10:46 am

Nuggets accuse Lakers of buying a win

You may not watch it, but you sure seem to be following it. Give it a rest. I think anyone reading your sillyness can figure out you not exactly a Laker fan.

Since: Dec 19, 2007
Posted on: May 28, 2009 10:43 am

Nuggets accuse Lakers of buying a win

Does anyone here think that maybe Karl and the "anonymous player" said that so they could buy the next one just like Phil Jackson and Kobe did for this one. You guys are rediculous, the Lakers get the short end of the stick in the fouls in game 4, Phil and Kobe cry about it, the media agrees and cries even louder, and look what happens the Lakers get the whistle in the next game. I am not saying that the Nuggets lost that game because of the refs, they played a part, but the Nuggets just got beat in the 4th quarter plain and simple. But why is it OK for Phil and Kobe to cry but then when the Nuggets do it, everyone is up in arms saying stupid hypocritical shit like oh the Nuggets should stop crying, they have no reason to, they always blaim their losing on the refs. THE LAKERS CRIED TEN TIMES WORSE THAN THE NUGGETS DID, oh but that was different, give me a break! People, quit being so damn hypocritically ignorant!!!! Why wouldn't the Nuggets do it, if their opponent is going to do it to get an advantage. Why don't you try being just a little objective, then maybe we could actually have some decent conversations on here, but until that happens, which will probably be never, lets keep going with these immature and idiotic threads and articles.

And on Ken Berger, he is a moron and a disgrace to journalism!! How is he going to write an article like this when he writes a completely opposite article when the Lakers did the same damn thing after Game 4. Ken Berger is the worst journalist I have ever read, he has no objectivity, which is the mainstay for journalism, but he is too stupid and pig headed to know that!!!

Since: May 28, 2009
Posted on: May 28, 2009 10:35 am

Nuggets accuse Lakers of buying a win

Well said!

Since: Sep 18, 2006
Posted on: May 28, 2009 10:34 am

Nuggets accuse Lakers of buying a win

There were some horrible calls against the Nuggets last night. I am not a fan of either team, but when Billups was called incorrectly for the charge in the second period it completely changed the momentum of the game.

Nene was also called for a blocking foul, which was clearly a charge by Gasol. He jawed with the official and got called for a tech as well (that is on him).

There were numorous other examples of Lakers players going over the back on the offensive end while getting ticky tack fouls throughout the game. Like, it's just my opinion man, but the Lakers got the homecourt in more than one way last night.

Since: May 28, 2009
Posted on: May 28, 2009 10:33 am

Nuggets accuse Lakers of buying a win

PLEEEEEEZE!!  Are you going to accuse George Karl of buying a win in Denver should 1. he get fined and 2. Denver actually win Friday?  Everybody who watches the NBA for any length of time has to know that the home team will often get the benefit of the doubt with the refs.  It happened in the Nugget's favor in game 4!

Since: Dec 23, 2008
Posted on: May 28, 2009 10:23 am

Nuggets accuse Lakers of buying a win

Wow... honestly, one of the worst articles I've ever read on CBSSports.
I agree with jv90gt... the game was about Kobe getting his ring. But I'll go one step further. It was about the NBA getting ratings. The NHL wanted it and got it in the 2nd round... Sid the Kid vs Ovechkin.
And now the NBA (and Nike) wants it so bad, they'll do anything to get it. Kobe vs LeBron -- 24 vs 23.
Look for Dwight to pick up his 3rd foul very early in the 2nd quarter -- his 4th during the first possession of the 3rd quarter. More importantly, look for a blowout. It's already 3 games to 2.

Since: Nov 20, 2008
Posted on: May 28, 2009 10:23 am

Nuggets accuse Lakers of buying a win

I don't agree with your statement.  Basketball like life has rules that everybody has to live by, sometimes it takes a person a while to learn the parameters of acceptable behavior but, for the most part they figure it out at some point.  The NBA seemingly has changed the basic foundational rules of basketball over the past 20 years and with that change we see the game played the way it is today.  If they reverted back to the original rules concerning defense, walking, and carrying the ball, the players would adjust as required.  Anyone is going to do what is allowed by the current rules.

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