Chris Rock, in his 2004 standup special Never Scared, offered his opinion as to why the first half of this decade was littered with such high-profile scandals: President George W. Bush was behind it all, puppeteer of domestic train wrecks no one could look away from, deflecting attention from the war against Iraq.
"I think Bush sent that girl to Kobe's room. ... Bush sent that girl to Kobe's room, Bush sent that lil' boy to Michael Jackson's house, Bush killed Lacey Peterson ..."
|Deals like these -- Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett going to Boston -- have provided a distraction from the scandal. (Getty Images)|
It has been barely a full month since this story broke, and in the meantime, commissioner David Stern might as well have started running the Celtics. The game's most storied franchise came to the rescue with the blockbuster acquisition of Kevin Garnett, making basketball in Boston watchable again for the first time since the 2002 Eastern Conference finals.
Not only that, but Boston also went public with the pursuit of Reggie Miller, who is so seriously considering a return to the league that numerous sources have told CBS SportsLine they would be surprised if it doesn't happen. The league office may as well throw in on that fund, because it can use all the excitement it can get.
Let Penny Hardaway come back healthy. See if Allan Houston has anything left. We miss seeing Charles Oakley's body checks. Heck, roll Shawn Kemp in.
The league's black eye, still fresh, is getting a nice cold compress courtesy of the Friends of the NBA program. The game needs as many recognizable faces as it can get its hands on to get through this, and those recognizing this are coming out of the woodwork like reinforcements.
Funny thing is, it worked.
The topic of conversation has shifted from the league's worst nightmare to whether Boston can win immediately or if any of these old heads have something left. The events of the past few weeks have offered a distraction when one was necessary.
This has helped start the healing.
Donaghy copping to charges and offering an apology through attorney John Lauro indicate he's going down quietly. The judge stated that he concealed his scheme from other referees, saving the NBA from a disastrous fate. If indeed there were no others involved, the league can hold tight to it's "rogue, isolated criminal" defense, avoiding charges of widespread corruption.
Stern was able to issue the following statement without having to provide further apologies:
"As expected, former NBA referee Tim Donaghy pleaded guilty today to betting on NBA games, including games in which he officiated, and providing confidential information to others who bet on NBA games. We will continue with our ongoing and thorough review of the league's officiating program to ensure that the best possible policies and procedures are in place to protect the integrity of our game."