Thursday, June 12, 2008

The Elephant in the Room

Our little blog has been about as quiet as can be the past few days in regards to The Biggest Sideshow of the NBA Finals, namely Tim Donaghy's allegations about a whole bunch of different bowls of wrong that he claims have been taking place in Mr. Stern's league since lord knows when. I wish I could say that my silence is some sort of "consider-the-source" mega-optimistic high road, but the truth is that this shit is potentially so crazy I can't even bring myself to fully respond to it yet. Perhaps Donaghy's lying; he is, after all, a certifiable Grade-A scumbag, by all accounts worse than even a McNamee, and almost everyone who's been asked testifies to the fact that he's a twisted individual. But still, like McNamee, the most compelling (and in Stern's case, damning) part of his story is that there's not really good reason for him to make it all up. Stern's eerily Clemensian line has been that Donaghy's simply a sick fuck who's been backed into a corner and is now saying whatever he can to try and save his own ass, but the fact is that it doesn't really work that way: I mean, a scenario in which federal investigators told Donaghy he could help his own cause by implicating the entire NBA in his case just kind of rings false, don't you agree?

Anyways, the latest news in this whole clusterfuck is that at least two more ex-refs have been questioned in regards to none other than Dick Bavetta, perhaps the league's most well-known and respected official. Bavetta helped call the increasingly-infamous Game 6 of the 2002 Western Conference Finals, which you may recall as the most egregiously poorly-called NBA game in recent memory (and I'm using "recent" extremely liberally here) and a game which--surprise!--Donaghy now alleges was fixed in order to ensure a Game 7. Yikes.

Like I said, I still don't even know what to make of this; it could very well go away, but if everything that Donaghy's saying is true--hell, even if some of it is--the NBA's got a scandal on its hands that makes the Mitchell Report look like a mirthful misunderstanding. Again, I recognize that none of these observations are remotely new or original, but this whole mess just seems worth acknowledging.