Disgraced NBA referee Tim Donaghy, who's facing charges of fixing games, filed a court document earlier this week stating that game 6 of the 2002 Western Conference finals between the LA Lakers and Sacramento Kings was fixed by the refs.
I remember that game as the one that turned me permanently off NBA basketball (permanently, until the Warriors dramatic playoff run last year). The Kings were dominating the possession, but the refs were going out of their way to call fouls on them, giving the Lakers 27 free throws in the 4th quarter, to create a revenue-boosting game 7 (won by the Lakers).
The officiating in that game was so horrible, and so much in favor of the Lakers, that it was obvious that the fix was on. NBA league history is full of bad calls that just happen to benefit big-market teams at crucial times, and it happens far too often to be chalked up to coincidence. Just thinking about that 2002 game makes me upset (and I'm not even much of a Sacto Kings fan).
Of course, as a convicted felon, Tim Donaghy isn't really a credible source, and NBA commissioner David Stern calls his allegations "baseless", but if that game wasn't fixed, it was the the worst-officiated sporting event I ever saw in my life. I found this breakdown on the youtube.
Meanwhile, the L.A. Lakers are back in the finals this year, against the Celtics. I don't really have a horse in these finals between my two least favorite teams, but sources at crookedrefs.com tell me to expect an exciting seven game series with Boston winning the final game at New Boston Garden.
The Celtics are now up 3-1 after tonight's dramatic second half comeback, so look for them to lose the next two before winning game seven, because that's the way the NBA has it scheduled to go down. Professional basketball is almost like professional wrestling.