Discussion in 'Pistons and NBA' started by mikhail1973, Aug 29, 2007.
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I'm still amazed that the whole Michael Vick thing has overshadowed this by so much. It's just one guy committing a crime. Whereas this event taints the validity of an entire professional sports league.
...but, what do I know...
Vick was about the most exciting player in the NFL. And the NFL is way more popular than the NBA.
Nobody even knew who Donaghy was before this, and it appears as though he was acting alone. Really, a whitch hunt for other refs who may have gambled recreationally at the casino is not more news worthy than a star NFL QB going to the slammer.
The Donaghy thing is quiet possibly the biggest thing to happen to the NBA EVER, and yet I noticed ESPN took it off their NBA page, yesterday.
It's all horsecrap. I just can't wait until Jim Gray corners David Stern during a halftime on TNT/ESPN? and asks him one million annoying and intrusive questions.
It's the biggest thing ever if there are lots of refs fixing games, but if it was really just the one guy, I don't think it's anywhere near that big a deal. The Vick dogfighting story was going nowhere until he was actually indicted, which apparently came as a big surprise to the league and to the Falcons. So if there ends up being some real news about other refs fixing games, I'm sure the story will come back bigger than ever. But until that happens (if it does), what's there to talk about?
You know what is getting hushed up is the Lance Briggs incedent.
He crashed a $350,000 car at 3:30 AM into a light pole by himself, fled the scene of the accident, filed a false police report saying that the car was stolen, and is not even getting disciplined by his team.
You don't crash a car into nothing by yourself if you are sober. And if by chance you do, then you definitely stick around so that the police realize you are not drunk.
Talk about lucky. If that light pole had been another car, then he'd be wishing he were Michael Vick right about now.
The problem is, the report was made that Donaghy was going to spill the beans on others and that apparently has been swept under the rug as well. I don't care if it ruins the league. This kind of thing need to be exposed and eradicated. Otherwise, what's the point of salvaging a bogus league anyway?
If covering up the rest of this investigation (as what seems to be the case with this additional witness in Arizona) is what they will resort to in an effort to make this go away, then there are some serious issues that, IMO, doesn't support the notion that anyone should support this league at all in the future. If, indeed, Donaghy knew of other officials involved in this and the commissioner or anyone else involved are making efforts to prevent this information from being divulged, they should all be fired and/or resign.
Besides, I don't care what the popularity of the sports involved, one guy going to jail over an entire professional league having it's entire validity put on the table doesn't add up to me.
Well, maybe that report wasn't accurate. Who's sweeping it under the rug? The feds, because Stern is paying them off? If more stuff emerges, then so be it. I'm not in favor of covering it up either. I'm just not convinced that this is what's actually happening.
If he was threatening to spill the beans about other refs involved in fixing games, then it would be humungous news. The general public just doesn't care if some ref they've never heard of gets ratted out for playing video poker.
However, when you torture/ kill "man's best friend," then it piques people's interest.
Brittany Spears gets disproportionally more news time for far more trivial matters. That doesn't necessarilly mean that the media or the viewers think that her wrongdoings are more serious than others. They just get better ratings.
ESPN - Donaghy to share info about other refs with feds - NBA
Sources: Ref ready to drop dime on others | Daily News | 08/22/2007
These don't seem inaccurate to me. It reads to me like Stern is doing everything in his power to insist that there is only one guy doing wrong. Furthermore, EVEN IF, you only want to believe these guys aren't doing anything illegal, their integrity should be called into question from the very thought that they are willfully engaging in activity that violates their contract agreements. We would crucify a player for the same.
This article didn't seem so inaccurate either, until it ended up being inaccurate later that very same day:
ESPN - Sources: Vick unlikely to be indicted in feds' probe - NFL
I'm not saying it's definitely inaccurate that Donaghy is going to name names; maybe that's still going to happen. But it's not enough of a basis for me to leap to the conclusion that Stern is covering anything up. And maybe he's gotten ahead of himself in insisting that this is an isolated case, but that's not exactly a crime.
As for refs playing video poker (or engaging in other non-NBA-related gambling), it would be unfortunate if a bunch of them were violating their contracts in that way. But I don't think we would necessarily "crucify" any player who wilfully did something non-criminal that happened to violate his contract.
Do you honestly believe that David Stern doesn't do anything that's not well thought out and calculated? He switched game balls without consulting the players union. Hell, there's a player dress code. I'm not buying it.
As far as the players go, we torch them daily for things they do that aren't illegal. Heck there's entire sports media entities that make their living doing it.
Well, I'm not sure what we're arguing about anymore. Of course Stern has proven to be overly manipulative many times in the past. I'm just not convinced that there's anything shady going on with the coverage (or lack thereof) in the Donaghy case. I think the reason it's "disappeared" from the news is that...there hasn't been any more news. If something else does come up, I'm pretty sure we'll hear about it, and if it involves other refs fixing games, I have no doubt that it'll be a huge story. I'm not exactly defending Stern here; I'm just questioning how much power he actually has to make inconvenient stories disappear.
The only two instances of this that I can remember is Ben Rothlisberger and Jay Williams violating their motorcycle clauses. Even though they crashed them, we didn't exactly crucify them here.
It's just a contract. It could have said that the refs can't wear pink socks in the swimming pool. It doesn't make it wrong.
Stoudemire, Diaw & the Suns got crucified for their knee-jerk reaction to go to Nash's aid at a critical playoff juncture. By that standard...ALL of the refs should be held to letter of the law contractually.
Do the players have contracts with their teams or with the NBA?
If they do have a contract with the NBA, does that contract prohibit leaving the bench during an altercation? If they violate that clause, do they get fired and forfeit all future payments due under the contract?
If you want these refs to be held under the same standard, then they should get a slap on the wrist and sit out a few games.
My whole point in this is that I think this is a major thing and everyone seems content to just gloss over it and going enjoying their NBA games.
Exactly my point.
My question is this. Why is a technical default a small suspension for a player and a lifetime ban for a ref?
Both of these rules are meant to stop things from getting out of hand. There is nothing intrinsicly wrong with leaving a bench or engaging in legal gambling. But they are both stepping stones to more serious offenses. So, in my mind, they are equally serious.
So, yes, they should carry equal penalties.
That would be a start, but I'd include financial penalties also. There are few checks-and-balances for NBA officiating. The Crawford/Duncan incident was a very rare occasion where Stern stepped in and took a ref outta play.
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