There is probably some truth in Donaghy’s new charges. The ref rat claims stars get special treatment - not exactly a “stop the presses’’ bulletin.
It’s not hard to imagine refs playing parlor games regarding who might make the first call of the night. Maybe a guy did T-up Rasheed Wallace in order to make his fellow refs responsible for tipping the ball boys. Some refs don’t like some players. It’s only human.
But fixing games and gambling on games is another matter. Making sure a series goes seven games is corrupt. Helping the Celtics and Lakers at the expense of the Cavaliers and Spurs is consumer fraud. It’s criminal.
And I’m not buying it.
Donaghy is a crook and a rat. He’s also broke and back in prison. And he’s trying to make a buck. His claims got some traction yesterday on the local talk shows. The unsubstantiated charges make great Internet fodder. And I am writing about it because, well, people are talking about it.
But I simply refuse to believe that the games we watch are not on the level.
Call me naive. It won’t be the first time. Certainly those of us who bought into the Sosa-McGwire home run chase of 1998 were snookered. I never thought Pete Rose would have bet on baseball while he was managing the Reds. If I’d covered the 1919 World Series, I’d have probably written at great length about the White Sox choking and underperforming.
Say it ain’t so.
I went to the Garden last night to watch the Celtics and the Bulls. I kept my eyes on Tom Washington, Eric Lewis, and Zach Zarba. I saw nothing suspicious. There are going to be bad calls, suspect calls. I just don’t think the refs are in the bag.
Of course you saw nothing suspicious! If you know you're being looked at, especially after resolving contentious labor issues, are you going to be calling games in an exemplary manner, or not?
If someone was snookered once by taking a position before all the facts are available, why would someone be willing to take a similar position again, given the examples cited? If Shank wants to possibly get snooked again, fine. The wiser position is no position. We don't have all the facts at this time, so we'll see how it plays out.