Well, the big news of the day is obviously the New York Post's story about the NBA referee accused of shaving points. Honestly, I still don't know what to think about the whole situation. It's easier for a ref to affect the outcome of the spread than it is the game, but then again, you never know. Apparently the ref in question is set to turn himself in next week, so maybe then we'll have some answers.
In any case, what would you give to be in the same room as Rasheed Wallace once he learns who this crooked ref is? I'm not kidding, this is a golden opportunity, the Pistons should hold a raffle with the proceeds going to charity. Although, protective gear would probably be recommended, especially if it turns out to be Phil Robinson, Jeff Smith, Ron Olesiak, Eli Roe or Marc Davis.
Update: Okay, just got this email from DBB reader John, who pointed out that Donaghy officiated the St. Patrick's Day game against the Knicks in the 2005-06 season:
St.Patricks Day Fix - your account of this game really raises some eyebrows. I'm wondering what you think in retrospect; especially since it was during March madness where the ref probably lost a bundle.
At first I thought, how bad could it be? But I looked it up, and my title for the game recap was, "Refs steal scene, Pistons make cameo appearance in Knicks soap opera"
The refs had control of that game early -- Rasheed Wallace got the boot (even though he was on the bench) for talking trash to Steve Francis. Get a load of some of the post-game quotes:
Chauncey Billups, who scored 24 points, said afterward that he wishes the league held the officials publically accountable for their calls.
"My thing is, after the game, I have to talk about what happened down the stretch, why we did this or that," Billups said. "I wish the refs had to do that."
"My thing is, if you’re going to let them play, let them play," Pistons coach Flip Saunders said after the game. "There was a little bit of inconsistency, so it was hard to adapt to that."
The officials called 36 fouls in the second half, including seven technicals. And while the Pistons were careful to take some of the blame in a game they led at one point by 16, they wouldn’t shoulder all of it.
"I think (the officials were) more of a factor tonight than any game we’ve played this year," said Tayshaun Prince, who scored 15 points. "Even though some other games were the same, I thought it was more important in this than any other one."
And in my final thoughts I added, "it was impossible to watch this game and not feel like the refs were simply enjoying exerting their will."
So, yeah. That sucks. Hopefully they nail this guy (and maybe refund Rasheed Wallace a few bucks). The Pistons finished with the best record in the league in 2005-06, so you could argue this loss didn't directly affect them, but I imagine there are at least some teams (those who missed the playoffs by a game, had their playoff seeding decided by a game or even those who had the number of ping-pong balls in the lottery decided by a game or two) who probably have a legitimate beef.