Suck on this obviously choreographed LeBron/NYC photo op, Cavs fans. Wow. More on this later.
A couple of stories I’ve missed because I’ve been taking my usual post-playoffs break from LeBullshit:
First up – Tim Donaghy and game fixing. Ah, the Donaghy scandal(s). When Donoughy got busted, it demonstrated as a matter of fact that all-powerful NBA refs are capable of massive sleazebaggery. It was pretty shocking, but the scandal was successfully contained by the NBA and we were led to believe that the whole fiasco extended to a crazy rogue ref and affected a couple of inconsequential games.
Then Donaghy pulled a full-on Jose Canseco and the issue was no longer containable. According to Donaghy, an inner-circle of sycophantic refs working in cahoots with league goons created an atmosphere in which star players were not called for technical fouls (LeBitching at refs without punishment, LeBron’s famous LeElbows, etc.) and that bogus calls/no-calls (“the travel” anyone?) were made to force TV-friendly matchups, game sevens, and to prop up popular stars in the league. Think about the Celtics/Cavs series – how many games did LeBron play like absolute trash (see previous posts), and still wind up taking 20 free throws, keeping the Cavs in the game and therefore in the series? The answer is…surprise…almost every game in the series.
[Way too easy. See the internet for *tons* of hilarious captions.]
Predicatably, ESPNBAvid $tern stonewalled (and still stonewalls) on this issue. This is how I see it – nine times out of ten, this pleading the fifth bullshit is basically an admission of guilt. Any reasonable person can see that this crap is happening on a regular basis or, at the very least, that the existence of game fixing is very likely and warrants serious investigation. Jeff van Gundy, Phil Jackson, and a slew of other coaches and players are on record agreeing with Donaghy’s accusations.
On to a tengentially related ref story – the NBA announced that it will begin fining floppers next season. At first, I thought this would be a good thing, because it would stop LeBron from doing things like pretending he was poked in the eye when he wasn’t and putting flagrant fouls on opposing players. I was totally psyched about it. Then I thought about it for about ten seconds and realized that the league will never do anything to fuck LeBron over. So, sadly, I concluded that the new rules will actually make opposing players more afraid of taking charges from LeBron, which is basically the only thing a defender can do to stop LeBron, since if you actually try to block his shots or steal the ball you are automatically called for a foul. Plus, LeBron clearly doesn’t give a crap about fines since he is, uh, kind of rich. Very, very depressing development. Ugh.
Next up – NYC. See the LeBron/Statue of Liberty picture. The whole LeBron to NY story has gone from conjecture to pretty much a foregone conclusion and I love it. Poor, poor Clevelanders. Trade him now and get some value.
Finally, on to the US All-Nike Olympic team. Yeah – so the Coach K’s US Olympic team is made up of all Nike-sponsored players except for Dwight Howard (Adidas). That’s just fantastic. Looks like Gilbert was on to something when he said that it appeared the roster was set before tryouts. Apparently unconcerned about keeping up appearances, Nike promptly announced a documentary series about the team’s road back to the Olympics to air on ESPN.
For you conspiracy buffs out there, I’ll leave you with Nike’s official team photo. Notice that Dwight Howard is covering up the Nike swoosh on his shorts. Most importantly, notice that a freakishly enormous rat has been dressed in human clothing and posed in a sitting position, blocking Dwight Howard’s Adidas shoes. Hmmm…