And a collective groan from the overwhelming majority of Voreblog readers!
Deadspin reports that it obtained excerpts from disgraced ref Tim Donaghy’s book Blowing the Whistle: The Culture of Fraud in the NBA, which Random House recently cancelled because of “concerns over potential liability.” Two fairly obvious points: 1) Donaghy is a scumbag. 2) Scumbags, like broken clocks, are right twice a day.
Which isn’t to say much (most? 90%? more?) of what was in Donaghy’s book is the gospel truth. But does even a casual NBA fan doubt the veracity of this excerpt (on star treatment) from Deadspin?
If Kobe Bryant had two fouls in the first or second quarter and went to the bench, one referee would tell the other two, “Kobe’s got two fouls. Let’s make sure that if we call a foul on him, it’s an obvious foul, because otherwise he’s gonna go back to the bench. If he is involved in a play where a foul is called, give the foul to another player.”
Similarly, when games got physically rough, we would huddle up and agree to tighten the game up. So we started calling fouls on guys who didn’t really matter — “ticky-tack” or “touch” fouls where one player just touched another but didn’t really impede his progress. Under regular circumstances these wouldn’t be fouls, but after a skirmish we wanted to regain control. We would never call these types of fouls on superstars, just on the average players who didn’t have star status. It was important to keep the stars on the floor.
This NBA truth is so obvious as to be banal. Of course the stars get star treatment. That’s not exactly controversial. But it also serves as a reminder that just because Jack Donaghy says it doesn’t mean it can be disregarded. Or that it’s not a perception problem for casual fans who hate how subjective NBA reffing can be.
In other NBA — and Things To Love About Ohio — news, Shaq has applied to become a state deputy. Which means if you’re used to speeding on Ohio’s highways, this photo should make you want to pee your pants.