Ok, so this has me thinking.
Rick Bucher was on the other day and was talking about how overblown this is. How the ref can’t REALLY change the game because it’s still dependent upon the players making shots, etc. Thus, why is everyone really making this big of a deal. He should have been fired, he should be in trouble, but it’s not like he REALLY messed up any of the games. He brought up a game where Jamaal Crawford of the Knicks got fouled with like 2 seconds left and he made the freethrows thus covering the spread for the Knicks. Rick’s point was that Crawford still had to make the freethrows, and if he didn’t, then the ref still loses. So it’s not like any ref can score points themselves.
That’s not really the point. The point is that he has the opportunity to leverage his power towards the side he did/didn’t want to score. I absolutely agree that Crawford still has to make the shots, but without that foul call, the clock runs out and the Knicks don’t cover. So the foul had to be called in order for there to be even a chance of covering. What is the ref supposed to do? Just admit that you sometimes lose and not try to do something about it? Come on. The ref makes the call so at least he can say, “I did all I could”. That’s all the matters. If Crawford misses, the Knicks don’t cover and maybe that was a game that Donaghy wagered on. So are we just supposed to go, “oh well, the outcome wasn’t really affected. No real harm done”. Of course not.
Rick Bucher is a freaking idiot. Yet another case of ESPN playing both sides so that their talking heads can ramble on and then potentially “argue” with each other. For more playing of both sides, please see Michael Vick and how the guys at ESPN jump from side to side trying to help you decide if he should be suspended.
As for my thoughts on the NBA Ref Scandal. This isn’t really a major blackeye for the league itself unless the league is found to be aware or involved of this during its operation. Sure the conspiracy theorists are going to have more ammo in their guns against the NBA and the “fixing” of situations (games, playoffs, drafts, etc.). But all in all, the NBA will “investigate” and then have an opportunity to make changes to evaluating refs to try to prevent this in the future. That’s all they can really do I think. But at the end of the day, I still hate the NBA and they seemingly can't fix their problem with poor officiating. Even I can admit that poor officiating is a far cry from rigged officiating.