Thursday, June 12, 2008

With the NBA, Who Needs Political Intrigue?

Convicted ex-NBA ref Tom Donaghy recently made allegations concerning corrupt officiating by the referees of the 2002 Western Conference championship between the Sacramento Kings and the LA Lakers, resulting in a Game 7 and the Lakers ultimately emerging victorious (and moving on to their 2000s three-peat). Before Tuesday's Finals Game 3, there was a lot of talk - especially in sports talk radio - about some sort of suspect officiating due to the lopsidedness of the foul calls in Game 2.

I say just let the two teams play, and may the best team win. That's all. If both teams are just as aggressive, then there would in all likelihood be nearly equitable foul trouble, and the referees would hopefully see that.

But if I were to wear a tinfoil hat, let's look at the Powe Code in Game 2:

1. ABC's broadcast contained a short biographical sketch of the struggles of Boston's Leon Powe, and his incredible victory over adversity to make it to the NBA and to the Finals.

2. Leon Powe played the game of his life (...life so far, as movie Homer Simpson would say) in spite of his short time in the game (21 points in 15 minutes) and was named player of the game.

3. The officials called more fouls against the Lakers on Powe than all fouls against Boston on all the Lakers combined (if that makes any sense for those without context).

Conspiracy? I hope not. I do hope the Lakers do win the rest of their games at home.

Leon Powe photo credit: 8-Hype.

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