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12/06/2009

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"Any referee could have done this, but most have too much integrity and too much love for the game to throw it all away like Donaghy did."

So if there's basic agreement that officials DID gang up on AI or loosen up on Kobe after the league slapped their hands, then the fine line then that defines "integrity" is whether or not they gambled on that fact?

I really have trouble swallowing your statement if you believe that. There is no integrity if you bring ANY bias into officiating any sport.

As a part time soccer referee for 6 years, I can say that there are some coaches, players or teams that you tend to favor. Officials are human too. As humans, it's impossible to not have some sort of bias. You want to be fair, but sometimes that coach or player catches your good side and you tend to help them out a little. Or you will hate a coach for hassling you too much and you wont't give him calls. The other day I swallowed my whistle on plays I knew I should have blown my whistle. It's not easy being an official.

I think what's more important than whether or not NBA officials pick on or favor teams/players is the fact that David Stern shields his referees from criticism and never admits when they screw up. When Rondo smacked Brad Miller across the face in the playoffs, the league could have admitted that the refs didn't make the right call, and most fans would have understood why: they didn't want to be seen as deciding the game. But instead, Stern and his cronies come up with some specious reason to defend the call, and it makes fans upset because the NBA refuses to hold its officials accountable.

When Ed Hochuli blew the call in the Chargers/Broncos game in Week 1 last season, the NFL came out and admitted that he messed up. Hochuli himself took the blame publicly, and apologized to the fans. Mike Pereira, VP of Officiating, goes on NFL Network every week to discuss questionable calls, and when he defends them, you know he's being honest because he's willing to admit when a bad call is made. Even MLB pulled an ump crew in the playoffs because they weren't doing a good job.

The name of the game is accountability, and the NBA, David Stern, Stu Jackson, the referees, and even Major General Ronald Johnson have no credibility, because they refuse to admit it when they make mistakes.

And another point: Five years ago, Jose Canseco was just a kook. Now, he's the most credible voice pertaining to steroids in MLB. Can't just write Donaghy off as a disgraced former ref with an axe to grind. His claims have to be investigated, or else, it hurts the NBA even more. As you mentioned, this can work out to the NBA's advantage if they play it right. Ignoring Donaghy is the wrong move.

Le premier cas de l'esprit - à distinguer le vrai du faux.

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