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Seattle Times staff reporter Bob Condotta provides a running commentary on the Huskies.

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June 12, 2008 12:07 PM

NBA "fixing games'' interlude

Posted by Bob Condotta

We won't often delve away from UW and Pac-10 basketball here.

But since a few of you have asked about Game 7 of the 1993 Suns-Sonics series in light of the recent comments by Tim Donaghy, here are a few items I thought I'd pass along.

--- First, here is the Seattle Times game story on that contest, when the Suns hit 57-64 free throws to advance to the NBA Finals against the Chicago Bulls (and set up a Jordan-Barkley matchup). Interesting quote from then-Seattle center Michael Cage that "this was the first time the game was called this tight all series.''

--- Then-Sonic Eddie Johnson also questioned the officiating that day.

--- Here's a story from the Boston Globe a few years ago that included that game in a story titled "When fouls just don't add up'' about games that seemed to not pass the smell test when it came to officiating. Also on that list is one of the games Donaghy has singled out from the 2002 Kings-Lakers series.

As I wrote the other day, David Stern's lies and fabrications about the Sonics' arena situation leaves me much more open to believe the worst about the league now than I used to. And the fact that every seemingly questionable game always went in favor of the team that would most benefit the league to have advance only makes it seem worse.

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Posted by BobbyCoug

12:36 PM, Jun 12, 2008

NBA Sucks. Don't give a hoot of this incredibly boring (and apparently corrupt) product stays in my fair city another minute.

How about pulling out some of those super-dubious calls during Pac-10 games over the past decade. I think Pac-10 officiating is what really bears investigatin' Seriously doubt it stands up to any kind of scrutiny.

But it does not take much to distract the ADD'd financially stranded Seattle media anyway.

Posted by Greenwood

12:47 PM, Jun 12, 2008


In retrospect these kind of casual assertions can be made about just about any sport and league. The MLB wants to see the Yanks. The NFL prefers 49ers and Cowboys. The NHL loves the devils, pengions and leafs. The premiership always wants to see ManU win. The serie A will always want a team from Milan in the Champions League. The Pac always wants its big city teams doing well. Garfied and Beach need to represent.

Weak pointless interlude IMO

Posted by Dave

1:33 PM, Jun 12, 2008

Greenwood, you do realize that there was just recently a match fixing scandal in Serie A right? So when these kind of patterns show up, sometimes it's just smoke but sometimes there really is fire. Plus, w/o rehashing everything, Bob's points about the NBA are dead on.

Posted by Greenwood

1:45 PM, Jun 12, 2008

Yes Dave.

Thats 1 out 7. These trends are noticeable in virtually all sports but it is an irresponsible and adhoc judgement to make if one makes it only when its suits ones needs.

Why not scrutinize all the other leagues too. There is plenty of questionable officiating and adminsitration of leagues in which teams from this city participate.

Posted by Huskycrash

1:50 PM, Jun 12, 2008

When do the coincidences start to be too much? Game by game or season by season Iíve watched bad calls being made in all sports. As a Seattle pro sports fan I can recall a super bowl not too many years ago. But the NBA has serious problems here. They have a rogue official and a greedy commissioner. The owners are more concerned with the bottom line then the win totals. You have thugs playing the game (Not as bad as before though) with no care for the average fan. Teams more concerned with the corporate sponsors then the guy in section 312. Basketball is a game to be enjoyed by those playing it and the fans watching it, unfortunately the NBA cares only for what the next TV contract will be worth. They will soon find out that if they donít change their ways they wonít have a product thatís in demand.

Posted by jose

1:51 PM, Jun 12, 2008

College sports>>>>>>>>>>>>professional sports>>>>>>>>>>foreign films>>>>>soap operas>>>>>>>>>life in pullmangitmo>>>>>>>>>nba

Posted by espy

1:55 PM, Jun 12, 2008

All its takes is one bad ref who wants to cut a deal and cast aspersions on everyone. There are surely less than honest officials in NFL and MLB. If they ver get caught they'll sing too.

Seahawks/Jets, Seahawks/Raider, Seahawks/Rams, Seahawks/Steelers. That would be the talk of the town Seahwks were leaving.

Posted by NorDawg

2:00 PM, Jun 12, 2008

Way back in the few years immediately following the Sonics' Championship in 1979, it was obvious to me that the Lakers were being favored in playoff games with the Sonics. One game played at Hec Ed Pavilion put me "over the edge" with the ridiculous favoring by the refs. That, coupled with the Sonics selling off their great players and the style of play (one on one) in the NBA, have led to me not watching an NBA game since 1983... with no plans to go back, ever.

Posted by IMO

2:02 PM, Jun 12, 2008


Posted by Husky19

2:03 PM, Jun 12, 2008


You're right, if the Seahawks were leaving that would be the talk with specific games point out.

But they are not and the Sonics are in the process. Stern has proven during the last few NBA seasons that he is not the man for the job. Now with the Sonics situation (he has lied and been caught, lied again) and with the referee siutation, he needs to resign.

The NBA needs new leadership, someone that is not corrupt. The NBA head job should be rotated every so many years so no one can entrench themselves too deep and hurt the league long term.

Posted by PreviosulyIndifferent

2:15 PM, Jun 12, 2008

Sounds like a good thing the NBA is on its way out.

Wouldn't want SEA to be mixed up with that kind of a league.

Posted by IMO

2:20 PM, Jun 12, 2008

I guess the obvious lesson here is don't get stuck in the professional sports rooting business because in the end you realize that you were the irrelevant peanut gallery that just got basterdized by the owners, players, city, media, and their hanger-ons.

Posted by Fudazz

2:52 PM, Jun 12, 2008

You're absolutely right on Bob. With all the money in the NBA, with the Donaghy revelations, and being that Stern has revealed himself to be the kind of person he is, its a lot easier to believe that the NBA is league-wide dirty, than it is to believe this was one referee and one incident.

Wasn't it a Buffalo Springfield lyrics that went: "paranoia strikes deep, into your mind it will creep" ?

Posted by UW Alum

3:00 PM, Jun 12, 2008

Bob, thank god i'm not the only reader who remembers the screw that was game 7 of the 1993 western conference finals. Barkley took more free throws than the Sonics team. I'm normally not one for conspiracy theories but there seems to be an awful lot of games that are under question. I think David Stern is a snake and would love for the city to win it's lawsuit and stick it to him and Clay Bennett even if the team ends up moving. While this story is in regards to the NBA, somebody else needs to investigate the Pac 10 refs in general (football and basketball) because they are atrocious. I don't remember always being furious at the refs after the games when i was younger but they seem to have gotten worse and worse (they still manage to screw it up with replay half the time). Everybody knows the Pac 10 refs are a joke except the people who run the Pac 10 that is. I'm surprised Oklahoma would play any Pac 10 teams after the hose job at Autzen a few years ago.

Posted by Bob Condotta

3:56 PM, Jun 12, 2008

Greenwood --- I agree a little bit. But the Super Bowl has proven to get record ratings no matter who is in the game. Baseball also isn't quite as dependent on the success of the post-season for the success of the league the way the NBA is. And in neither sport do the officials wield the same power as they do in the NBA. I agree Pac-10 officiating needs oversight and we have written about that often on here and in the Times.

Posted by Bob Condotta

4:23 PM, Jun 12, 2008

Another thing I'll point out is that the Pac-10 has overhauled the oversight of both of its football and basketball referees in the last three years, so the conference has tried to do something. Basketball referees also work for several different conferences --- you see a lot of the same guys working in the WCC, or the Big 12 during the season --- so they are under scrutiny by more than just the Pac-10. I've written this on here before, but Pac-10 officials often grade out well nationally, often working the Final Four. Pac-10 official Verne Harris worked the UNC-Kansas game this year, for instance.

Posted by DarwinoverCrutch

5:10 PM, Jun 12, 2008

So who were the refs that called that Suns/Sonics game? I have vivid memories of that nightmare game, and all those slow-mo replays that showed Kevin Johnson driving to the hoop or a pull-up jumper and not getting touched by Payton or whoever......but the refs called a foul....over and fricken over.

Posted by AZ Dawg

5:10 PM, Jun 12, 2008

It tells you something when so many people remember the 1993 hose job. Maybe it's part of being a fan in Seattle but every NW team seems to get hosed by officials if the opportunity exists.

The only teams able to overcome this were the ones that were undeniably superior but if it's close - expect to be hosed.

Posted by mattysimone

5:26 PM, Jun 12, 2008

i wonder who has the better approval rating...bush or stern....if they still did that battle on mtv with the clay formations that would be a great one to see haha

Posted by Joseph1976

7:12 PM, Jun 12, 2008

Does anyone recall that Mavs - Sonics match up in Seattle some time back? I watched that in disgust. The calls in the 2nd half were just absurd. The Sonics even complained to the League office about how one-sided it was.

Posted by GoDucks

7:53 AM, Jun 13, 2008

I'll bet it would be telling to analyze the NBA playoffs back through the Jordan years to see how often the larger-market teams advanced over smaller-market teams. Especially when the larger-market teams were underdogs.

Posted by 206er

1:31 PM, Jun 13, 2008

screw stern! but just for a change of subject, i saw that the dawgs have made an offer for tyler honeycutt and he has us listed as high interest. i'm really curious what romar's plan is. it seems like we have a bunch of 6'4" to 6'7'' wing guys with not many bigs or pgs. these guys sound like great players, but it should be interesting to see how minutes shake out. i think this kid sounds like a good pickup though, if he does commit of course.

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