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Friday, July 20, 2007
NBA fans' reaction puts Stern in hot seat

Outraged fans already are suggesting they receive refunds as a report surfaced that the FBI is investigating allegations that a veteran NBA referee bet on basketball games over the past two seasons, including ones in which he officiated. Whether the allegations prove true or false, fans say this inevitably puts the heat on commissioner David Stern to prove his league isn't being fixed.

This will lead to some of the most global changes ever in the NBA. The credibility of the officials was already shaky … probably at the top of the list for fans of problems with the NBA. To find out that even some of the conspiracy theories are correct the league will have to take some actions to ensure that none of them are true from now on. Some form of replay will have to be implemented. Some form of coach's challenge also. How they are going to do this without slowing the pace is beyond me. I think the solution is to let the players self-officiate just like in the gym and use officials only as timekeepers and line judges.
-- Hartshwk

Mafia has their hooks all over sports books ... what a colossal PR nightmare for the NBA if this pans out
-- m2nal4

I can't decide whether or I'm elated or depressed. As a die-hard fan, this doesn't surprise me at all. That's sad. But I'm elated because David Stern is getting what he's deserved. He has single-handedly ruined this league in the last 4 or 5 years by coddling his officials and not caring about how the fans feel about the game. If this brings on his resignation (which I seriously doubt though), maybe this story will have a silver lining.
-- HootieRules

THIS IS HUGE! This is a gigantic slap in the face of David Stern. He needs to step down and apologize to all the fans. I stopped watching the NBA 5 years ago, mainly because I felt the refs were controlling the game too much. Regular-season games are basic scrimmages, and the playoffs are a boring marathon of overpaid puppets.
-- castaneda90210

You guys are funny. Just because one guy is caught doing this, doesn't mean the whole league is corrupt. The conspiracy people will have a field day with this. So every time there is a bad call, folks are going to think the ref is on the take. You guys kill me. They are humans, not robots. Bad calls have been in sports for years. You could spend all day coming up with bad calls. It doesn't mean the game was fixed. It's an easy fix; randomly put the refs on a lie detector test. Problem solved.
-- azwildcat_1

Rasheed Wallace is very happy now. He is more vocal about the refs' errors than any other player. This makes the last two NBA seasons worthless. All of those conspiracy accusations I used to hear people say? I'm not laughing anymore. The NBA already mails in the regular season and now when they do play, it's fixed. The players need to PLAY. The game needs to be physical like it was in the '80s. Little or no ref involvement. No wussie flops. More hacking, more bodies on the floor. Let's go Bad Boys.
-- Chesterlemon1984

I don't doubt that these reports are true, nor that other NBA refs have bet on games. Observe how inconsistent the refereeing was in the playoffs over the last few years. At times it sure seemed like one team was being "helped" and these betting reports only reinforce my belief that the NBA playoffs are "fixable" to an extent.
-- Ixohoxi666

The allegation appears to be adjusting the point spread, not the outcome. Both are serious of course, but the latter is a MUCH bigger deal. I think we should wait till we find out all the details.
-- OneForTheThumb45

So, once we find out who this is, do they now go back to all his games worked, retract any technicals, ejections and fines that came because of him and give the players apologies and refunds? I would love to see Rasheed get a refund check and hold a press conference when he gets his apology :-).
-- robkay3

If this proves to be true, Stern will lay down the hammer. He'll have to. In the future, I predict some sort of replay system as a last resort of a disputed play, or as a result of a coach challenging the call. This might be a good thing.
-- Ballerina875