Of crooked refs and cool blues
Dreary rainy day here in this garden spot, kind of like the mood around the league office, I’d presume.
Tim Donaghy’s back in the news.
Here’s the story that’s got everyone buzzing; what deadspin says are excerpt from a book that the publisher won’t publish because its legal department had enough qualms about some of the allegations it wasn’t worth putting out a book that probably would have made millions.
The details are quite titillating, but really nothing much more than what conspiracy theorists – some of whom cash cheques from NBA teams – have been thinking for years.
The league’s going to let former federal prosecutor Lawrence Pedowitz, who did an independent investigation when Donaghy was first arrested and sentenced, look at the charges; the FBI and American federal officials say they are aware of the story but nothing else.
What do I think?
I think Donaghy is a scum felon trying to make a buck off his story; I would be more impressed had he made these specific allegations while under oath – and subject to perjury laws – during the first phase of this sordid story because that would have lent them a level of gravitas they don’t now have being in a book that a renowned publishing house won’t publish because it doesn’t seem to believe what’s written.
Are all refs crooked?
No. Not at all.
Do they make bad calls?
Is the perception there that they favour star players? Without question. And has been for decades and decades.
Do refs have issues with players they see a handful of times a year?
I’m sure they do. But I don’t think they go out of their way to screw them over.
And to me, the thought that David Stern is some magician behind the curtain, pulling strings in New York to get the desired result of games, is preposterous.
Do you think he’s stupid enough to risk a multi-billion dollar business for the sake of making a few more million? If you do, then nothing anyone says will sway you.
There’ve been too many San Antonio-Detroit and Houston-New York finals, too many playoff sweeps, to make me think even the outcome of series are pre-determined. Heck, the guy couldn't even get Kobe-LeBron last June.
Look, Tim Donaghy had his chance to make these allegations when authorities could get at him and he didn’t. The FBI, which doesn’t mess around and sweep things under the rug, had him and talked to him and decided not to charge another soul.
I’m sure, if they could have, the publishers would have verified the details and had a best-seller on their hands. It couldn’t. It didn’t.
It’s juicy gossip brought to you by a convicted felon.
Of course, there will be vehement disagreement with this stance, I’m sure. The conspiracy theorists have been around for years and years and will be for years and years to come. It’s part of the dynamic of the game, I guess, and something we have to live with.
B.B. King’s for B.B. King wheat lager and some excellent catfish with the blues playing and the TV on the ball game is a pretty neat way to spend a night, by the way.
Sometime, this job can be pretty good; tomorrow, with the 3:30 a.m. wakeup call to catch a flight to Chicago and then home to cover two practices might diffuse some of that enthusiasm.
But, yeah, it can be pretty good.
Here’s one thing to watch when you see Marco Belinelli play.
Specifically, his head when he takes catch-and-shoot jump shots, or any jump shot, for that matter.
I’m told the one thing the coaching staff is working on more than anything else with Belinelli is keeping him from tilting his head back when he shoots.
When he does, it takes all the arc off what becomes his line-drive jump shot and if he makes it, it’s usually blind luck.
The coaches tell me it’s not horrible that he seems to shoot a fadeaway as a matter of course but only if his head stays at least level.
After each of the last couple practices I’ve been to, Belinelli’s been on of the last guys on the floor, getting up extra jumpers and working on that head thing.
Hmm, I’m two doors down from the Elvis Presley suite here in my hotel.
Wonder if he’s there?
Haven’t seen a room service tray with the remnants of peanut butter and banana sandwiches but you never know.
Speaking of Memphis, here’s what they’re reading in the local paper today.
So, they did Belinelli’s contract, which was a no-brainer, but there’s no official word yet on whether they’ll take the next step up the ladder with guard Quincy Douby.
It’s a big week for the good kid, if he’s still on the roster on Sunday, his partially-guaranteed deal becomes more fully guaranteed (I think it’s something in the neighbourhood of a guaranteed $200,000 but don’t quote me on that).
Not a lot of money in the grand scheme of things, no; but I bet it seems like, well, like something in the range of $200,000 to a young kid who can probably use it.
As a basketball decision, keeping him really won’t make a huge difference right now; it’s not like they’d go out and be able to sign someone with that money who’d come in and even remotely challenge for a spot in the rotation.
No, what they do with Quincy will be all about money and the possibility to do something much later on should they feel there’s a need to.
Wow, big weekend for those with long Raptors memories.
Hope to run into Damon Stoudamire today, he’s an assistant coach with the Grizzlies; and then Brendan Malone hits Toronto with Orlando.
Wonder if they’ll have any great 15th anniversary tales to tell?’
Don’t forget, a new episode of GruntTV should hit the air sometime around noon and we’ll be here to chat about the game and stuff at 4 p.m. your time, too.
Of course, seeing how the wind and rain that’s pelting the area now have already knocked out the cable and internet in my room once this morning, there may be some changes to that schedule.