July 23, 2007

So you wanted more sports scandals?

by Dan Bilicki In: Basketball

If you thought that the world of sports hasn’t been rocked by enough scandals recently, you wish came true when the new surfaced that an NBA referee, Tim Donaghy, was betting on and influencing games that he was officiated. Even worse than that fact alone, is that several of the games were playoff games, most noticeably, the “are you sure this isn’t fixed?” series of Phoenix vs. San Antonio. Not to mention the fact that this has been going on for two seasons now; over 140 games have possibly been compromised.

So how huge is this? You would have to think that this is a lot worse for the league than the Michael Vick indictment because that didn’t involve football except for what his day job is. The same can be said for the Cincinnati Bengals as well as Pacman Jones and Tank Johnson because those were off-field issues. The Bertuzzi hit was a big black eye for hockey but not this big. Rick Tocchet and Janet Gretzky’s gambling ring is in the same ball park, but did they influence the outcomes of games to serve their needs? Pete Rose gambled on his sport, but when he did bet on the Reds, he bet on them to win so it’s wouldn’t be like throwing a game or point-shaving. This scandal has to rank up there, just past the aforementioned gambling scandals and just before the entire steroids in baseball scandal; huge, but not the biggest of all time.

**Note: I just thought of another comparison; the Black Sox scandal. It’s pretty close to being the same but still different considering the eras these travesties to the game took place.**

Needless to say, this is a huge blow to the game of basketball, especially when it was set to ring in a new era featuring phenoms like Greg Oden and Kevin Durant starting this fall. This is story that will never be swept aside; it can’t be. The name Tim Donaghy will be on the tips of our tongues and in the backs of our heads for quite some time to come and there’s no way that the NBA can rid us of that.

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