Conspiracy Theorists Are Dead Wrong About the NBA
I don't get it. I read about conspiracy theories all the time. From 9/11 was an inside job to aliens to "false flags," I try to reasonably digest the possibilites, but I just can't wrap my head around them. This isn't to say I don't think cover-ups or conspiracies don't exist. In fact, history tells us they most certainly do. But there is a line my brain draws and it won't cross it, which is exactly how I feel about the NBA.
I can accept that some fixes were in when it comes to the association. I'm still convinced that they iced the envelope so that the Knicks could get Patrick Ewing with the first pick in the draft. But even with that choice, the Knicks never won a title.
It's the complication and flaw of conspiracy theories. They entice us just enough to make us believe the fix is in, especially in today's world of technology where every play is scrutinized and every call is second-guessed. It's always been that way to a degree, but never the way it is now. That's a serious problem for the NBA because perception is reality, but it's a bigger concern for fans, because if you truly believe the NBA is no different from pro wrestling, why do you watch?
Watching the Spurs lose last night to Miami and checking up on social media, it was clear that many fans simply believed David Stern would not allow the Spurs to win. The NBA needs game seven, they argue. It wants the Heat to win, they say.
But if the NBA truly wants to stretch out the Finals as long as possible, why have there only been 12 game sevens in the last 50 years? Shouldn't all of them go the distance? In fact, wouldn't that preclude a sweep? Except that there have been eight four-game sweeps in Finals history, the most recent by the Spurs in 2007.
When former NBA ref Tim Donaghy admitted he was involved in gambling on games and indicated other referees were as well, it created more problems for the league than just the immediate fallout. For years, the game has been speeding up and officials have been struggling to keep up. The game is too fast for them and they often give deference to veterans and stars. But that has been the case for as long as the NBA has been in existence.