My Conspiracy Theory was Correct?

For those of you who know me well, you've probably heard me rant about how I thought the NBA was rigged. That said, I used to believe that games outcomes weren't steered, but controlled to a great degree. There are a lot of theories out there about how the game can be controlled...from salary cap breaks to things that simply make the game more entertaining, there is a lot of room and even some evidence of tampering.

My theory was elaborate, but plausible. The first element of my conspiracy was the officials. As we're seeing in each game of th 2008 playoffs, they can control the outcome of contests. For instance, we've seen 60 point swings during this year's playoffs in at least 3 series. I've heard for so long that the players are professionals...little things like crowds and environments simply don't affect athletes of this ilk. Well, if that's the case, something else is at play here...the foul counts don't help anything either.

The second layer of my theory was that the coaches were involved. Granted, not all coaches played along, but most do. Subtle changes in the rotation of players can make a big difference. We saw a bit of this last night as the Lakers held a slim lead and the Celtics came out of one of their last timeouts with only one of the big three in the game. Why would a coach do such a thing? Well, it's simple. That coach owes EVERYTHING to the NBA. What type of guy owes so much? An ex-player, of course. In fact, I can only count 7 coaches that didn't play in the league...most, in fact, had long, successful careers.

The third layer was that a superstar from each team needed to play ball wit the plan...this guy can't be just any good player, he needs to be a guy who, once again, feels somewhat in debt to the league for his status. I'm not talking about throwing the game, I'm talking about missing free throws, faking sickness or injury or even taking it easy from time to time.

Many have questioned my theory...and I understand them thinking I'm nuts. Afterall, we haven't heard a songbird come to the forefront and spout off about anything even close...until now.

Granted, this little birdie is a less-than reputable source in the fact that his character is clearly horrible...but even liars tell the truth sometimes. Tim Doneghy has started talking about various playoff series in which the league told officials, not just him, to keep certain players from playing their game. To some, this is sacrilege, but the story has legs as former Rockets coach was fined, and get this, $100,000, for complaining about officiating during the Rockets/Mavs series a few years ago.

This goes along with my vast theory as Van Gundy is just a good coach...not an ex-player. Like his brother who has also gotten into trouble with the league for complaining about officials, these two have never been tight-lipped about their displeasure about NBA officials...until last night.

If you saw the halftime story about Doneghy's account of the series in question, I found it laughable. Van Gundy wouldn't really talk about his problems with the refs and Stern's response, to me anyway, was not believable. Just like in the Roger Clemens case, the easiest thing to do is to start questioning the words of a proven liar...but what if both sides are liars? Then it comes down to the court of public opinion...Like a gameshow, Who's the Bigger Liar?

Regardless of what the public and eventually the legal system finds out, it doesn't matter who was the bigger liar...The biggest victims of such a conspiracy would be the fans first, and the game second.

Like all pessimists, I hope you can tell me I'm wrong someday...But I seriously doubt you'll be able to.

Damn you, Ronald!

I Take It Back...I Do Have Something To Root For