Why the NBA Still Has a Big-Time Referee Problem

What's Really Going On Here?

Let’s talk about what’s really going on here: the Miami Heat might be champions. Unless you’re a fat dude sitting court-side with “YMCMB” printed across your crewneck, the "Big 3" colluding for a ring totally bums you out. We get it. The Heat are ratings behemoths and they've benefited from a lot of calls which seem to set the stage for something sinister. But they've also been targeted by the Pacers, Celtics, and Knicks who want to put an elbow through Dwyane Wade’s smug sneer as much as you do. 

Saying professional basketball is fixed is like claiming 2Pac is still alive or that Barack Obama is the love child of Osama bin Laden and Jane Fonda, it’s conspiracy porn for lunatics. Referees in the NBA are just really bad at their jobs. Like clumsy waiters or drunken pilots, they just totally suck at what they do. The NBA would be better off cleaning house or handing the reigns over to some of those finalists from the Scripps Spelling Bee—those kids seem to have their shit together. 

Tim Donaghy was able to fix games under the same supposedly intense performance standards that today's NBA referees are measured against. That's scary. But if you look at the Heat-Celtics series there's nothing to suggest that game's are being fixed to beat a spread or get Miami a ring. Take, for example, Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals. In overtime, Paul Pierce received his sixth foul for sort of bumping Shane Battier on the offensive end. A minute later, Michael Pietrus grabbed LeBron James' crank, dragged him to the floor with it, and "The King" fouled out as a result. The game is being destroyed but not to benefit the Heat, or the Celtics, or David Stern. What you're watching is bad officiating begetting bad officiating, that's all.

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