NBA Refs, Coaches Too Friendly?

Every once in a while, tWWL has an article worth reading, and I think this one is the most recent one. Disgraced NBA ref alleged recently that some of his former peers worked with ‘league officials’ to affect the outcome of games, specifically to make playoff series go to seven games (here’s some math that might back it up). Of concern now is the fact that some referees are too friendly with coaches and players, raising concerns of favoritism or other types of leverage.

A prominent former NBA coach who asked not to be identified tells ESPN that in the fourth quarter of a playoff game against the Bulls, he heard a high-profile ref say to Michael Jordan, “Can I get your shoes after the game?”

It seems to run pretty deep.

Karl remembers a scene he witnessed in the NBA store in New York about five years ago. It still bothers him.

“There were a couple of NBA officials in the store, and they were asking for autographs from players. And I’ve heard the stories that they ask for socks and ask for jerseys to be signed, and I’m hoping it’s all for charity,” he recalls with an uncomfortable laugh. “I’m hoping it’s all for the good of giving back to the game. But it worries me. It worries me that a young official in this league has a charity or has a foundation for giving back. Sometimes, I think it’s for themselves. I didn’t like it.”

This isn’t going away, and if I’m in charge of the NBA, I might considering doing a little bit more about it so I don’t seem to be standing still/covering up. Just a thought.

Asked if he believes Donaghy is the only referee guilty of manipulating games, Karl squirms before he answers. He leans forward, then back. He sighs. He shakes his head and finally offers, “I don’t know how to answer that question without getting fined.”

You just did, George.