Friday, June 13, 2008

Foul call

I'm not so certain I believe him reagarding this.

Ask any Spurs fan.

Commissioner Stern: NBA Referees Don't Manipulate Games

LOS ANGELES (AP) -David Stern came to the defense of his beleaguered referees again Thursday, saying they don't manipulate games or engage in other criminal activity.

Speaking to the media at an NBA finals that has been increasingly overshadowed by the Tim Donaghy scandal, the commissioner said Game 6 of the 2002 Western Conference finals might have been officiated poorly, but honestly and not illegally.

Donaghy claimed this week in a court filing that two "company men" worked that game, in which the Los Angeles Lakers used a huge free-throw advantage in the fourth quarter to avoid elimination against Sacramento.

"The allegations about that are incorrect," Stern said. "Not true."

He said he felt bad for Boston and Los Angeles players in the finals, and especially the officials who have to "defend themselves against allegations by one of their fallen brethren."

Stern acknowledged the FBI investigation into Donaghy's claims did include questions about Dick Bavetta, one of the officials who worked that game, but reiterated the message he has repeated for a year, saying, "the only person now being sentenced for a crime is Mr. Donaghy."

Donaghy admitted to betting on games he officiated, taking cash payments from associates and providing them information to win their bets.

Scheduled to be sentenced next month, Donaghy's making the league very uncomfortable in the meantime.
His latest accusations - that the league gave special treatment to star players and sought to extend series for better ratings, and that some officials enjoyed special relationships with players - have reignited of conspiracy theories.