It’s Unfortunate. Unfortunate the NBA cannot fix what is wrong. But why should they? At this point in time, the NBA has it’s highest ratings and is making money “hand over fist” from the television networks. The league has never been at a higher point.
Then why am I, and others besides me, disgusted with the NBA? It has gotten to a point where other than the Cleveland Cavaliers, I cannot watch an other team I the league. The second team I would watch if I had to, would be the San Antonio Spurs. Ever year the Spurs play the type of basketball them game is meant to be played under. Moving the ball and defense. Do you see that in Oklahoma City? Golden State? Even in Cleveland?
There is an underlying problem in the NBA. Watching the playoff games over the years, but especially this past month has led me to believe the league has a real problem. Games are not being called by what the official sees. They apparently are being called simply to keep the games close. You don’t have to watch the first 46 minutes of the games, simply turn in to the final two minutes. That’s when the games are won or lost.
Tim Donaghy was an NBA referee for 13 years before resigning in 2007 amid a betting scandal that rocked the sport and tarnished the league’s reputation. He served 13 months in federal prison after admitting to taking money from a professional gambler in exchange for inside information on the league. The league has been trying to overcome this scandal ever since.
Yet to watch games, one has to wonder what the league thinks is good and proper officiating. Phantom fouls, fouls not called, traveling never called. Even after viewing replay, what is a common foul or flagrant. Certainly the home court advantage is real, but not to the extent it has become. Yes when you play at home our in your own beds, home with the wife, driving your own car. But there is also the distractions. Family obligations such as paying bills, kids, providing tickets to friends and family.
Yet lets use the Washington-Boston series that will end tonight with Game 7. Not a win by the road team in this series. Yes they are evenly matched, yet with the exception of game six, no game has even been close. Sunday San Antonio blew a 25 point lead on the road with Golden State. Kawhi Leonard went down with an ankle injury, and while there is little evidence Warriors big man Zaza Pachulia purposely caused the injury, it raises a bigger question.
The way the game has gone, with the explosion of perimeter shooting and the prominence of the 3-pointer in today’s NBA, there are more and more instances of late close-outs defensively. Something the teach in the NBA now, which leads to more and more awkwardness for big men trying to defend on the outside. That will lead to more injuries like the one Leonard suffered. Yet no calls are being made.
If calling the game correctly is the priority, the league will have to bump up its toughness on these plays. And others.
AND ANOTHER THING……… Former MLB Umpire Steve Palermo, whose distinguished career ended when he was shot trying to break up a robbery in 1991after doing a game in Texas, has died. Palermo, who lived in the Kansas City area, had been ill with cancer.
It seems odd, yet after spewing my feelings of ineptness by NBA officials, Palermo was one of the best. Palermo broke into the majors late in the 1976 season after only five years in the minors, joining the American League staff the next year. He worked the 1983 World Series, the playoffs several times and an All-Star Game.
On July 7, 1991, Palermo was having a late-night meal in Dallas when two servers who had just left the restaurant were mugged. Palermo chased the attackers and was shot, leaving him paralyzed from the waist down. Palermo did regain limited use of this legs and even threw out the first pitch of the 1991 World Series in Minneapolis. Steve Palermo was 67.
Dave Mitchell co-hosts with Mark Donahue the UST talk show “Ohio Baseball Weekly,” highlighting the Cleveland Indians and Cincinnati Reds. The Show is at 9pm every Monday evening. He also provides play by play of sports. If you have a comment on this or any other article,email Dave at firstname.lastname@example.org or on twitter @ohbbcohost or @ultsportstalk.