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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Ref Alleges Plot to Fix NBA Series - Using Shaq Free Throws

The urban legend that the NBA's referees favor one team over another so they can have exciting playoffs just got a bit saltier.

From FOX Sports:

The disgraced former NBA referee [Tim Donaghy] told authorities in a four-page letter released Tuesday that two officials conspired to fix the outcome of a 2002 playoff series and influenced several other post- and regular-season games.
According to the letter, the referees influenced an unnamed series, which could only be the Lakers-Kings series. From FOX:

"Personal fouls (resulting in obviously injured players) were ignored even when they occurred in full view of the referees," the document says of the unnamed series. "Conversely, the referees called made-up fouls on Team 5 in order to give additional free throw opportunities to Team 6."

Two players from Team 5 fouled out in the game, the document said, and the "referees' favoring of Team 6 led to that team's victory that night." Team 6 also went on to win Game 7 of the series, according to the document.

Scot Pollard (go Jayhawks!) and Vlade Divac both fouled out in Game 6. Shaq was the recipient of the ref's good-will, scoring 41 points and drawing most of the fouls that sent Pollard to the bench.

NBA Commissioner David Stern denies the allegations and says Donaghy is using this as an attempt to reduce his prison sentence after pleading guilty to felonies.

Here's my problem with this "plot." The plan to HELP the Lakers was to put Shaq ON the free-throw line? The guy with one of the lowest career free-throw percentages in NBA history? And what a shock that Pollard (sorry Jayhawk fans) would foul out. And Vlade Divac? Never met a foul he didn't commit. You're going to have to give me a little more than that before I start believing the conspiracy theories.

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