Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Where there's smoke...

I've kept this thing on a basketball shtick lately, which is weird. But the news that broke about the accusations made by troubled former-NBA official Tim Donaghy that the NBA fixed playoff series' is big news. And while it's gotten quite a bit of press, this blows Major League Baseball's steroids problem out of the water. I mean the parallels are hauntingly similar. Donaghy is, as noted by several outlets, the NBA's Jose Canseco. Shunned at first, Canseco admitted his guilt, then took everybody down with him. Now Donaghy is in the same situation ... only Donaghy has to tell the truth.

Think about it. The only thing that can possibly help this guy is if he tells authorities what he knows. He's under oath. The ONLY thing that can hurt him any more than he's already hurt himself is if he had the nerve to lie. The NBA and it's front office knows very well that the public perception of Donaghy is that he is a no-good liar. That may have been true when he deceived so many in an attempt to pocket some extra cash. But there's no way in hell that this is the only guy involved. NO POSSIBLE WAY! At this point it's tough to say that the NBA had anything to do with it. But at the same time, it's just as tough to think they didn't, as the allegations make perfect sense from a revenue standpoint.

And fixing a playoff series or two is quantifiable. It's not an "Oh, [insert HGH user] hits a few homers or fans a couple more No. 8 hitters every year" type of problem. This is a big, big money problem.

So it all comes back to the Canseco parallel. Donaghy gets popped and takes the heat for everyone involved. Banking on the court of public opinion that the guy's a liar, the NBA pulls a Palmiero, and files suit for a million large. That's about like pointing your finger at a Congressman and swearing you had nothing to do with it. This reeks of a grade school situation when you're caught in a lie and the only way out is to sell that lie with everything you've got. Because whether or not the NBA knew anything about the problem, then what they do know is that a fraudulent outcome to multiple playoff series' and the very altering of NBA history is worth a lot more than $1 million.

Right now, the NBA is all-in. While we don't know how the cards are gonna fall, Mr. Stern ain't bluffin' me.

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