38 thoughts on “My Blog Post History re the NBA

  1. That can be but not sure!

    Comment by Lehua -

  2. I was wondering what you were going to say about this since it came out. I think you kick ass and you are definitely one of the reasons that the Mavericks are one of my favorite teams!

    I knew that you, players, and coaches have been complaining for a reason over these BS calls and I always found it ridiculous that you were all fined and/or suspended, basically being told to shut up. I bet David Stern feels pretty stupid now that the truth came out and I think that he owes you guys a HUGE apology to say the least!

    Comment by Meredith -

  3. Absolutely amazing stuff. Your concern for the league shows so clearly and your referee criticism is just as clearly constructive. One more BIGGEE – please don\’t buy the Cubs. Buy the Pirates – they need you – desperately. Please, the Pirates.

    Comment by Bob Shaw -

  4. I recently read that Henry Hill, famous gangster turned rat, remember the movie Goodfellas. Anyway in his book he claims to have had an NBA ref in his \”pocket\” for any Knick game he wanted action in during the 70\’s. Maybe this has gone on longer than anyone predicts.

    Comment by Deeter -

  5. I recently read that Henry Hill, famous gangster turned rat, remember the movie Goodfellas. Anyway in his book he claims to have had an NBA ref in his \”pocket\” for any Knick game he wanted action in during the 70\’s. Maybe this has gone on longer than anyone predicts.

    Comment by Deeter -

  6. The warnings served via the home invasion robberies of Antoine Walker (Miami Heat) and Eddie Curry (New York Knicks) are directed to some other members of the point shaving conspiracy who may be running scared due to David Stern\’s desperate attempts to rid the game of gamblers. Fogitaboutit, Commish! The game is full of ex- and current players who took payoffs in high school and college long before they got to the NBA.

    Starting the investigation off by interviewing these guys would not be a bad idea if the Commish is really serious. But he has to know that the mob is not going to relinquish their chokehold on the league and it\’s players easily. And this weekend the mob sent a clear message to the co-conspirators: Keep quiet or else we will come after you!

    The situation with Tim Donaghy is the tip of the iceberg. If the Commish just takes the time to connect the dots then he will expose a wide range of players who are on the take. It\’s amazing that his Chief of Security (an ex-FBI agent) wasn\’t able to see this one coming. Oh well, I guess he and the Commish were too busy policing the Black NBA players\’ pre- and post-game jewelry and attire to notice that a significant number of those players and a considerable percentage of the league\’s white referees are involved in a major, league-wide point shaving conspiracy.

    And more often than not, when the Commish connects all of the dots he will undoubtedly notice that the common thread is the players\’ contact with the Gambino family and other Chicago gamblers by playing, growing up, or living in the Windy City.

    The West Coast summer league scuttle-butt is thick with rumors about major Eastern Conference All-Stars who are knee deep in this gambling scandal. Chief among these high profile point-shavers who David Stern knowingly allows to either coach, play, or participate in the ownership of a franchise in the NBA are:

    A) Dwayne Wade (Rumor has it that he took payoffs at Marquette just to make ends meet so that he could feed his wife and baby at the time. And know D Wade always has the ball in his hands at the end of games and he always seems to get the calls. This is the perfect recipe for point shaving!);
    B) Chris Webber (Witness his famous time out call during the NCAA finals and his proven involvement with a Detroit gambler during high school and college);
    C) Jalen Rose (He did all the things that Chris did except call the bone head time out,. Plus he\’s from Chicago and is rumored to have gotten involved with gambling and the Gambino\’s back in high school);
    D) Isaiah Thomas (Long time addicted poker player, rumor has it that Isaiah, a native Chicagoan, is the Gambino family\’s recruiter among NBA players, refs, and coaches);
    E) Michael Jordan (Long time addicted poker player and golf gambler who often stiffed (Gambino family) mobsters on betting losses. Rumor has it that his dad may have been killed as a result. During the 1990s Mike had the opportunity to be the ultimate point shaver during the NBA Finals. Could it be?)
    F) Keyon Dooling (Chicagoan who played with the Miami Heat during the time that the fix was in with Donaghy);
    G) Quentin Richardson (Chicagoan and Dooling best friend who played with the Knicks during the time that the fix was in with Donaghy);
    H) Reggie Theus (Ex-Chicago Bull and University of Las Vegas player, during the point-shaving, Jerry Tarkanian era, was long rumored to be in the Gambino\’s pocket during his Bulls career; nobody noticed because they were losers then);
    I) Caron Butler (Ex-(?) Crip who came into contact with gamblers and point shaving during his adolsecence in Racine, Wisconsin. Later learned to hone his point-shaving talents at UConn(victs) in the NCAA. Later played for the Miami Heat during the time that the fix was in with Donaghy. Donaghy did a lot of Heat and Knicks games);
    J) Juwan Howard (Chicagoan who played wit Jalen and Chris – he and Chris were the best of friends; he and Jalen knew each other from playing in high school and being on the take back then).

    If the dish on the West Coast is correct, NBA security is already looking at some or all of these guys in what will become a major rush to exorcise the demons before next season. The list of players names that continually come up when you ask off the record about point shaving includes members just every franchise. And the list of referees may include as many as one-third of the current working force if the whispering campaign in Los Angeles can be believed. ABC/ESPN – many of their respective execs live in LA and are presumably privy to the same rumors that are swirling around the courts and locker rooms here – are already bristling at the impact of this scandal. As they say in TVland, stay tuned…

    Comment by Ramon Capone -

  7. David Stern better come correct fast because the referee gambling scandal is already spreading right before his eyes. Recently, the mob moved in on Antoine Walker of the Miami Heat and Eddy Curry of the New York Knicks. Both of these players were victimized over the weekend by \’random\’ home invasions where cars, cash, and jewelry were taken. Thank God no one was hurt.

    Why are these occurrences connected to the referee gambling scandal? Note the following pieces of evidence:

    A) The referee in question was under the thumb of the Chicago based Gambino crime family;

    B) A considerable percentage of the games that he worked over his 13-year career involved the Knicks, the Heat, or both (see Covers.com for proof of this fact);

    C) Both Antoine Walker and Eddie Curry are from Chicago and may have mob ties independent of the referee\’s, e.g. they may have been mob guys to start with;

    D) The home invasions that the players endured were about the mob taking back the spoils from the point-shaving that\’s been going on between these players and teams for years;

    E) The last thing that mob wants to do is hurt these players because they will undoubtedly want to use them again later in future point-shaving schemes;

    F) The referee in question worked a recent game between these teams where the Knicks pulled off an unlikely victory and \’surprisingly\’ beat the point spread. Miraculously the Knicks shot 39 free throws and the Heat shot only 6 in the whole game (see Covers.com);

    G) Expect Dwayne Wade to wind up being involved in some way – maybe he better upgrade his home security system. D Wade is from Chicago, gets an awful lot of \’phantom calls\’ from the refs in general, and is in a great position to shave points because he gets a lot of calls and he usually has the ball in his hands at the end of games;

    H) Isaiah Thomas, coach of the Knicks, is an addicted gambler who also has been a subject of whispering campaigns about potential mob ties. Witness his perpetual poker debts all over Detroit, New York, Chicago, and Vegas, not to mention his phantom throwaway pass on an in-bound play against the Celtics in 1987 (?). He literally handed the ball to Larry Bird to the amazement of all in attendance and the Pistons went on to lose. Many think Isaiah won big anyway because of the gambling payoff that he got after that season.

    I) Dont forget that even the great Michael Jordan fell victim to the Chicago mob because of his addiction to poker and gambling on his less than average golf skills. Michael and his dad often lost bets at both pursuits and refused to pay off their debts until mobsters executed a contract on his father. After that, Mike belonged to the Chicago mob lock, stock, and (gun) barrel. In fact a whole lot of the seed capital for his sports apparel business and his partially NBA franchise ownership came from the Chicago mob. Mike is basically a front for \’Tony Soprano\’. As a result Mike had to give in to the gamblers who wanted him to throw a Championship series or two so that they could make big money. Instead, Mike ended up doing the next best thing; he decided to pretend to play pro baseball for two years instead. Even though, he initially said that he was retiring from the NBA to spend more time with his family. Yeah, right! He and Juanita were already on the outs by then because of all of the time and money that Mike was spending on his Caucasian and Asian mistresses.

    Truth or crazy conspiracy? We\’ll see soon. Stay tuned for the upcoming home invasion of D Wade\’s crib. And he probably thought that he pulled Hoops and knocked her up all with his \’game\’. WRONG! The sent her to him like a two-bit ho so that they would have one more layer control over his career and his life. Yo, D Wade, you know they got pictures….

    Comment by Ramon Capone -

  8. Wow, you sure have an irrational hate for NBA refs. What have they ever done wrong?

    Comment by Mitchell Blatt -

  9. Pretty much the first thing I thought when I heard the news about the scandal… why didn\’t they listen to Cuban. WHY?!?! WHYYYY

    Comment by Ken -

  10. I was wrong you were right, I\’m sorry 🙁

    Comment by David Stern -

  11. Does Mark Cuban get his money refunded for questioning the integrety of NBA refs? Fair question i think.

    Comment by Michael Roundy -

  12. Hey Mark, you nailed it . Its just a shame if the allegations are true and even more a shame if they arent. It will be a long time before any fan sees a close game and doesnt wonder. A long long long time. Thanks for the thoughts

    Comment by Frankie from Lawnside -

  13. Sometimes stuff like this gets blown out of porportion, yes a ref can push a game one way or another with early fouls on certain players etc,,,,but like in the Pete Rose deal the thing that gets overlooked is the information they have within the profession. wins and losses are important to organizations, spreads are usually won and lost by the mop up crews in the fourth quarter anyway. If you ask me the major concern for the Mavericks should be is, why didn\’t they go inside at all against the Warriors,,,,,,,,made no sense at all,,,,,,

    Comment by Mark Rivers (Singer) -

  14. A ref overtly cheating the game was not noticed because so many of the refs, and the people supervising them are really bad at their jobs. My fear is that everyone will run around focusing on the \”problem\” of a gambling ref and ignore the real disease of horrible officiating.

    Comment by Charlie -

  15. i used to laugh at the conspiracy theorists. i guess that was just me being naive. this is really ugly and sad for the NBA. like most, for the sake of the game, i hope to god it was just this one ref who was a bad apple. if there are more refs involved, the s*** is really gonna hit the fan (pardon the pun).

    Comment by sandman -

  16. This post is in response to comment # 16 I\’m a huge Stern fan and do not believe that Stern should be held accountable for the mobs strong arm influence on ref!
    Throughout Sterns tenure in the NBA he has strengthened the brand, expanded internationally (consumption of nba content), taken the game both global and \’mobile\'(riding the web 2.0 wave), and embraced technology to its fullest – something few commissioners have been able to match in scope but should as it only benefits the consumers!

    Comment by Jesse Sternberg -

  17. One of my points made no sense- non-calls obviously won\’t make the foul totals look less lopsided.

    I didn\’t see the Stern press conference, just read some excerpts, but did anyone ask him about yesterday\’s NY Times report of the NBA investigating Donaghy 2 years ago for alleged gambling activities? I have not seen that mentioned anywhere but the NY Times story itself…

    Comment by Ryan -

  18. I think its interesting that people have assumed that most NBA refs are just bad at their jobs. Being bad at your job is actually a decent cover for altering the outcome of a game, especially if there is very little accountability over your competence. I also think one way that crooked calls can be vetted fairly easily is by who made the call, and where the ref was standing. When Donaghy makes a late call for Ginobli 50 feet away from the play, that is suspicious. When Bennett Salvatore, standing 40 feet away from the play, calls a bail out foul for Dwayne Wade at the end of a 2006 Finals game, that is suspicious. It doesn\’t definitively mean something, but it is suspicious, and should be noted along with other facts.

    Whoever goes through and vets the current refs should look very closely at who makes key calls to send a marquee player to the bench with foul trouble. BTW, that\’s Eddie Rush making the bogus call for Amare Stoudamire\’s 4th foul at the very beginning of the 2nd half- HUGE call… on a marquee player… with Fabricio Oberto flopping.

    Certainly technical fouls deserve close scrutiny.

    And I believe that after getting key players in foul trouble, non-calls are probably the next most important variable if you want to swing a game. They don\’t show up in statistics, unlike fouls. Your overall foul count doesn\’t look quite as lopsided as it actually was. And, the team that you are favoring quickly become even more aggressive.

    My favorite non-call from the Suns-Spurs game 3 was where Nash is driving the lane, gets hacked by both Bowen and Horry about 5 five in front of Eddie Rush who has an unobstructed view.

    And back to whole rogue ref thing- obviously, it is easier to fix a game with at least two refs in on it, if not the whole crew. They need to vet every single ref that worked with Donaghy, and look very closely at the things mentioned.

    But the problem is, Stern desperately wants us to believe it was only one bad ref- and he has staked a big chunk of his personal reputation on it- so really, he has major motivation to NOT perform a serious investigation of other refs. I don\’t know that the FBI will have major incentive to investigate other refs, either. They want Donaghy to rat on mobsters, and go up the ladder, not necessarily to blow the whistle on fellow refs.

    So who is going to perform an intelligent and thorough investigation of CURRENT referees?

    That has to be the most important question right now.

    Comment by Ryan -

  19. Mark,

    A while back you talked about starting an alternative professional football league. Seems that the present NBA scandal opens an opportunity for an alternative professional basketball league. The referee game-fixing scandal makes a league with aleady low credibility look even worse. It will takes years to recover from this (if ever), especially because NBA referees have been questioned for so many years. It\’s the league\’s own fault, implictly allowing special rules for super-stars (i.e., did Jordan ever get called for traveling?) has given rise to the suspition among many that the sport was never on the level. This will be the final straw. It\’s the beginning of the end.

    Comment by Scott Lewis -

  20. Yes, the NBA has serious problems. Its sad, cause I love it so much. Maybe this will encourage them to make radical changes. I still think the biggest change is the commercials. Thankfully, I think this will change rapidly, now that HBO has shown that On Demand is the wave of the future.

    Anyone interested in starting a new tv station that would broadcast NBA games on a commercial-free, pay-per-view basis? We could charge on a team by team basis, say $5 a game, or, 82 games for $400. Imagine if the Mavs games were commercial free. They would be 1 1/2 long, with uninterrupted game play, more players playing, and attendance would increase since the games would be shorter. And the LEAGUE would survive. God, it makes so much sense, it will never work!

    Comment by John-PArk Williams -

  21. refs. how does one ever begin to comment on these guys.

    Comment by [ cmg ] -

  22. Stern should be fired immediately! Let\’s remember the fish always rots from the head down.

    Comment by Mary Clemente -

  23. Why am I not seeing anyone call for the resignation of David Stern? To me the real story is not that there is a criminal ref, but that it is so hard to catch him. All of this has been brought up by Mark and analyzed thoroughly. Crap NBA refs have to be the number one reason why the ratings for the NBA have declined so far. The NFL and NASCARs ratings have remained stable or increased; you can do it in the internet, 500 channel world.

    It is no longer 1998, Stern\’s time has passed. Bird, Magic, and Jordan were the reason for the NBA\’s 15 year run. It is over. If someone ran a company with the arrogance toward their problems as Stern, he would be fired. The quality of the product is way off. You can thank a league that rewards individual play and allows the refs to decide games. Having a bet on a game is not the only incentive to call games based on ones personal preference.

    Comment by Chris Price -

  24. Well my comment is not related to NBA but thank you for introducing me a new search site.

    Comment by Daniel -

  25. FWIW, Mark, one could make a compelling argument that Miami suffered this season as a result of Donaghy:


    But then again, none of those games were NBA Finals contests.

    Finally, a comment that I posted to my own blog, in response to a couple of readers:

    \”I have a friend from high school who has to travel almost every week for business. He was scheduled to get on an airplane within days of 9/11, and I asked him if he was nervous about it.

    \”Hell, no,\” he said. \”There\’s probably been no safer time to fly in the history of the United States!\”

    Think about it. National Guardsmen in every airport, a renewed scrutiny during check-in, everybody on edge and forcing themselves to pay attention to the little things. It took a national tragedy to change the way we viewed air travel, but his point was dead-on.

    On a much smaller scale, isn\’t there a connection with the Donaghy case? Will this not be the single most carefully scrutinized season in NBA history, in terms of officiating? Don\’t you think the league will go completely freaking overboard to make sure that EVERYTHING is accounted for? Hell, they might actually start disciplining the crappy refs. Imagine that.

    Short term, it\’s a disaster. Long term, it might save the league. Chew on that one for a while.\”

    You watch — the current refs will be under the microscope this season like never before. That cannot be a bad thing, not for those of us who still love this game.

    Comment by Whit Watson -

  26. You were vindicated. Hopefully now you will be able to win a champ. ring.

    You should be reimbursed for the fine you got when you said that the Mia. Dallas series was rigged. You were right.

    Comment by gary oliveira -

  27. I always felt that as long as you\’re the owner of the Dallas Mavs. you won\’t see a champ. ring. the refs and the league officials don\’t like you because of your outspokenness about them.

    I felt you should had won against Miami and Golden State. You even accused the Miami series of being rigged and you were fined I believe $250.00. The recent ref. scandel vindicates you. Hopefully now you have a chance to win a ring.


    Comment by gary oliveira -

  28. i thought it interesting to read your post from 6/13/05:

    \”Larry Brown raised the point after game 2 vs the Spurs that the Pistons were 1-7 when Danny Crawford or Ron Garretson officiated their playoff games. Of course we all know that it\’s just happenstance that its turned out that way.\”

    also, that the mavericks, as of that post, were 0-8 in games with danny crawford.

    Comment by dan -

  29. Just when I was finally getting over game 5 of the \’06 finals, now I have to go through it again. Thanks a lot Mark.

    Comment by Patrick -

  30. interestingly enough, this scandal has reinvigorated my interest in basketball. i\’m 27, and haven\’t watched ball since i stopped playing after high school ball. i\’ve found this the way with my peer group as well. it isn\’t an indictment of the product, but rather that sports consumption exists in a different world with a different set of rules than just 10-15 years ago.

    i watched basketball a little bit after the pacers brawl. the media attention brought basketball to my mind again and caused me to watch a few games. then i stopped.

    this scandal with the ref invigorated my interest in ball so i decided to see if some high school friends of mine who\’d made some teams in the league were still playing. that caused me to watch a few summer games just recently. i\’m done with that though – having been away from the game – i just didn\’t find watching a sport exciting anymore. i\’d rather play if anything.

    i don\’t think this will hurt basketball. the hardcore guys are too invested to stay away long, and the casual fans go where the excitement is. this would have been better served if this were december or whereabouts – or if he were caught cheating in game. wow, that would have made for great reinvigoration.

    i think it was sun tzu who said that at sufficient distance appearance is indistinguishable from reality. people like to watch train wrecks… we\’re constantly mesmerized by chaos before us. it\’s an uncomfortable aspect of human nature – but we all stand around the twisted macabre car wreck.

    i\’m a cynic – but if i ran the nba i\’d have a department dedicated to regularly bolstering our numbers by using the press as method of free press – by giving the public a dose of what they really want – something to GOSSIP about. i\’d be naive to consider that something like this doesn\’t already exist.

    Comment by blyx -

  31. Strangely, I don\’t think this is bad for the NBA. This is an extremely intriguing story that won\’t go away for years. The media attention is going to help the league.

    As a huge basketball fan, I don\’t find the NBA refereeing as bad as everyone says. I have played enough in my life to realize how hard that job is. The league does need to develop a more consistant rule set that is easy to call and called the same way every time. Instant replay, although problematic, will add credibility. Computer technology, combined with rule changes, can help with out of bounds, 3 second violations, lane violations on free throws, and more. Why leave anything up to the refs that doesn\’t require a human judgement?

    Basketball is such a good sport that the league will overcome this and any other obstacle it faces.

    Comment by Dave -

  32. If the FBI is investigating,then why not add some fodder!!!

    The following games I have randomly selected that seemingly the officials controlled :

    19 March 2006 – Orlando at Atlanta – over/under total was posted 192.5 – combined score total the first half 116 pts,though 76 the 2nd half,though went to OT to send it over. Officiating crew: Jim Clark, Mark Ayotte, Sean Corbin

    13 November 2005 – Minnesota at Denver – over under total posted was 186. Check out the final 4 minutes of this game that end over 91-102. Unbelievable!!! Officiating crew: Bennett Salvatore, Courtney Kirkland, Marc Davis

    23 March 2003 – Washington at Golden State – Washington was 5 pt underdogs and seemingly secure in covering, until there last two possessions and got beat 107-113. Officiating crew: Jack Nies, Leon Wood, Tony Brothers

    31 March 2007 – Knicks at New Orleans – Spreads were 8/189.5 and game ended regulation 92 all. In OT New Orleans scored 11 Knicks 2 sending a reversal of fortunes the other way. Officiating crew: Derek Richardson, Gary Zielinski, Joe Derosh

    19 March 2006 – Lakers at Cleveland – Posted over/under total 194. Combined score at the half 112. 2nd half 79. You do the math. Officiating crew: Dan Crawford, David Jones, Ed Malloy

    Or some college hoops

    3 February 2006 – Brown at Penn – Posted Penn favored by 20. Penn was outscored in final 5 minutes 4-17 score ended 51-68 Penn. Officiating crew: Fran Connolly, Jeff Nichols, Reggie Greenwood

    6 January 2007 – Iona at Loyola-Maryland spread was Loyola-MD favored by 12 and over/under total 129. Final score 66-75. In the final 3 minutes and 50 seconds both teams scored a combined 38 POINTS. Officiating crew: Brian O\’Connell, Gene Steratore, Jeff Smith

    Comment by Peter Miller -

  33. I think this is just a microcosm of what the American culture has become. When found in situations that cause great distress, it seems individuals elect the easy rather than the smart route to solutions.

    Before I address the league I want to address players for a second. The NBA has so many amazing ambassadors that promote community, good behavior and family. My plea to all NBA Players, please follow the examples of other players and become an example yourself! You were blessed with talent and resources (NBA Contract) to promote the positive qualities we as people embody. Our inner cities, country towns and suburban communities need you, it only takes one example to make a difference!

    As in my former response, I think the NBA has an opportunity to implement some great new ways to improve the game. Here are my top 5.

    1. I think the NBA should implement an emotional control simulation aspect to official training. The Tim Duncan ejection this year is a perfect example why such a measure is need. Basketball is a game fueled by the emotion of a 10 point run, big dunks, sick passing, hot shooting and high energy defensive stops. Being upset about a tough call is a part of the game. Players need to be responsible to say \”F***, yeah I did it\” and own the fouls but its not an officials responsibility to dictate the energy \”leadership\” of players or teams because they took something personally.

    2. Basketball is a mutual contact sport. If that mutual contact leads to a tough shot, that does not equate a foul. What I have a huge problem with is the anticipation call that doesnt occur. Officials should be required to SEE the foul (superstar or bench player).

    3. I think the arc under the hoop needs to be constricted 6-8 inches. How many times are guys clearly in position to take a charge, yet get assessed the foul? Protecting player safety at the rim is extremely important. This adjustment would still address safety but gives defense an opportunity to be rewarded for good play.

    4. I think the NBA should require arenas to extend the court buffer 18 inches. Moving benches, media and fans back would increase a couple items. Falling into the fans and media is a hazard. I think this would inspire players to go harder to the ball at the rim and sideline areas, with less worry of an injury. This would also address part of the leaving the bench debate. Giving players a little more room to move in the bench area is important. Often that first step reaction is what gets players in trouble. The choice is made in a split second. That extra 18 inches gives the officials the feeling of more control of the court, coaches have more room to operate/separate from officials and it would have saved Amarie and Boris in the playoffs.

    5. I think the NBA needs to implement a financial planning segment of their office. Too many players are leaving the game with nothing at the end of their career. Help educate and formulate retirement plans and responsible spending.

    I want to work for you Mark, I am an idea machine my friend!

    Jerry R. Reynolds
    Alimoe Developing

    Comment by Jerry R. Reynolds -

  34. I hope for the NBA\’s sake this is an isolated individual. The NBA game is too good to be tainted by a huge scandal.

    Comment by Jason -

  35. This is a slight \”I told you so,\” and I think well deserved. I am glad, however, to see that you say this is a time for the NBA to learn … rather than gloat over the fact that you\’re right when it comes to NBA refs controlling games. I\’m not saying they\’re all betting, but it\’s obvious to see a ref can have a major impact on a game.

    Comment by Billy -

  36. Hey Mark do these recent alegations make you feel any diffent about the Mavs Heat Finals? I looked back on your favorite website (youtube) and i cant help but think what if. Just wondering about your thoughts.

    Comment by Irazaad -

  37. Pithy and prescient comments. It would be great to be able to model your success in sports and entertainment, Mark. Where would one start?

    Comment by Chuck -

  38. ice rocket at it\’s best

    Comment by jeff -

Comments are closed.