With the Donahgy book coming out, and his ensuing publicity tour, many more people are becoming conscious of the idea that NBA officiating is not imaprtial. While almost everyone accepts that superstar players get the benefit of more calls, not too many people take the leap and realized that this fundamentally rigs the NBA.
Since the Lakers have Kobe Bryant, for example, they are pretty confident that their marquee player will not be in foul trouble. He also knows that he can drive with relative impunity since the calls will not go against him. Los Angeles also gets to count on being able to have their best player on the court when they need him, as opposed to him spending more time sitting on the bench with fouls.
I do not blame Kobe, he did not create this situation. Still, this provides a genuine disadvantage to a team lacking a "superstar." They need to play good enough to win by more than merely the score since 1 foul called or uncalled can amount to a 5 -6 point swing in the final minute of play. Since the opposing team knows that Kobe will get a beneficial whistle they will not play the same type of defense against him as they can with other players. While everyone fundamentally accepts that "star player" officiating rules exist, no one is doing anything about it.
If they were willing to deal with steroids, isn't this the kind of thing that Congress should be investigating? Basketball revenues are declining around the league. I feel that it is partially due to the economy, but that also it is due to the belief that there is no integrity in the game. If people start to feel that their team cannot get the calls against a Bryant, Wade, James or Garnett, then they are less likely to invest in their team. When the deck seems stacked only the cheaters and the ignorant stay in the hand.
While many are prone to dismiss Donaghy's allegations as a convicted fellon trying to squeeze a little more time in the limelight, we all know that at the very least, some of what he is saying is absolutely true. While it would be nice to hear his allegations from a reputable source, it is doubtful that an NBA ref trying to keep his pension and his job will speak out against the NBA. As such we would get these stories from someone less than desireable -- like Canseco and steroids.
Since the NBA stripped Donaghy of both his pension and his job he doesn't have a reason to be silent -- but I acknowledge that this doesn't mean he is telling the truth. Still, isn't there enough reason to petition congress to find out once and for all already?