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View Full Version : Van Gundy isn't the problem, refs are


quake99
05-04-2005, 09:20 PM
http://msn.foxsports.com/nba/story/3588876

Kevin Hench / FOXSports.com
Posted: 1 day ago



OK, David Stern, you made your point.

You don't want NBA coaches talking publicly about the terrible officiating in the NBA. You don't want NBA coaches protecting their sources on inside information about the terrible officiating in the NBA. You don't want hardworking, passionate, decent men coaching in the NBA if they are going to be so impolitic as to point out the terrible officiating in the NBA.
Now, do you have any plans to actually do anything about the terrible officiating in the NBA?

If Jeff Van Gundy can be fined $100,000 for suggesting that he was tipped off by an NBA ref that the league was going to be "looking harder at Yao" in the playoffs — which may very well be true — then what does Mr. Stern propose to do about the unconscionable sixth foul called on Tim Duncan in last night's overtime against Denver?




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With two minutes gone in OT, Carmelo Anthony slipped and fell — in the same spot that Andre Miller slipped earlier, by the way — and so the whistle blew. Why? Because the whistle always blows. (Unless it absolutely should, in which case it is often swallowed.) And when the whistle blows, everything stops. And everyone looks at the official who only then realizes the gravity of the situation. He has to call SOMETHING.

In this case, the official, having assumed a foul must have been committed, then had to look for a perpetrator and found only Duncan in the vicinity. Sorry. You're gone. Replays showed what viewers and broadcasters suspected: Anthony slipped. So this ref not only blew a call at a critical moment of a critical game, but he tagged a superstar with his sixth foul.

So what will his fine be? How about five hundred bucks? Perhaps a one-game suspension? Don't hold your breath. Lucky for Stern and his beleaguered officials, the Spurs won going away in overtime in what TNT's Charles Barkley called "one of the worst-officiated games I've seen in my 20 years associated with the NBA."

But Van Gundy's Rockets weren't lucky enough to survive the worst call of the night. Or rather, the worst non-call, which — horror of horrors — happened with Commissioner Stern in attendance.

With Houston making a run to close within three in the final minute, Rockets guard Jon Barry secured a defensive rebound under the basket. Since Barry himself was practically on the baseline, it's safe to assume that any defender that swooped in under his left elbow would be out of bounds. So when Michael Finley reached in from the baseline side of Barry and poked the ball free, Bennett Salvatore, Joe DeRosa or Tony Brothers would have to blow his whistle, right?

Right?

Nope. Like the rest of us, Salvatore and company just looked on doing nothing as the ball bounced to Jerry Stackhouse, who was tripped by Barry and awarded two crucial free throws.

According to Van Gundy, Salvatore claimed Finley had indeed been inbounds when he reached in and touched the ball. Wow.

Won't Mr. Salvatore be surprised when he sees the replay. Was Finley's right foot inbounds and his left foot on the line? No. Was Finley's left foot out of bounds and his right foot on the line? No. Were both of Finley's feet completely freakin' out of bounds? YESSSSSSS!!!

So what will the sanctions be against Salvatore's crew for contributing mightily to the Rockets' 103-100 loss? The usual. Nothing.


If Jeff Van Gundy can be fined $100K for criticizing the refs, can the refs be fined for blowing key calls during the playoffs? (LM Otero / FOXSports.com)

Antoine Walker can get suspended for making contact with an official — in what had been the worst-officiated game of the playoffs prior to Spurs-Nuggets last night — and Van Gundy can be fined 100 large for divulging certain details of a private conversation and then not giving up his friend, but when will NBA officials be publicly held to account for doing a poor job?

Stern's answer seems to be to come down hard on the complainers and hope it will distract the fans from the larger problem. But he's missing the solution.

Replay. Replay, replay, replay, a thousand times replay!

If it's good enough to see if a shot was released in time or if a toe was on the line, why not to see if a player was inbounds when he made contact with the ball?

Both of Monday night's horrible calls could have been overturned by replay. Give coaches two challenges per game or per half, or one per game, but give them something. Anything to avoid officials deciding games. If throwing the red flag has already been taken, maybe they could roll a red-white-and-blue ball onto the court to signify a challenge.

Do you think Bennett Salvatore wants to feel like a jackass when he watches that replay and realizes not only did his crew blow the call but that he erroneously defended the non-call to the losing coach? Of course not.

On a play like Finley reaching in from out of bounds, a ref would happily overturn his own ruling and award the ball to the aggrieved team.

Same with those pesky block/charge calls when the refs are always guessing as to whether the defender's heels have cleared the circle under the basket. How many hundreds of times during the regular season does the replay reveal an official's error on this call? Sometimes the defender gets called for a block when his heels are hovering just above the circle, and sometimes the penetrator gets called for a charge when the defender's heels are on the line. It's an impossible call to make with any certainty when massive bodies are flying at high speeds.

So in the pressure cooker of the playoffs, let's just acknowledge that refs make mistakes that television cameras can rectify and use the technology to take some of the heat off the officials.

There's a reason so many calls are missed in the NBA — it's an almost impossible game to officiate. If you've ever been courtside when the combustible mixture of freakish giants and blazing sprinters (and freakish giant, blazing sprinters) all collide in pursuit of a rebound, you know it's simply impossible to have a perfect night as an NBA ref.

So why not help the refs, the coaches and the fans? NBA games don't run that long. There's time for a handful of challenges. Just to get the calls right.

Or you can threaten to run Jeff Van Gundy, one of the genuine good guys in the league, out of the game. It's your choice, David Stern.


Kevin Hench is supervising producer of The Sports List on Fox Sports Net.

u2sarajevo
05-04-2005, 09:30 PM
Originally posted by: quake99
http://msn.foxsports.com/nba/story/3588876

Kevin Hench / FOXSports.com
Posted: 1 day ago



OK, David Stern, you made your point.

You don't want NBA coaches talking publicly about the terrible officiating in the NBA. You don't want NBA coaches protecting their sources on inside information about the terrible officiating in the NBA. You don't want hardworking, passionate, decent men coaching in the NBA if they are going to be so impolitic as to point out the terrible officiating in the NBA.That's how far I got into reading this when I gave up reading it. Stern's beef with Van Gundy has nothing to do with him pointing "out the terrible officiating in the NBA". It has to do with his refusal to co-operate with the Investigation.

It makes a nice rallying cry for the Rockets fans, but in reality crying that Van Gundy got fined for speaking about the terrible officiating is misguided rage. What Van Gundy implied was that there is a real conspiracy in the NBA, that certain players are targeted. Top that off with a coach of a playoff team being fed supposed "inside" information that is untrue by an NBA referee... then refusing to cite that source to the league that is keeping you in a job.

Misguided rage. That's all it is.

Phil Helmuth
05-04-2005, 09:50 PM
losing isn't the problem, Rockets fans are. 1 more game bitches.

Mavs_fun_fan
05-04-2005, 09:57 PM
The refs aren't the problem its the spares that your teams roster is full of that keeps your losing streak alive.

The Mavericks have more talented basketball players our 3rd and 4th options score as many points as your stars. You guys just got lucky and caught the Mavs flat footed the first two games, you need to be thankful you won any games given the mediocrity of your roster.

Pirate
05-04-2005, 11:30 PM
The problem for Van Gundy is that he has no source!!

He made the whole thing up as a failed motivational tool - and now is too deep into the lie to fess up. Once the Rockets are eliminated, he will come clean in the public, and we will see what Stern has known all along - there was no league memo to target Yao Ming, no ref called JVG to inform him of the mythical memo, and JVG made the whole thing up but was too weak to admit that crying "NBA fix" to the press was a horrendous way to try to fire up his demoralized troops.

chumdawg
05-04-2005, 11:54 PM
Apparently JVG is standing by his guns, and isn't going to name the guy. He says that he is in a position where he is forced to "choose between two rights," and that he is going to honor his word.

I applaud him for standing strong. In the end the public will support him so strongly that Stern won't have much recourse. A small suspension will be the worst of it.

I'm glad of that, too. Stern needs not to worry about comments coaches make to the media. If anyone has blown this thing out of proportion, it is Stern himself. He could have let it die a quick and painless death.

What might end up being the bigger problem is the comments the players are making. As you might expect, they are supporting their head man. And in the process, the whole thing is getting even uglier.

Stern should have handled this behind closed doors. JVG made some comments to the media that he shouldn't have. And then Stern did the same thing.

Pirate
05-05-2005, 12:23 AM
He is going to honor WHAT word? There is no ref, this was all concocted by Van Gundy. Dont be naive.

You are appaluding him now - but will you applaud him later when he admits he made the whole thing up? If you stand in his camp, you will look foolish when the truth comes out. He is not the martyr you think he is.

dirno2000
05-05-2005, 12:41 AM
I applaud him for standing strong. In the end the public will support him so strongly that Stern won't have much recourse. A small suspension will be the worst of it.I think that the extent of the punishment will ultimately be decided in a court of law. I'm pretty sure that Stern couldn't care less about public support on this one and he shouldn't because one of two things is true: either Van Gundy is lying and in doing so defamed the league and the refs just to gain a slight advantage, or, he's telling to truth and Stern has an even bigger problem. As commissioner it’s his duty to make sure that he doesn’t have refs fraternizing with coaches or players to the extent that he can. So when a coach just blatantly throws it in his face he has no choice. Van Gundy is going to have to cower like a b***h or Stern is going after him with both guns blazing and he’s a bulldog…they don’t pay $15MM a year to make friends.

As far as him going public with it, in my mind that’s part of the punishment…make him twist in the wind until the end of the season.

chumdawg
05-05-2005, 12:52 AM
Originally posted by: Pirate
He is going to honor WHAT word? There is no ref, this was all concocted by Van Gundy. Dont be naive.

You are appaluding him now - but will you applaud him later when he admits he made the whole thing up? If you stand in his camp, you will look foolish when the truth comes out. He is not the martyr you think he is.I believe he has a source. If I'm wrong, I'm guilty of misjudging the man and the situation. I'm sure he's capable of concocting any number of stories, but this one doesn't seem likely (especially given his close relationship with Stu Jackson).

You, on the other hand, seem to suggest that it's close to impossible that he has a friend among the officials. That more closely matches the definition of "naive."

LRB
05-05-2005, 01:11 AM
JVG is a lying sack of poo and too cowardly to admit it. He panicked when his team lost 2 straight at home to erase the homecourt advantage that they stole. And then he concocted this story about an NBA conspiracy against the Rockets. That's a load of BS. Stern has every right and in fact has a duty to nail Van Gundy's sorry hyde to the wall. I'm sure that we'll either find that JVG's anonymous source is closer to a little girl's imaginary friend (which is what I personally think it is) or we'll find that JVG has grossly misrepresented the facts of the conversation with a real official.

But even given JVG the benefit of the doubt, and say this preposterous tale is true. JVG is still a moron and a cowardly one at that. If corruption is going on within the NBA, then it's his duty to corroporate in eliminating it not being an obstacle to it. But the truth is that JVG has tarnished the sport of professional basketball far more than Pete Rose ever did to baseball, and all for a chance at a small advantage in the playoffs. Personally I hope that Stern bans the gutless wornder for life.

chumdawg
05-05-2005, 01:12 AM
Originally posted by: dirno2000

I applaud him for standing strong. In the end the public will support him so strongly that Stern won't have much recourse. A small suspension will be the worst of it.I think that the extent of the punishment will ultimately be decided in a court of law. I'm pretty sure that Stern couldn't care less about public support on this one and he shouldn't because one of two things is true: either Van Gundy is lying and in doing so defamed the league and the refs just to gain a slight advantage, or, he's telling to truth and Stern has an even bigger problem. As commissioner it’s his duty to make sure that he doesn’t have refs fraternizing with coaches or players to the extent that he can. So when a coach just blatantly throws it in his face he has no choice. Van Gundy is going to have to cower like a b***h or Stern is going after him with both guns blazing and he’s a bulldog…they don’t pay $15MM a year to make friends.

As far as him going public with it, in my mind that’s part of the punishment…make him twist in the wind until the end of the season.If the phone call was truly unsolicited, as JVG evidently claims, then Stern is probably going after the wrong guy.

I would imagine that if this ordeal makes it into a court of law, a number of things would become public that Stern wouldn't be too happy about. I just think this is a PR nightmare if Stern pursues it aggressively. Heck, I think it's already a nightmare for Stern. Misplayed so far. Misplayed...

Pirate
05-05-2005, 01:13 AM
My view has nothing to do with whether or not JVG has buddies among the refs. To me, that tells us nothing. Show me where I say that he doesnt have a friend among the officials.

What I say is that JVG made all this up - ie, that there was no such memo in the first place. (He claimed that a ref called him to warn him about a league directive, in writing, instructing refs to call things tighter on Yao than on other players.) If there was no such memo, it is obvious that he never got a call.

Such a memo would be a "smoking gun" that the NBA is fixing the outcome of games. If it exists, it is criminal and would put people in jail. Do you think the league would do such a thing, and distribute it widely in writing, where even non-participating refs are privy to such criminal conspiracy info? That's absurd. No memo = no call = JVG made it all up.

From a different angle, if such a memo DOES exist, then (a) Stern knows about it, and (b) Stern handles this in a much more subdued way, with a minor fine for criticizing the refs. The massive attention-getting fine tells us that Stern knows that no such memo exists, and therefore he also knows that JVG is crying "fix" and "conspiracy" merely as gamesmanship. Stern recognized it for exactly what it was, and said it was way over the line for acceptable "banter." Those who dont see through the ruse will be embarrassed when Van Gundy fesses up and gets the rest of the penalty.

Pirate
05-05-2005, 01:15 AM
"If the phone call was truly unsolicited, as JVG evidently claims...."

THERE WASNT EVEN A PHONE CALL.

"I would imagine that if this ordeal makes it into a court of law..."

HAHAHA. Van Gundy made it all up. Stern knows it already. Van Gundy knows that Stern knows - but cant admit it, cause he will lose face with his team. Wait n see. It is laughable to think this will go to court.

EricaLubarsky
05-05-2005, 01:16 AM
I wouldnt put it past Van Gundy-- or Nelson for that matter.

chumdawg
05-05-2005, 01:38 AM
I completely missed the reports that there was a memo. Where are you getting that from? The story I read said that JVG claimed that the guy told him "they were looking at Yao harder" based on Cuban's complaints.

From what I understand, this is not at ALL unusual in the pro sports. Some team complains that a lineman always holds, or a receiver always pushes off, or a goalie's pads might be too big, or a pitcher might have sandpaper in his pocket, or a batter might be using cork--and can you check it out? Do they handle all these things by memos?

It seems to me pretty clear what happened here. Cuban has a well documented history of being a pain in the ass for the NBA brass. He is clearly the most aggressive owner along these lines. He has unlimited will and resources aimed toward fixing what he perceives to be a flawed officiating system. Several times he has brought things into the light that the NBA would prefer to keep in the dark.

He's also a pretty powerful person in the league, based in large part on his visibility and his willingness to accept fines in his fight for what he sees as right.

So if you're David Stern, who would you rather keep happy: Mark Cuban or Jeff Van Gundy?

So Stern gives the squeaky wheel some grease and tells Cuban that they'll keep an eye out for those moving screens. The directive gets sent down, in whatever form it takes.

Now, if you're a referee, how do you feel about this? You've got a job to do out there, and it doesn't include callling 9 additional fouls on one player. So how do you feel about what you perceive as meddling by Cuban? Maybe, just maybe, you think that Cuban is a little out of line here, that he is unfairly getting an edge, so you call your old buddy and let him know what's going on. In your mind that evens things out.

Why is this so hard to understand?

MavKikiNYC
05-05-2005, 01:41 AM
May 5, 2005
Stern's Game Can Be Called Misdirection
By SELENA ROBERTS

AS a lawyer with a sly mind in constant motion, David Stern understands the art of throwing suspicion in one direction to divert attention from the real culprit.

So it was not surprising to see Stern boldly scold a whistleblower instead of the men who blow the whistles.

In eye-catching fashion, Stern assailed the integrity of Houston Coach Jeff Van Gundy this week when Van Gundy refused to divulge the Deep Throat in officiating who had told him there was a league conspiracy against Yao Ming.

Stern beamed the attention on Van Gundy by smacking him with a record-breaking $100,000 fine, by vocally ratcheting the temperature on him, by shepherding a whisper campaign to portray Van Gundy as a fantasist.

All Van, all the time. Sound bites can certainly make for nice subterfuge. Remaining strategically unnoticed has been the untidy issue of referee credibility.

Much of Stern's focus was on how wrong Van Gundy was, but what if Van Gundy was right about the bias of officiating? Much of Stern's outrage has been directed at coaches who publicly lobby for calls, but they do it because they believe it works.

More than anyone, coaches view the frame-by-frame of every game and of every call. They can do the before-and-after of their postgame rants against the refs. Obviously, they see results.

Are referees this malleable? Does the league want to know?

The N.B.A. doesn't like to acknowledge the potential presence of a cheating gene in its midst. In the late 90's, more than 20 league officials were hit with tax-evasion charges when they exchanged their first-class tickets for coach seats and kept the change. Two years ago, in court documents filed by Karla Knafel, a former mistress of Michael Jordan's, the official Eddie F. Rush was described as the matchmaker who played cupid for the clandestine couple.

Tax cheating, wife cheating. It is not so difficult to assume that deceptive practices could transfer to the basketball court, but the league doesn't view it that way.

The N.B.A. reinstated a few of the tax evaders, and Rush was later promoted, even though he might have crossed an implied code against cozy conduct.

Believe it or not, there was not an official codification of fraternization rules until last year, when, as the N.B.A. spokesman Tim Andre said yesterday, it was inserted into the work rules during the 2004 collective-bargaining agreement between the referees and the N.B.A.

Maybe the league thought they had a problem. And maybe they do.

The ref who talked to Van Gundy and discussed the anti-Yao calls was in clear breach of the rules. But the rules are apparently pliable. On the official Web site for N.B.A. referees, there is a note that promotes Bob Delaney's Referee Development School at IMG Academies in Bradenton, Fla.

This is the same Delaney who has been officiating in the playoffs. For as much as $1,825 for a four-day session this summer, campers can sponge up Delaney's referee knowledge and even officiate scrimmage games with real-live N.B.A. players.

In the off-season, the IMG Academy is buzzing with hoop stars from Chauncey Billups to Erick Dampier. It is not far-fetched to wonder if a player who participates in Delaney's school believes he has done his favorite referee - wink, wink - a favor.

League officials said they had reviewed Delaney's school but found no reason to assume the worst. Andre said the league had waived its fraternization policy for Delaney.

Odd how the refs get the benefit of the doubt, but the coaching complaints do not.

For years, some coaches have privately wondered about referee ethics. On rare occasions, officials have been known to ask for extra tickets from teams and even request shoes from players.

If true, who is going to call out a code-of-conduct violator? Who is going to risk the wrath of referee backlash?

It is true that coaches are a paranoid bunch, and Van Gundy is not alone. But their suspicions about referees, about calls being orchestrated, about star treatment for certain players and teams, cannot be completely unfounded.

The league does not want to go there. It is much more comfortable with the image of Van Gundy being cast as a truth-averse schemer. Van Gundy is many things - a manipulator and a survivor - but he is not known to be a liar.

In fact, in his time, he has been candid to his own detriment. During his days as the Knicks' coach in the late 90's, he once called Michael Jordan "a con man" and Phil Jackson "Big Chief Triangle."

He wasn't smart, but he was right on both counts. Now, once again, Van Gundy has disclosed too much for his own good in what Stern described as a new low for coach-speak. Stern was happy to cast the information Van Gundy related as wicked gamesmanship - and it might have been - but Van Gundy may have been right, as well.

Stern barely wants to consider that possibility. He isn't running an investigation of Van Gundy's allegations to uncover an officiating conspiracy; Stern is beginning it as a scare tactic against the next coach who wants to speak out.

It is much cleaner to isolate this controversy to Van Gundy - and localize the N.B.A.'s image pain - than to consider an alternate culprit to the game's integrity.

mary
05-05-2005, 02:30 AM
Chumdag = Norm

i/expressions/face-icon-small-wink.gif

GP
05-05-2005, 02:40 AM
I don't understand why Stern didn't just come out and state the truth. If there was a directive to the officials to watch Yao for the moving screen then that is certainly OK and not fixing games. In fact, I would think it is the opposite and shows that the league is trying to officiate the games correctly. If there wasn't a directive he should have just said that Van Gundy was lying and not given it any credibility. He could have chuckled about it and called it for what it was; a piss poor attempt at gamesmanship through the media. This extreme maneuver of fining Van Gundy 100 K and threatening to ban him makes it look like a cover up and that the league has something to hide. It reeks of strong armed tactics to scare other would be whistleblowers.

As for Cuban I think he was certainly right in complaining to the league despite it probably being poor sportsmanship. Sportsmanship is dead in pro sports anyway. Cubans agenda should be and is the success of the Dallas Mavericks.

As for fixing games I think that is probably the easiest thing to do. Imagine great athletes who are evenly matched and giving their all. Imagine a referee with an agenda (only has to be one) and he intentionally blows a couple of calls here and there by either calling something that wasn't there or by allowing a transgression to go unchecked. A tie game can be transformed into a 3, 4 or even 5 point victory for either team. It really can be that simple.

Is David Stern is fixing games? No way, no how. However, he definitely doesn't understand how to fix the poor officiating that has besieged his organization and probably doesn't want to know if things aren't always on the level. Transforming an organizations culture is no easy task and possibly impossible in this case. As long as the informal leadership doesn't buy into what the league office wants then nothing will ever change. Unfortunately, outside influences that can affect the way a referee calls a game are diverse and plentiful. It could be that the ref grew up loving a certain team. It could be that the ref is being influenced by organized crime, by TV executives, by his spouse, etc. These are possible scenarios, but are all probably extremely unlikely. Most if not all refs probably just do their jobs to the best of their abilities.

Frankly, if people like Cuban and Van Gundy want to improve officiating then they could start by giving their players the directive to never, ever address a ref. Don't challenge his call, don't overreact to calls or non calls, don't curse out the ref and don't intimidate the ref. Just let them do their jobs. That should go for all players, coaches and owners. Players and coaches never ever believe they committed a foul or ever missed a shot without being fouled. If they want better officiating then they can start by just shutting the hell up. Until then anything goes.

Pirate
05-05-2005, 03:58 AM
The fact that it was written was all over the story - but JVG told it in varying ways each time he was on camera, so maybe you didnt see those.

I found two mentions quickly. Stein speaks of JVG asserting there was "a league directive to its playoff referees to be stricter when assessing Yao's movements" ....Houston Chronicle: JVG said "It was corroborated out of the blue when another official calls ...that I've known forever and tells you after we're up 2-0, 'Look, they're targeting him more. It's on their Web site." ...I have also seen the terms "written directive" and "memo" used in other places, but dont feel like chasing down which places they appeared.

If it was merely the routine "watch the screens on Yao" type of thing, it would have become no story - Stern merely says it was merely routine stuff, and then fine JVG for airing procedure in public that wrongly infers bias. The ire and the fire and the "later investigation" never come into the conversation. That doesnt fit the way it has played out. From the furor, either there must be a smoking gun of a memo that the NBA wants to bury, or JVG must be making up a tale. Nothing else explains all the facets of the events that have unfolded.

Pirate
05-05-2005, 04:09 AM
CHUM - the idea that various owners, teams, and caoches complain and lobby the league about calls - along with the fact that the league may respond if they see a need - is NOT what is in play here .... Stern himself admitted that such things happen ROUTINELY ... in fact, JVG himself admitted that HE has done the same sort of things

But what JVG was asserting was a tale that was not part of "routine NBA life" ... there was intended bias inferred and supposedly being DIRECTED by the league ... Stern said specifically that JVG said "the league is biased" and "There are specific instructions" and "I have proof." You are giving JVG a free pass on his claims by downplaying them - they are severe and true, or severe and false. The difference then is significant rather than minor and routine.

vjz
05-05-2005, 10:14 AM
Is it just me, or has anyone else had enough of Rox fans posting stories that can be used to make pro-Rox, pro-JVG, anti-Ref, anti-Mavs, anti-Cuban arguments?

u2sarajevo
05-05-2005, 10:21 AM
Good point vjz. This is the General Mavs section. Things of this nature belong in the "other team" forum, Around the NBA.

chumdawg
05-05-2005, 10:51 AM
That's a very clear analysis, GP. The first paragraph in particular hit the nail on the head.

Pirate, I did not see the original statement from Van Gundy on camera. I'm just going on the few news reports that I have read.

But you know, memo or memo, I don't see this as JVG claiming the league is biased. If anything, I see it as JVG complaining that the league is NOT biased--toward his superstar. I don't think he is claiming that the refs are now inclined to dream up fouls against Yao. Rather, he just said that they were going to look at him more closely, to target him. In other words, they will now find more of the fouls that are already there.

In this series, the best that would do is even things up, since Dampier can hardly go two possessions in a row without fouling. JVG is upset that Cuban's complaints have kept the Rockets from having an edge, not that they have given Dallas one. Make sense?

Pirate
05-05-2005, 12:23 PM
Yes, I understand what you are saying, but Stern disagrees with your interpretation. Stern said DIRECTLY that the issue is JVG claiming league BIAS, specific instructions, etc. You saw a few news reports, but JVG himself seems to have put a much different spin on it than you want him to have used. And maybe YOU dont see it as JVG claiming league bias, but if you have read or followed this story to any extent, the words conspiracy, bias, fix, etc have been all over one story after another - so tons of reporters also have seen it as much more insidious.

Maybe Stern could have or should have downplayed it - but basketball history makes basketball fans conspiracy theorists, so perhaps Stern sensed that JVG strayed into the Forbidden Zone. Who knows?

Pirate
05-05-2005, 12:29 PM
"He could have chuckled about it and called it for what it was; a piss poor attempt at gamesmanship through the media."

Actually Stern did that very thing on live TV - it was almost word for word exactly what you suggest. I have the quote. Except he did it with an angry smile, rather than with a sincere chuckle, and with a major fine - perhaps cause he felt that when JVG makes up a "league bias" story, such gamesmanship creates future credibility problems with the public for the league.

jibikao
05-05-2005, 01:28 PM
There is ALWAYS bias in NBA. God, is JVG NEW to NBA? Ever since I start watching Jordan, I knew he got all the favorable calls and got away with a lot of stuff.


What JVG did wrong is these:
1.) The news came out after Mavs got 2-2 or even after Mavs won 3-2. That gave JVG a clear motivation to speak out. JVG may be "right" but it's too late. You don't hear JVG complained about it when Rox took 2-0 lead!

2.) Yao has always been treated unfairly during regular season. I've seen many Rox games and Yao is always in foul trouble. If JVG truly believes that, he should have spoken up a long time ago.

3.) JVG has no evidence. He just said "somebody said...". You don't win a case by saying "well, somebody told me...". That's just plain dumb.

4.) Now the refs will be even more tough on Yao I think. The reason is that a.) if for some reasons Yao doesn't get into foul trouble like in the previous 5 games, then it implies that Stern "told them not to do it". That will prove JVG's point because he said he doesn't know "bitching" would work in NBA (like Cuban does all the time). So if Yao is not in foul trouble like he was in the previous 5 games, then it makes Stern look REALLY BAD. So I expect Yao will still be in foul trouble. i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif

razap
05-05-2005, 01:35 PM
Originally posted by: chumdawg
I completely missed the reports that there was a memo. Where are you getting that from? The story I read said that JVG claimed that the guy told him "they were looking at Yao harder" based on Cuban's complaints.

From what I understand, this is not at ALL unusual in the pro sports. Some team complains that a lineman always holds, or a receiver always pushes off, or a goalie's pads might be too big, or a pitcher might have sandpaper in his pocket, or a batter might be using cork--and can you check it out? Do they handle all these things by memos?

It seems to me pretty clear what happened here. Cuban has a well documented history of being a pain in the ass for the NBA brass. He is clearly the most aggressive owner along these lines. He has unlimited will and resources aimed toward fixing what he perceives to be a flawed officiating system. Several times he has brought things into the light that the NBA would prefer to keep in the dark.

He's also a pretty powerful person in the league, based in large part on his visibility and his willingness to accept fines in his fight for what he sees as right.

So if you're David Stern, who would you rather keep happy: Mark Cuban or Jeff Van Gundy?

So Stern gives the squeaky wheel some grease and tells Cuban that they'll keep an eye out for those moving screens. The directive gets sent down, in whatever form it takes.

Now, if you're a referee, how do you feel about this? You've got a job to do out there, and it doesn't include callling 9 additional fouls on one player. So how do you feel about what you perceive as meddling by Cuban? Maybe, just maybe, you think that Cuban is a little out of line here, that he is unfairly getting an edge, so you call your old buddy and let him know what's going on. In your mind that evens things out.

Why is this so hard to understand?



What a wonderful post. I could not have said it any better.

Pirate
05-05-2005, 06:05 PM
This note from an ESPN article today on the case ....

"One solution is for Van Gundy to tell league officials he made up the story. There is considerable suspicion in NBA circles that's really what happened."

EricaLubarsky
05-05-2005, 06:13 PM
Cuban collects a tape of all the fouls that should have been called and he sends it in. The League says, "hey, we DID miss some calls" and Stern or a senior official of the NBA or referees, says that it wouldnt be a bad idea to watch Yao's screens a little more carefully.

If Jeff Van Gundy thinks that the NBA is against him, he needs to send in tape of the exact calls that the refs missed. He just seems to be pissy in general, but other than the Finley steal, there isnt a lot that he can provide as evidence for the uneven officiating. What a moron.

Mavskiki, is right, there is a lot of funny stuff going on with the refs, but if there is corruption, then there are bad calls, and if there are bad calls, JVG needs to collect them and send them to the top as Cuban did. Whining like a kicked puppy and making up a lie about an inside source is not only immature, it isnt the way to get things done.

mavsman
05-05-2005, 06:18 PM
IF there was a conspiracy against a single player, then why on earth should it be directed against the one guy that opened the NBA a market and the wallets of 1.3 billion people? Does anybody not living in Houston really think Stern is THAT stupid?

Pirate
05-05-2005, 06:22 PM
"Stern or a senior official of the NBA or referees, says that it wouldnt be a bad idea to watch Yao's screens a little more carefully."

Except the league doesnt do it that way. According to published reports by two different national reporters, the league's directives to its refs never mention a player by name. In this case, they might (at most) have said "we need to watch for illegal screens cause we seem to be missing them too much" in general. The story that Van Gundy tossed out (that they mentioned Yao BY NAME and said to watch him harder) is not what the league does when they get complaints.

If Van Gundy has something valid in his claim that Yao was singled out, it is way out of the norm - otherwise, he is a BS artist.

dude1394
05-09-2005, 08:08 PM
Van Gundy decides he's willing to call the company he works for a bunch of biased, cheaters just to try and get a little edge instead of manning up and coaching.

kingrex
05-10-2005, 03:14 PM
Did anyone hear JVG's major backpedal recently?

The conspiracy theorist might say that the NBA kidnapped the real JVG and replaced him with a clone that is trained in kissing stern's butt. i/expressions/face-icon-small-tongue.gif