Review of Game 6 - Kings V Lakers
Article on ESPN from a credible source, a guy that studied the Kings Lakers game in 02....
"Yes, at a glance you can see the Lakers got some advantage from the calls down the stretch, but if Bavetta was really trying to rig the game, would he have called a tie up jump ball at the 3:26 mark (and subsequently had a bad toss that gave the ball to the Kings) with the Kings ahead by two when he could have called a foul on Divac? Would he have called the foul on Fisher at 1:27 that helped bring the Kings back within a point with plenty of time left? Would he have called the blocking foul on Fox with 0:20 when an offensive foul would have basically sealed the game? Doubtful.
Bernhardt made no foul call on Christie's block of Kobe with the game tied at 3:56, gave Bibby a bailout call with the shot clock winding down at 2:34 with the game tied, and didn't call Webber for a foul on Shaq's basket at 0:52 which could have fouled out C-Webb and given the Lakers a look at a four point lead.
Delaney wasn't very active in the waning minutes, with one no call where Bibby looked for a foul at the 0:43 mark. The other notable non-call which I rated an "all refs" situation was on the inbounds at 0:12 where Kobe knocked Bibby to the floor with an elbow to the face, but Bibby was also grabbing Kobe at the time it happened so both were really guilty of infractions to some extent. Still an offensive foul on Kobe there could have changed the outcome!
As a whole, these plays suggest to me the refs were calling the game honestly, if perhaps not well.
Now Bernhardt did have the arguable turning point call of the game as it turns out at the 3:06 mark when Webber moved into the paint and made a basket only to have the shot wiped out with an offensive foul call. At first I was in agreement with Bill Walton that this was a "terrible call" but having watched the play over ten times in slow motion I changed it from 'dubious' to 'maybe' in my grading since it's one of those plays where I believe a case could be made for a defensive foul, an offensive foul, or even a dual fault let them play no call. If pressed I'd still rate it a Horry foul which would have given a basket and the and one shot to Webber and the Kings a possible four or five point lead. Yet there is a fair amount of left arm push off from Webber and Bernhardt was right on top of the play with a good angle.
This gets to the heart of the matter to me: despite the NBA's official claim that 95% of calls are correct over a season, there are just too many plays that are far from being clear cut wrong/right and many that fall into a gray area where even watching a play many times in slow motion you can make a case for different verdicts. The block/charge/no call situation is also about the worst of these in that it's such a snap judgement with significant effect."
Mate, i know you wanna beleive, i know it is big industry, but i just think NBA is a tough game to ref, watch a replay of most games and you could easily argue 50% of the calls.
Do stars get better treatment- oh hell yeah. But it doesn't run as deep as you think. It would just be too risky for people like Stern who would be gambling a hell of a lot on dubious people...