I’ve been watching the NBA for well over a decade now, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen as poorly-officiated a game as I did in game six of the Lakers/Kings series. Michael Wilbon of the Washington Post has a pretty accurate summary of it all that’s worth reading, and I don’t know if I have anything to add to his assessment. I also don’t know if it’s just random happenstance or if it’s closer to the conspiracy ideas about the NBA and NBC needing a marquee team in the Finals, but I do know that the officials handed the Lakers game six, and thus, their chance to get to the Finals. (There’s also a SportsFilter thread about the game.)

I promised myself I wouldn’t spout off about this unless it turned out to matter; with the Lakers advancing to the NBA Finals last night, it now matters.


Hi Jason,
I guess I’m simply missing the sports gene, but I don’t get it. Enjoying the spectacle is one thing, but why should it really matter which collection of sociopaths “wins”? ;-)

• Posted by: dave dobbs on Jun 3, 2002, 3:52 PM

Jason, I agree totally. That was *incredibly bad* officiating, and it reminded me why I love college basketball but hate the NBA — a collection of thug divas like the Lakers gets to go to the finals because they’re “supposed” to, while a team (notice, I said *team*) like the Kings gets shunted off as also-rans when they should’ve won. It’s all about money, as in NBC’s game 7 proceeds, and it makes the NBA by and large a boring, boring league to watch.

• Posted by: Lydia Markoff on Jun 3, 2002, 4:01 PM

double post, sorry —

wanted to clarify that I agree with you, not the dude missing the sports gene. :-)

• Posted by: Lydia Markoff on Jun 3, 2002, 4:03 PM

Dave, you may be right that it doesn’t matter in some world-changing, cosmic scale, but for those of us who enjoy watching sports — because of the physically amazing things that these people can do, because of their true devotion to their craft, because of pride in one’s home town, for whatever reason — it matters that game six did not look like it was won or lost on the basis of what occurred in the game. Instead, it’s hard to ignore the nagging notion that there was some other force, conscious or otherwise, that determined that the Lakers were going to advance.

And it’s a huge generalization to call all sports participants sociopaths; I’m not even going to deign that with any defense.

• Posted by: Jason Levine on Jun 3, 2002, 4:25 PM

Jason, mea culpa, that was over the top. However, I’m not that concerned about who wins or loses in these things, as you say, it’s the skill & grace that counts, they’ve already won big time on their contracts ;-) As to one’s home town, that one escapes me; it’s the team, not the town (or the fan) playing the game & the team could care less about the town…

• Posted by: dave dobbs on Jun 3, 2002, 8:10 PM
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