Friday, March 20, 2009

Definitive Proof That The NBA Is Rigged.

We all know that "superstar calls" exist in sports to separate the money makers from the laymen. In few sports is this is prevalent as basketball, where's it's even more blatant since every player does virtually the same thing (unlike, say, baseball with pitchers and fielders). Kobe Bryant gets a shooting foul whistled on his opponent everytime he ventures in the paint. Allen Iverson palms the ball the entire game. Shaq leans on his opponents and hooks his way around them to the basket, but is seldom tagged with an offensive foul. Over the years, this became so widespread that a phrase called "The Jordan Rules" was coined to describe how MJ got carte blanche with travelling violations.[1] And who can forget the infamous Game Six pushoff?

That something so obviously a foul wasn't called was one thing. That this missed call cost The Jazz at shot at NBA immortality is another. That the NBA calls this travershamockery one of the Greatest Playoff moments of all time is just stoopid.[2]

Continuing this legacy of biased officiating is the NBA latest golden boy, The Cavs' Lebron James, who is so notorious for taking extra steps in the waning moments of games that he's called LeTravel by some fans. Of course this is never whistled, and Bron Bron (an excellent player who doesn't need the extra help) gets his share of game winners as a result. However, earlier this season, some clueless newbie had the nerve to actually blow the whistle on Baby Bron, in an incident that's now called The Infamous Crab Dribble.

"Crab dribble?"

Cry me a freakin' river, punk! At least someone was man enough to call him out.

This set off a lengthy debate about what's travelling and what's not. No, seriously.

The NBA, being the spineless protector of superstardom, is now considering actually altering the freakin' rules to ensure that their prized possession can take five unimpeded steps to the basket.
There might be some salvation for the "crab dribble" after all.

In response to increased scrutiny in recent years, the NBA is examining rewriting its traveling rules as soon as next season. It may include allowing for two steps, not one as currently written, and possibly even a provision for LeBron James' famous, or infamous, depending on your perspective, crab-dribble move.

"We're working on it," Joe Borgia, NBA's vice president of referee operations, told the blog Truehoop recently. "Our traveling rule we've been discussing for a couple of years," he said. "The game has evolved. I don't think the rule has evolved since the time of Bob Cousy. But we're also going to probably share it with the NCAA and maybe FIBA, because it would be nice if we could all come up with a similar rule. A similar rule would be great for the players, the coaches, and the officials."

The news that the league is considering clarifying the rule, which gets violated and called differently all season long, was received with satisfaction from James. Though players have been allowed two steps in practice for many years, James has been caught in controversial traveling situations numerous times in his career.

The most focus has been on James' jump-stop move, which he's been perfecting since high school. Sometimes he travels and gets away with it, sometimes he executes it properly and still gets called for traveling.

"That would be good, I could get my move back," James said of the potential rule changes. "They stole my move. I've gotten used to knowing that you have to land on two feet."
Seriously, how are fans supposed to think a game is being fairly officiated and not fixed for TV when you literally alter the rules to protect your stars?

Yet one more reason why my local NBA team no longer gets my hard earned money.

Smarten Up Stern!

Question: Do you think leagues are wrong for blatantly enforcing two sets of rules for stars and scrubs, or is this merely good for business since nobody pays to see scrubs? Is LeTravel the biggest baby the sports world has ever seen?

James pleased to hear NBA is reconsidering rules on traveling [PlainDealer]

[1] BTW, did anyone else see that MJ's agent recently claimed the Washington NBA franchise's owner forced Jordan to draft monumental bust, Kmame Brown with that #1 overall pick a few years back? Seriously? What planet do these folks live on? Take the blame for your own mistakes, Mike.

[2] I'm no Utah Jazz fan. Nor am I am MJ fan, as anyone around here knows.

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