Suns fans didn't need a reason to feel even more screwed by the 2007 NBA Playoffs. Now it appears that have an even better reason than the ejections of Boris Diaw and Amare Stoudemire. (thanks Jon for the video)
Bill Simmons is all over the issue in his latest column, one of his better pieces of the year. You'll recall Simmons' comments a couple days after the debacle that was Game 3 of the Suns-Spurs series:
"Congratulations to Greg Willard, Tim Donaghy and Eddie F. Rush for giving us the most atrociously officiated game of the playoffs so far: Game 3 of the Suns-Spurs series. Bennett Salvatore, Tom Washington and Violet Palmer must have been outraged that they weren't involved in this mess. Good golly. Most of the calls favored the Spurs, but I don't even think the refs were biased -- they were so incompetent that there was no rhyme or reason to anything that was happening. Other than the latest call in NBA history (a shooting foul for Manu Ginobili whistled three seconds after the play, when everyone was already running in the other direction), my favorite moment happened near the end, when the game was already over and they called a cheap bump on Bruce Bowen against Nash, so the cameras caught Mike D'Antoni (the most entertaining coach in the league if he's not getting calls) screaming sarcastically, "Why start now? Why bother?" What a travesty. Not since the cocaine era from 1978-1986 has the league faced a bigger ongoing issue than crappy officiating."There's every reason to believe this game's outcome was effected by Donaghy and his cohorts. Simmons provides a few other details of the playoff games officiated by the crooked ref, but none appear worse than Game 3 of the
The game wasn't as important, but the worst example of Tim Donaghy's effect was a Knicks-Heat game in February. The Knicks shot 39 free throws to the Heat's 8, and covered a 4.5 spread.
Good luck, Mr. Stern. Suns fans, keep your head up -- karma will find it's way back to you and maybe in the form of a Big Ticket.