Friday, June 13, 2008
Friday the 13th hits hard.
"Was Mike Bibby holding his nose in pain after he ran into Kobe Bryant's elbow? Or did the Kings' performance just stink?" -- Caption from ESPN.
Someone say this is NOT SO.
First Tim Russert dies of a heart attack while doing voice-overs, next R. Slime Kelly is ACQUITTED (!), and now this?
I didn't want to post about basketball again because thinking about the Lakers not climbing out of the hole the Celtics dug them last night is PAINFUL, but here are the leading paragraphs from the article linked above, because if any of this is true, LA losing that historic 24-point lead could be karma striking a painful blow:
LOS ANGELES: For an NBA player, it was the kind of loss that can take years to get over. Now the Sacramento Kings are dealing with it all over again.
A foul discrepancy so lopsided they couldn't help but wonder if they were being cheated. And this week, six years later, accusations that, in fact, they were.
On the verge of playing for a championship they would have been favored to win, the Kings lost Game 6 of the Western Conference finals to the Los Angeles Lakers, 106-102. Los Angeles shot 27 free throws in the fourth quarter, scoring 16 of its final 18 points at the line, to even the series.
Former referee Tim Donaghy alleged in court papers filed this week that two referees, known as "company men," purposely ignored personal fouls and called "made-up fouls on Team 5 in order to give additional free throw opportunities for Team 6."
NBA commissioner David Stern, and Kings owners Gavin and Joe Maloof have rejected the claims from Donaghy, who has pleaded guilty to betting on games he officiated and taking cash payments from gamblers.
But Doug Christie, remembering how his teammates felt after the game, said he still believes they might be true.
"What's been in the dark comes to the light, and the truth can squash a lot of things. And so if this is the truth, then all of a sudden now it adds validity to things people were thinking, things that our teammates and I'm sure the coaching staffs and the Maloofs were thinking at that particular time," Christie said.
"Just the other night they complained about 38 free throws vs. 10 for Boston vs. L.A., and we're talking about 27 free throws in the deciding final quarter of an elimination game that has such the big, big stage from the standpoint that the defending champs are about to be put out. I mean that's just an incredible number, and when you look at the fouls that were called, players fouling out ... I mean there's just so many different things that magnify that situation. It's crazy."
Christie was a starting guard on a team that won an NBA-best 61 games. Chris Webber, Peja Stojakovic, Vlade Divac and Mike Bibby were the other starters for the Kings, a high-scoring group under Rick Adelman who felt it was their time to finally get by the hated Lakers.
"We thought we had the best team," Gavin Maloof said. "I know the Lakers had a great team. Remember you had Kobe and Shaq in his prime, I mean that was a tough combination. But we had a lot of great players, too. We had what we felt was the best team in the league."
The Lakers went on to take Game 7 in overtime at Sacramento before sweeping the overmatched New Jersey Nets in the finals. Webber tore up his knee the next year, and the Kings never came close again to winning a title.
Now, Donaghy's allegations have them thinking about what might have been.
"You never get over it," Maloof said. "It was a tough loss and to rehash it all, to have everybody calling from years gone by, it is tough because it brings up bad memories."
-- or, it could be the refs doing dirty for Boston this time, some kind of payback, or...maybe this guy is the real owner of the Celtics these days:
Oh HELL, I'm BEAT. This week felt like two, kind of like the pastor's-son's freakout week but without anyone breaking ugly "artwork."
Poor CC is still living down that incident, along with the big guy, who's taken a bit of flack from the property owner and management about security issues and controlling proceedings in our offices...pretty much an excuse to ramp up the lease payment when the current lease agreement expires in September. Just yesterday, CC's clients Bert and Ernie looked up at her like they just gazed upon Athena striding up to greet them in the lobby, and Bert said to Ernie, "See, we have the best lady lawyer in the business, made a grown man cry I hear!" Yep, he said the "lady lawyer" but it was nothing but love from Bert and his strange forties-loving ways. Bert and Ernie were dressed in their swing WW II-era suits for their dance lessons that evening. CC winced but grinned extra-wide and with a "come on in, boys" marched them to her office.
Oh yeah, and the murdered burnt pizza was a "treasured gift from a dear friend" of the landlord -- yes, my eyes are still rolling. But at least CC and the big guy got major leverage on the case. Pastor's son is naturally on leave and a partner has taken over and unusually favorable negotiation points have been floated. The case went from full-on contentious at every point to let's-get-to-that-compromise-and-release-walk-through from zero to 60.