Now We’ve Got To Repeat
November 5, 2008

(Photo by Bill Baptist/NBAE via Getty Images)

(Photo by Bill Ba hptist/NBAE via Getty Images)

Because Rajon Rondo says so.

I just got back in the locker room. We just got the W in Houston, and I had to blog. OBAMA IS THE PRESIDENT! I can’t even explain how I feel right now. All I have to say is that we have to repeat, because we have to go back to the White House to meet Obama.

Why do I think Rajon Rondo could find a way to meet Barack Obama some other way?  You know what?  Scratch that.  Let Rondo think that the only way is repeating. 

What’s cool is that when the Celtics make it back, we know the President will have actually watched the series.

Lots of questions about Scott Foster’s officiating last night.  He just so happens to be friends with Tim Donaghy.  Does that mean anything?  No.  But I’ll bet you he wishes he didn’t make so many absolutely horrible calls the night after talking to all these media outlets about his association with a known game-fixer. 

The C’s are in Oklahoma City tonight, and we’re hoping they don’t let down like they did against Indiana.  They’re coming off their first win of the season… and they’ve had a couple of days off.  I expect the C’s to win, but if they relax, a young and athletic Thunder team could find their way to the hole.  For a look ahead to tonight’s game, head over to Thunderguru.com, where I did a little Q&A about the C’s.

If you’re like me and you’re still compiling championship memorabilia.  Here’s a pretty cool book for you to check out.  Click on the image if you want to preview and buy it.

celts-book

The Lakers have jumped to the top of power rankings.  They can have it.  I’ll take another title.

Herald:  No landslide, but Celtics win on election night  |  McDyess interests C’s  |  Globe:  C’s fend off Rockets  |  Vote of approval from ranks of Celtics  |  ESPN Daily Dime:  Big 3 still rules  |  Houston Chronicle:  Cassell has coaching aspirations 

After the jump:  YouTube video of Kendrick Perkins NASTY rejection of Ron Artest… and Allen Iverson makes fun of himself and his “practice” line. (more…)

Donaghy Gets 15 Months
July 29, 2008

Disgraced NBA referee Tim Donaghy was sentenced to 15 months in prison Tuesday after pleading guilty last year to taking thousands of dollars in payoffs from a professional gambler for inside betting tips.

The sentencing of Donaghy closes a chapter in a scandal that convulsed the NBA, which has angrily denied Donaghy’s claim that corruption among referees runs deeper.

15 months? That’s it? With good behavior, he’ll be out in less than a year. This story has puzzled me from the beginning. It took the mass media days, if not weeks, before realizing the relevance of the scandal. David Stern came out on his high-horse and talked down to anyone who suggested the remote possibility that more referees could be involved. And the media let him. Now this scumbag will be out of jail within a year.

The Donaghy Effect?
June 12, 2008

tim donaghyA couple of weeks ago, the NBA decided it wanted to get $1 million from Tim Donaghy as reimbursement for their investigation into his gambling (and also a little something… you know… for the effort).  Donaghy’s lawyers responded by dropping a bombshell that refs fixed past playoff games… and they did it right before the biggest game… of the biggest finals in years… with 2 of the top 7 television markets tuning in. 

Touche’.

Suddenly, the top story on morning talk radio is Tim Donaghy… not Celtics-Lakers.  ESPN’s SportsNation is asking if people believe the 2002 Lakers-Kings series was fixed… and 76% are saying “yes” right now.  It is a scandal that could be as big as steroids in baseball… in that people are starting to ask if outside agencies need to investigate… and if Congress needs to hold hearings.

And oh, by the way, what was the biggest story line coming out of Game 2?  The free throw disparity.

So here we are, heading into Game 4, and suddenly “Pierce-Garnett shooting woes” and “will Gasol or Odom show up” have been bumped down to the middle of the list of things most people are now watching for.  Everything on the list before those now have to do with the officials.

Now the question is… how will this affect the rest of this series? 

The referees aren’t just under the magnifying glass now… they’re the plastic army men I used to set up on the side walk… a split-second before I trained that beam of magnified sunlight onto their unsuspecting heads.  How will they react?

Will they live up to the perception that the superstars get all the calls?  That the home team gets the benefit of the doubt?  That the NBA will do what it needs to do to extend a series and maximize profit? 

Or will the refs call this one right down the middle… and a foul is a foul… whether it gets Kobe Bryant or Glen Davis in foul trouble or not.  Could tonight be the night where Kobe gets a couple of offensive fouls early while trying to be aggressive?  Will an over-emotional KG get tossed on a second technical?  Will Paul Pierce and Derek Fisher each end the game with 8 turnovers because the refs are calling every travelling violation?

And if the refs decide to make sure the fouls are all even and there isn’t even a hint of the appearance of impropriety… who does it benefit?  My feeling would be that if all things are equal, then its simply a matter of the better team winning… and I think that has clearly been the Celtics so far in this series.  But it will be interesting to see.

Help Wanted
August 18, 2007

Can you blow a whistle? Are you capable of spotting a hand slap from 40 feet away? Do you look ridiculous in tight pants? (Who doesn’t? I’m obviously talking about men) If so, you are advised to apply to the NBA because if Tim Donaghy sings like ESPN is reporting, David Stern is going to need a bunch more referees. Yup, Donaghy supposedly knows 20 refs or so, who have some connection to gambling. But didn’t the almighty Commissioner Stern refer to Donaghy as a ‘rogue, isolated criminal?” If this blows up, I hope some owners (don’t let me down Wyc) will step up and put pressure on Stern. He doesn’t deserve to skate on this issue if it’s proven several referees bet so much on Keno in Atlantic City.

Doc: Big Al Ain’t That Good
July 22, 2007

Finally some Celtics related news to discuss. The Herald’s Steve Bulpett continues to be the only local writer who delivers the goods on a consistent basis.  He has a great interview with Doc Rivers about Al Jefferson and the possibility that Celtics fans may have an inflated view of Big Al’s talents.

“I walk around Boston right now, and if I didn’t know any better, I would have thought Al had been on the All-Star team the last five years,” Rivers said. “He’s got a chance to be a great All-Star player, but he ain’t yet. He’s still got a lot of room to improve. That’s where coaches are more realistic than the public sometimes.”

You know what? Doc is right, but what a way to rain on a guy’s parade. Or is he trying to ease our pain when Ainge pulls the trigger on the Garnett trade next week? Scott Souza has Sean Grande’s take on where the Celtics are going, what other moves they need to make, and most importantly, what it’s like to work with Cedric Maxwell.

Bulpett also spoke with Ryan Gomes regarding his conversation with league officials about comments the young forward made about the team clinching the second worst record in the league. That takes us to the alleged dirtbag Tim Donaghy and the betting scandal. You’ll find countless stories in just about any newspaper or web site but since I love the tabloids, let’s take a look at what the NY Post has to offer this morning.

 “He wasn’t going to do it,” said a source close to the ref. “The Mafia said, ‘No, you’re going to do it!’ The Mafia threatened his wife and his kids. He didn’t have a choice in the end. He loves his family.”

There’s also more crazy stuff from a postal worker who claims Donaghy flipped out when he bumped his mail truck into the ref’s recycling bin. Now I’m not sure where the league’s investigation will go, but one things for sure, Donaghy is a nut job.

In other news, Peter May writes about a bunch of topics including Kobe Bryant and Team USA, Yi, Ryan Gomes and Brandon Wallace’s bonus.

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