Ralph Nader was well ahead of the curve, jumping all over the officiating for Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals in 2002 — the series brought into question by Tim Donaghy (least we suspect). He sent a letter to David Stern following that game and wasn’t satisfied with Stern’s response. And as you could imagine, since the allegations from Donaghy’s letter were made public this week, Nader has gone berserk. Check out all the suggestions he made on The Arnie Spanier Show on Sporting News Radio Thursday night:
It’s time for instant replay. It’s time to reprimand lousy referees who cross the line from simple mistakes to major incompetences. And we’ve got to worry about this conflict of interest. I think the referees for the playoff games in the NBA should be chosen by a non-partisan commission in conjunction with the NBA and not by the guys at the top. The guys at the top know that if they choose referees that are “company referees,” you don’t even have to wink at the top — the referees know what has to be done.
If the NBA loses the trust of the fans, they’re going to lose their revenues. I think this all happens because the fans aren’t organized. If you had a couple million fans organized at the local, regional, national level, throwing 25 or 50 bucks dues a year, you will be surprised what a break the fans will get, what fairness they’d get, what cleaner sports they would get.
He makes a lot of strong points. Much like Congress stepping in to regulate steroids in baseball, it’s time for the NBA officiating to be regulated by an outside source. MLB and the NBA and NFL have those anti-trust exemptions — they don’t have to answer to anyone. It’s pretty clear there’s funny business going on in the NBA, and I for one will not stand for it. I’m with Nader, these changes need to get done; we need to change the officiating system!Google+