Friday, June 13, 2008

Terry Pluto chimes in

courtesy of the lurking Captain Hate, here's veteran NBA writer Terry Pluto's take on the state of the WBF (World Basketball Federation), questioning whether Stern has any interest in learning the truth about what's going on (I'd go further and say that he knows very well what's happening, what he doesn't want is for it to go public):

(link on two lines for formatting)


Steve said...

I sent the following email in response to Pluto:

Kudos for your article today; the heat must be kept on Stern and the NBA about this because I'm disappointed in how little interest this has generated on most sports bbs. This is a potential blockbuster of greater significance than the Black Sox scandal and Stern is doing his best to brush it under the carpet with a "Nothing to see here; wow, look at Paul Pierce!!" I'm afraid he might get away with it.

Stern has been in position for 24 years and really should resign for the good of the game. And clean house on the way out. I'm 58 years old and have always followed the NBA, and am as far from a conspiracy nut as you can find. However I feel that the last three years' playoffs have been played under a cloud. The first was the reffing in the Mavs/Heat series after the Mavs went up 2-0; it wasn't so much the treatment given to Dwayne Wade (who I like and enjoy watching) as that Nowitzki was getting mugged and couldn't buy a foul. Plus Stu Jackson continued his trend of making highly capricious judgement calls on suspending Stackhouse for an admittedly hard foul on Shaq (which probably hurt Stack more than O'Neal) after Shaq had opened him up (strictly and accident but still....). The following year was the Suns incident that you mentioned and this year the stupid Joey Crawford assignment. Stu Jackson is the person behind all of these and has probably been advising Stern that there was nothing to the Donaghy story when Stern first became aware of it.

For all the complaints that are justifiably made about Bud Selig, Stern has shown himself less suited to be responsible for the integrity of a billion dollar sports league. Under Stern's leadership the NBA has declined in stature; it isn't unusual for the NBA stars to lose in international competition, which wasn't the case when he took over. Also the Donaghy allegations were brought on by a petulant civil suit by the league over the purported costs of carrying on his sham investigation; this from the league that bleeds huge amounts of money trying to prop up the WNBA. After these allegations and Stern's high-handed reaction, I've stopped watching the Finals. The NBA isn't "fantastic" to me any more.

Steve said...

Pluto responded this morning, thanking me for the feedback and stating that "It would be nice as this serves as a wakeup call, but I doubt the NBA will change much."

I think Pluto is a genuinely nice guy and wasn't surprised by the response. As you can tell from some of the comments on the original link, that website isn't exactly a hangout for mensas (still blaming Earnest Byner for "The Fumble"; oh yeah, these people have a life :rolleyes).