Lakers vs Kings 2002 Game 6 WCF: How bad were the Officials?
I was thinking about this game and how some people think the refs changed NBA history. But watched the tape and made a youtube video on the calls, and the callss weren't as lopsided as people thought.
Let me know what you remember of that game, and here is the video for those interested.
Me and my friend watched this game over again and couldn't believe some of the fouls the refs were calling on the Kings.. It may not have been that lopsided re watching it but man the Kings got screwed by their calls way more then LA did. Some of those Webber fouls are insane like the one he blocked Shaq and the one where he was called for a charge on Horry, those were HORRENDOUS MISSES. But if u wanna watch a great game watch this over its a fun one to watch
No surprise here...
I stopped watching that video early as it pointlessly shows calls in the 1st quarter and stuff like that. It is the 4th quarter that you have to watch. Numerous calls on Shaq where poor old Divac and Pollard barely touch one of the most physical players ever and boom, foul. The Webber block and charge were terrible. Divac dove for a loose ball and touched a Lakers player, another foul. Bibby got half his teeth knocked out and there was no flagrant. It sure was suspect at best. Downright cheating at worst.
I'm a lifelong Kings fan who died a little bit that day so I am fully aware that I can't be objective. That said it sure felt to me like the Kings got jobbed. Even some LA beat writers - primarily Bill Plaschke - say to this day that something wasn't right in that game. And it sure doesn't help when Stern was dumb enough to say things like "the ultimate NBA finals would be the Lakers v Lakers" or when Tim Donaghy comes out and alleges that it was fixed.
I'm not willing to say that it was as nefarious as some people suggest - I don't think that the order came down from on high. Stars - and Shaq and Kobe were the league's biggest stars - always get the calls and refs have bad nights. But no one can deny that it was in everyone's best interest - other than Sac - for that to go 7.
And those early game calls did matter, in my opinion. Pollard was in foul trouble because of some suspect early calls and that impacted the late game. Donaghy admitted later that for the games he fixed it was the 1st quarter that mattered, not the 4th. No one remembers a couple of bad calls in the 1st but if you whistle a star for two early and get him out of the game the 4th quarter may not matter.
My memory of watching the game live is what I will trust. The game really doesn't need any interference from the refs until the fourth quarter of each game for a successful "fix". Also, watching the game and comparing it to the way the game was called THEN is important. If you took a team from the late 1980's and had them play a game against the current Miami Heat, let's say the Detroit Pistons 1989-1990 "Bad Boys" team. They wouldn't have enough players left to finish the game by the 2nd quarter because they would have 17 technical fouls. Of course, the Heat would probably be in the hospital as well. The game is called differently throughout eras and the last couple games of that Sacramento vs Lakers series were called in a way that made quite a few people scream out that the "fix is in!" during the game. This was before people were on internet chat boards helping to spread ideas the way it happens now (they exsisted, they just weren't as popular). The opinions from people from all over the world were formed individually, not altered by online pandering.
I rewatched a video of the series from a Sacramento Kings fan within the last couple of years (which was relevant when their mayor, former NBA star Kevin Johnson, was fighting to save the team). The video had a general feeling that the Kings got screwed and it was consistent with the feelings I had watching the game back when it happened. Granted, I am a Bulls fan and did not want to watch Phil Jackson win with another dynasty and was actively rooting against the Lakers (although I like the team now, ironically, looking back on them...hindsight is 50/50 I guess). Also, I believe that part of the reason that the NFL is becoming so popular (my second favorite league behind the NBA) is because the parity involved. I hate the Packers, but I LOVE that a small town in Wisconsin can have a powerhouse NFL franchise that has a rabid, loyal fanbase and players love to play for. That would help the NBA as well, but being a Chicago resident I guess that I should be careful what I ask for (although no elite free agents ever SIGN here, they just use the Bulls as leverage). I think it would be good for the NBA for a team like Sacramento, who at the time was fighting to keep Chris Webber in town (who basically was bored living in the "small" town of Sacramento), to be able to go about putting together an NBA champion the "right way".
As far as the games themselves being fixed, all I know is that the NBA has NOT been above suspicion for as long as I have been watching (basically, the Stern era) and this is a prime example. The way Donaghy explained how an NBA game was so easy to fix...
Call the appopriate amount of fouls either way to dictate the flow of the game, which is easy because the NBA calls fouls differently depending on the name on the back of the jersey.
Be the member of the officiating crew that dictates the pace of the game, allowing the rest of your officiating "team" to follow your lead to create consistency.
Not to mention the draft lottery throughout NBA history, dating as "far back" as less than two years ago when the new owner of the Hornets (now Pelicans) was in attendance and gloating as if he knew what to expect when the Pelicans ended up with Anthony Davis. How can the league pretend to not care about the results of the Draft lottery when they are owners of the team and are actively trying to sell the franchise. A franchise player (and a guy who has a chance to be one of the all-time greats apparently with how quickly he picked up the NBA game) makes a franchise worth potentially hundreds of millions of dollars more over a five year timespan.
Good topic BTW, even though I disagree with your overall assessment (let's face it, none of us know the REAL answer). I was just having a discussion with some of my fellow NBA diehards a couple days ago.
As a Lakers fan its hard to be objective about this. But I am able. I am under the belief that a foul could be called every time down the court if the refs wanted to. They don't for flow of the game but they definitely could. So anytime a team shoots 15 more free throws than another team I always question if its legit as there is just no reason for it. Its the same questions I have asked when the Heat have shorten a ridiculous more amount of free throws than teams they face or how every team shoots more free throws than the Mavericks when Danny Crawford is officiating.
I think its safe to say something wasn't right about that game. What? We will never know but there is never a reason for a team to shoot that many more free throws than another I just can't buy into that.
With that being said people tend to forget because they only watch the YouTube clips of the games, but the Kings could have won that game had they made their free throws down the stretch. They also could have won game 7 had they made their free throws down the stretch. I am of a belief the Refs definitely got the Lakers in the game and did their best to hand it to them, but so did the Kings. The refs weren't the end all as youtube suggests. The Kings still had chances despite the refs. Though it shouldn't come down to a despite type situation either way.
To me one of the saddest moments in the NBA. Right up there with Ewing lottery, The Chris Paul veto and the soon to be Lakers first pick ;) ( I kid I kid.)
Its a shame because if you remember watching that series like I do.... Man it was one of the greatest ever. Those teams hated each other.
I admire you if you can truly be objective about it...I know I am not. But as much as it pissed me off then (and still does, yes I'm not over it lol) I had to thumbs up your comment for the simple reason that you are dead right about your assessment of the Kings. Suspect calls or not they had every chance in the world to win game 6. And when that didn't happen they had game 7 at home. The memorable moment for me in that series, aside from the Robert Horry three pointer, was the last few seconds of regulation in game 7. Peja was left wide open for a three from the corner, a shot we watched him make 1,000 times. He airballed it. I think they got hosed...but they had more than enough chances.
Damn Lakers probably will get the #1 pick lol
Not as bad as the 4th qtr in game 7 of the 2010 finals.
go youtube that.
At least now I know how Kings fans felt.
I haven't watched a minute of NBA basketball since that day. What a horrible atrocity to end a season.
27 free throws in the 4th quarter.
Watch the game, The Celtics were fouling the shit out of the Lakers. It's not like they were playing good defense. They treated it like the refs wouldn't call anything because it was a finals game and they turned it into streetball and it backfired.
I'm talking about the game referenced in the topic, hence my response was directly to the OP. It has nothing to do with the "C's"
Uh no they weren't.
The only plays that actually were fouls were the Ron Artest play, but it wasn't a Larry J ohnson-esque and 1, it was a floor foul. Especially after they waved off what shoudl've been a KG and 1 on a fadeway earlier. 4 point swing just right there.
The Kobe 3 FTs was absolute BS.
Tehre was a clear charge on Gasol at mid court.
There was a foul on Rasheed on a Kobe drive, but only after Gasol fouled Rondo 3 times on the same rebound. My favorite was Van Gundy about to criticize the C's for not boxing out and then mid-replay he stops cause he sees Gasol climb rondo's back, push him forward and then hit him in the face trying to get the rebound.
It was a travesty when Gasol fouled KG and Rondo all night in the paint. Those 2 should've shot more FTs than the Lakers, not Kobe and Gasol and shooting more FTs than the C's.
2 players on the Lakers shooting more FTs than the entire C's team despite the C's attacking the rim more during the course of the entire game.