North of the 400

North of Toronto, South of a championship

Was game six rigged? 82games finds out

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The most infamous game of the past 25 years – and maybe ever in the NBA – was played a little over six years ago and prompted allegations that it was rigged by the NBA; even Ralph Nader called for an inquiry (he’s gotta keep himself busy between doomed election campaigns, one assumes).

It was game six of the 2002 Western Finals between the Lakers and the Kings. Most remembered for the Lakers 40 free throws and Kobe hitting Mike Bibby with an elbow and Bibby getting the foul.

And it’s divided people unlike any other game in the history of the NBA. Mike Wilbon of the Washington Post called it the worst officiated game he had ever seen. Bill Simmons called it the most disturbing subplot of the postseason: “from an officiating standpoint, the most one-sided game of the past decade”.

This past post-season, when Tim Donaghy said that this game was determined by company men, it took on a life of it’s own.

But now Roland Beech, the founder of, has broken the game down, call by call by call, in excruciating detail. And he’s found out the game may may have been unduly effected by the officiating. It’s a long red but it’s worth it.

One unaddressed point, though: as Bill Simmons pointed out in 2002, Dick Bavetta was also involved in several other controversial games:

1999, Knicks-Pacers, Game 3 … 1999, Knicks-Pacers, Game 6 … 1999, Spurs-Knicks, Game 3 … 2000, Knicks-Heat, Game 7 … 2000, Lakers-Blazers, Game 7 … 2002, Celtics-Nets, Game 4

Now, if only could break down some other games and settle some other debates, for once and for all.


Written by M.

July 1, 2008 at 12:01 pm

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