I will be the first to admit. I barely pay attention to the NBA. It had something to do with the Atlanta Hawks, the team I grew up loving, giving the ultimate middle-finger to the fans in 1999.
Granted, the Hawks, had first flipped the bird to fans in the 1993-1994 season, when to the astonishment of many the team traded Dominique Wilkins, the teams all-time leading scorer, for Danny Manning, who left via free agency shortly thereafter.
Nique was not only the most popular player for a second tier franchise, he was a former University of Georgia player, which meant half the state would root for him no matter where he was.
However, in 1999, the Hawks traded Steve Smith, another immensely popular player.
This time, the team tanked. I stopped watching after that season.
It wasn't that I was not a fan anymore. It was more that the team didn't seem to care about winning or the fans, so why should I care about the team.
That brings me to this article.
I will admit I was already more interested in the Hawks this season than I had been in years.
For the first time in a long time this team seemed like it was moving in the right direction the past couple of seasons, and this years team figured to be a sleeper for a playoff spot.
Then something funny happened.
In an overtime game against the Miami Heat on December 19th, the Hawks scorer's table collectively forgot how to count and mistook Udonis "I rifled basketballs at opposing fans in college" Haslem for Shaquille "I play a cop in my free time" O'Neal.
How you make that mistake is beyond me. Especially, since Haslem played for the Hawks briefly.
Yesterday, news came out that this will cost the Hawks an overtime win, at least temporarily. I have no problems with the NBA saying the last 51.1 seconds have to be replayed starting with the score of 114-111 Hawks.
No, that is not the problem I have.
What amazes me is that, in the NBA, the home team of a basketball contest, provides the scoring table personnel.
These people are as important, if not more so, than the referees running up and down the court!
The NBA also fined the Hawks $50,000 for the scoring mistake in charging a foul to Shaq that should have gone to Haslem.
I am sorry, why exactly does the home team provide the scoring table personnel?
Shouldn't the NBA fine itself $50,000 for being so stupid?
It is no wonder the NBA has this image of being corrupt in officiating and showing clear bias towards teams.
First there was the offseason gambling scandal involving Tim Donaghy, followed by the news that many other NBA referees like to gamble in their free time.
Now, there is this.
Obviously, scorer's cannot call fouls, but they can assign a foul to someone who did not earn a foul, and who is to say that an 'accident' has not occurred before that no one caught?
I am not saying the Hawks did this intentionally, or even knew they did it until a protest was filed. I am just saying why run the risk?
I think it is time the NBA reevaluates this process and perhaps hires their own traveling sets of scorers, ones who might not be biased towards either team.
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