A few days ago, former NBA referee Tim Donaghy released a video exposing a blown call at a crucial point in the Miami Heat-Chicago Bulls series. LeBron James changed pivot feet and knocked down a jumper sealing Chicago's fate.
Since the release, the video has caused controversy and debates as to whether or not the referees are letting LeBron James get away with too much at critical points of the game.
With the NBA Finals getting underway, I wondered if the Tim Donaghy, who now works as a blogger and consultant with Danny Berrelli, thought the referees may influence the game in LeBron's favor, or if the Mavericks would take it down.
"I think Dallas is going to win in seven. I really believe the officiating is going to have to be as fair as humanly possible for both teams because Mark Cuban is not going to stand to be basically put at a disadvantage again like he was in the last finals that he was in five years ago."
That "disadvantage" Mr. Donaghy reference could be linked to the disparity in free throws, which saw Miami's franchise player Dwyane Wade attempt 46 free throws during the final two games of the series.
Following Game 5, Mavs owner Mark Cuban was hit with a $250,000 fine after being cited for "several acts of misconduct" including a quote of "Your league is rigged" according to the Miami Herald.
Although Mark Cuban has denied saying those words, his openly brash attitude towards officials is well documented, and Mr. Donaghy believes his attitude will keep the officials straightened out this series.
"Eventually he's going to erupt and cause a lot of embarrassment for the league if he's not given fair treatment."
If the series goes without a hiccup, it will be interesting to see if the Mavs can get some type of redemption since dropping their last chance at a championship back in 2006. If the Mavs can't get it done, it may be the last chance Dirk Nowitzki has a winning a championship.
Dirk is pushing 33, and with a lockout pending, the Mavs are not the youngest team in the NBA.
Veterans such as Jason Kidd, Peja Stojakovic and Shawn Marion are also nearing the end of their careers, and a lockout could send the Mavs into a serious roster turnover.
As labor negations seem to be going nowhere, the league may be locking its door come July 1; however, that's not how Tim sees it.
"I think there’s too much money at stake for both sides to be stubborn and not get this worked out. I think eventually, before the regular season starts that they will get it worked out. "
Only time will tell if Mr. Donaghy is correct, not only about the series, but the labor agreements as well, and hopefully, in both scenarios, fairness triumphs.
Kyle McMorrow, a Correspondent for Bleacher Report, is a freelance writer and news production assistant for 1010 WINS Radio in New York City. He has also worked for the Big Ten Network and ABC-TV in New York City. Kyle McMorrow has interviewed numerous prominent athletes, such as Larry Fitzgerald, Eli Manning and LaDainian Tomlinson.Twitter: @Kyle_McMorrow
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