Is the NBA rigged? | The Tylt
The NBA Draft Lottery is back and many fans are hoping the ping-pong balls fall in their favor. But with the balls picked behind the scenes, can fans really trust the result? Highly publicized conspiracy theories, like the Frozen Envelope and former referee Tim Donaghy’s damning book, have circulated for years and damaged the league's credibility. However, conspiracy theories are just theories and you can’t depend on the word of a jilted ex-employee for credible information. What do you think? 🏀
Is the NBA rigged?
Let's not hide from it anymore: the NBA is rigged.
Conspiracy theories are fun to think about, but as soon as people start believing them, they morph into a dangerous tool for harmful agents to wield—even though they might be completely false. As much as people love to hate on the NBA for “fixing” games, no “fix” exists.
The NBA has a long history of giving certain teams an advantage. The most memorable was during the 1985 NBA Draft with the first draft lottery. The New York Knicks needed a center, and Georgetown’s Patrick Ewing was coming off a ridiculous senior year.
With a lot of money at stake for Madison Square Garden and the NBA, Commissioner David Stern froze the envelope with the New York Knicks in it in dry ice so he could easily identify it. The Knicks were assured the most talented player in the draft, and a future Hall of Famer.
There was also the Tim Donaghy betting scandal, where a former referee was arrested for betting on NBA games and giving inside information to bookies. Donaghy alleged the NBA manipulated games via foul calls to favor one team over the other—specifically pointing to the 2002 Western Conference Finals between the Los Angeles Lakers and Sacramento Kings, where the Lakers shot 27 foul shots in the fourth quarter of Game 6.
Just because the NBA didn’t address it, doesn’t still mean it isn’t a problem. The NBA is rigged.
The NBA could have lost a lot of money if the Golden State Warriors swept the Cleveland Cavaliers last season. Good thing the league stepped in to save them some money.
It’s pretty rich when people cite Tim Donaghy as some shining example of NBA illegitimacy. That guy didn’t have an axe to grind or anything, right?
When some people are cornered, they will say anything to get them out of hot water and shift the attention to someone else. What is more distracting than to allege results for an entire professional sport are tainted? Donaghy was just a rogue referee who was willing to say anything to get the heat off him, and nothing more.
Truth is if the NBA was rigged, Los Angeles, New York and Boston would be winning championships every year. And yet, we have Cleveland and Golden State in the Finals this year, with the Lakers and the Knicks missing the playoffs. As much as people want to believe the fix is in, the NBA is not rigged.
The New York Knicks had a 14.3 percent chance to get the No. 1 overall draft pick, just like the six other teams that were there. Teams can get lucky in the draft without the league being rigged. It might be less exciting than a frozen envelope, but sometimes things just work out that way.
I hate "the NBA is rigged" peanut gallery. Not because it's totally impossible. But mainly because it's baseless.— Preston Broadus (@uknowjmac) June 13, 2017
Sometimes, emotions get in the way, and people want to blame something for their failures. Just because things don't go your way, doesn't mean there's some conspiracy holding you back. Sometimes, you lose just because you're not good enough that day.