On the verge of a historic collapse the NBA’s Golden State Warriors are seemingly looking for excuses. The team destroyed all opponents with a record 73 wins, besting Michael Jordan’s 1995 Chicago Bulls this season and anything other than winning title would be seen as a failure. The reigning champs then rolled through the playoffs and led the finals 3-1, seemingly on the brink of another ring until the sharp teeth of reality bit them in the ass last week. The team lost back to back games to the Cleveland Cavaliers, making LeBron James look like Jordan himself and the panic has already begun. Of course there is subplot of accused racism that can be used as a part of the explanation if the team closes out the big gag on Sunday.
A key problem for team has been the less than overwhelming performance by phenom Stephen Curry. Normally a deadly three-point bomber, the league’s regular season MVP has been morphed into Cam Newton at crunch time. He was fouled out of Thursday’s crucial game six and then hurling his spit-filled mouthpiece which struck a Cleveland fan. But Curry like so many others may have a convenient out as well as a plausible explanation for his meltdown – it’s all about racism!
Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry says his father-in-law “almost got arrested” when he was mistaken for another man Thursday night at Quicken Loans Arena.
NBA security was on alert during Game 6 of the NBA Finals to look for a man they believed would enter the game without the proper credentials, an NBA official told The Undefeated. Quicken Loans Arena security officials checked the credentials of the father of Curry’s wife, Ayesha, because they thought he looked like the man before determining they were mistaken, an NBA official said.
Ayesha Curry, however, tweeted after the Warriors’ 115-101 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers that her father was racially profiled.
Police racial profiled my father and told him to remove credentials and tried to arrest him. It’s been a long night for me. I apologize:
— Ayesha Curry (@ayeshacurry) June 17, 2016
Stephen Curry was briefed by an NBA official about the situation with his father-in-law after he spoke to media following Game 6.
“I was just kind of debriefed on what the security thought happened with some guy that poses with fake credentials and gets backstage at a lot of events, the NBA Finals and all that stuff,” Curry told The Undefeated as he departed from the arena. “They kind of profiled my father-in-law and thought he was him. They threatened to arrest him before they checked out his credentials. It’s kind of been an emotional and tough night all the way around.
“That was kind of a traumatic situation where her [Ayesha’s] dad almost got arrested. So it was kind of a tough situation to deal with in a hostile environment. All in all, it’s just a game. I hope that everybody is all right.”
The embarrassed MVP’s wife also raved about conspiracy theories that her hubby had been booted out of the game because the league and the network desperately wanted a game seven for the jackpot of money that would be generated. While the media is rushing to paint her much like anyone who questions the official narratives, there may be something to it at least in terms of her questioning of the fouls being legit. The league’s decision to suspend power forward Draymond Green for game five provided a major boost for Cleveland as well.
Disgraced former NBA referee Tim Donaghy has admitted that games were subject to manipulation and an ongoing series of questionable calls in big games would seem to give credence to the tin foil hatters. I must include myself in that particular category as a lifelong sports fan who has noticed the bizarre nature of postseason officiating that reeks of such chicanery. I stopped watching the NBA back during the reign of the Los Angeles Lakers when Shaq could back his big dump truck ass under the basket never get fouled out while anyone who dared to so much as breathe on Kobe would be hit with a foul.
At the end of the day pro sports is all about the money and it’s only natural that the leagues and the networks would want to draw viewers with attractive matchups as well as extended series. The questionable calls are not limited to the NBA either, recall the infamous calls in a 2014 season NFL playoff game in Dallas and the next week in Green Bay.
According to a story by Yahoo Finance:
…the conspiracy-minded are quick to point out, the NBA and ABC—the network with broadcast rights to the Finals—stand to make big money because the series didn’t end in only five games. Just how much money?
Well, last year, AdAge cited data from ispot.tv indicating that ABC pulled in $223.9 million in advertising revenues over the course of last year’s NBA Finals matchup, which again featured the Cavaliers versus the Warriors. That series only lasted six games, however. A Game 7 is typically a ratings and money-making bonanza. AdAge estimated that had there been a Game 7 last year, it would have likely drawn an audience of 32 million viewers and a 21.2 household rating, up from an average of 20 million viewers and an 11.6 rating for the previous games in the 2015 NBA Finals.
As for the advertising revenues, “A seventh game likely would have tossed another $45 million on the pile,” AdAge reported.
So, if the 2016 NBA Finals had ended with a Game 5 victory by the Warriors, ABC would have missed out on the ad revenues of Game 6 and Game 7—which will probably total in excess of $80 million, based on estimates from last year.
I would strongly recommend other skeptics to check out the work of Brian Tuohy who wrote The Fix is In, Larceny Games and A Season in the Abyss, the books will never get any play in the mainstream media and for damned good reason. Hey, it’s fine if the leagues tinker with the outcomes to make money, it is after all a business. Just don’t market it as sports though because then it becomes the WWF.
While it’s entirely possible that Curry comes through in game seven on Sunday night with a clutch performance and delivers the rings to his teammates there is already a convenient crutch in place if that doesn’t happen. The momentum may have swung for good when Curry and the Warriors were thumped because he lost this cool in the most Newtonesque of ways, it would be a shame to see the flames of racial animus once again stoked in the sports world but that is just par for the course in Obamastan.