I’m not a Spurs fan. In fact, there are few teams I care for less than the Spurs. However, that’s not entirely their fault. In fact, I’d be willing to go so far as to say that it’s entirely not their fault. It’s Papa Stern’s fault. Papa loved his Spurs for a very long time because they did things “the right way,” which is to say they didn’t have many tats and they loaded up on the international players (this last point is driven home by the fact they always tout American Timmy Duncan as an international player because he was birthed in the US Virgin Islands. He’s an American). So he skewed things in their direction and let Ginobili flop all over the court like a fish. But lately, Papa seems to have abandoned his boys. Why?
Because he keeps sending Joey Crawford to referee their playoff games. And Joey Crawford, my friends, doesn’t much care for the Spurs. It’s been that way ever since this happened:
Oh man, I forgot how funny that was. Anyways, I read the other day that the Spurs were 1-4 in playoff games officiated by Joey Crawford since that little episode. And now they’re 1-5. Huh. Interesting. It’s good to know, as Papa always tells us, that there are no biases whatsoever in NBA officiating, and that each game is adjudicated completely fairly and honestly, and to question such things is stupid and ignorant and in fact, he’s gonna take your money if you complain.
I find it terribly interesting that the Suns were outshot 50.6%-42.4% and won. How did they do that? Well, they busted their asses on the glass. They outrebounded the Spurs 49-37 (and 18-7 on the offensive end!). They certainly fought like crazy. But I think it’s a telling stat that the Suns shot 37 free throws to the Spurs’ 22 (and the Spurs were whistled for 31 fouls to the Suns’ 21). So the Spurs were called for 10 more fouls and shot 15 fewer free throws in a game officiated by a guy who was once suspended after throwing the Spurs’ star player out for laughing at his calls in a late-season game and the Spurs are now 1-5 in the six playoff games this official has called of theirs in the last three playoffs.
Now, there’s a big part of me that recognizes that this is a massive problem. No matter who’s getting screwed, it’s a bad thing for the NBA when games are not called fairly. Any time there are legitimate questions about fairness, transparency, and bias, the whole NBA suffers. And Papa is either A) making the calls from on high (my theory) or B) experiencing the worst case of denial in human history. Either way, it sucks if you care about the NBA.
However, there’s the other part of me that is equally large. And that part says, “HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA! TAKE THAT, SUCKERS! NOW YOU KNOW WHAT IT’S LIKE! IT’S TIME FOR THE COMEUPPANCES!! IT’S TIIIIIIIME FOR THE COMEUPPANCES!!” That part of me loves this picture:
That’s right, Timmy. Cry it out. Now you know what it’s like.