Tuesday, July 1, 2008

What Does Iraq Have To Do With the NBA?

My favorite sports league is driving me nuts. I'm talking about none other than the NBA of course. For the past few years, this league has been embroiled in controversy from the brawl in Detroit's "Palace," dress codes enforced (I supported that after seeing the way Rasheed Wallace came to a 2005 playoff game), to games being fixed by referee(s).

The last incident was the straw that broke the camel's back because the integrity of the game was now in question because a certain referee (Tim Donaghy) was betting on the games. Most people believe a form of accountability on the part of the referees needs to be enforced (present company included). But I wouldn't have taken it literally to bring in an Army General. Seriously!!!

So Army Major Gen. Ronald Johnson is now the Sr. VP of Referee Operations and his experience is 32 years serving in the military as a combat engineer. First of all, let me say to Gen. Johnson thanks for your service to our country. Second, I really want to know what such great service in combat have to do with referees' calls or non-calls? Yeah, yeah, yeah, the game of basketball is a combart of sorts but could somebody at least have some experience in officiating some games first before overseeing somebody else? I'm just saying.

Also, if an NBA official have to go through different ranks from serving as a referee in high school, college, then maybe some other professional leagues before the highest league, the NBA, why can't the overseer do the same?

According to David Stern, NBA Commissioner's statement: "Ron's wealth of leadership and management experience, together with his engineering expertise in areas such as systems analysis, processes, and operations, make him an ideal candidate to lead our officiating program . . ." Thanks Commish, I feel much better now (not), what does that have to do with a wrong call on goal tending, charging, or blocking? This guy has not participated in any officiating?

Some reports says he holds multiple graduate degrees - I'm impressed! Also, love the fact this General is a Brother but come on! I've been watching this game for over 20 years and I can make a wise decision too from my experience of TV viewership officiating if that's all it takes. But then again, I don't have multiple graduate degrees (one is more than enough for me right now), and this guy has been in his career longer than I've been living. Oh well . . .I still don't like it.

Tags: Army Maj. Gen. Ronald L. Johnson, Tim Donaghy, David Stern, Referee scandal