Watching Tim Donaghy last night I couldn’t help but find the part about how he picked NBA winners believable. It’s pretty easy to picture, and pretty easy to understand. Refs are just like everybody else in that they don’t like to be told they are bad at their job. When a player shows a ref up in front of 20,000 fans, and a national audience, I imagine that it would be pretty hard for said ref to forget that. Donaghy saying that he capitalized on those grudges and relationships in the way that he did - with the Allen Iverson example specifically - just makes me think…who don’t the refs like now? And before you dismiss the rest of what I am about to say by asking how can you believe a guy like Donaghy, I’ll answer that question first: I really didn’t believe him all that much, until I heard the FBI investigator talking about the case on 60 Minutes last night. I believe Donaghy’s story, frankly, because that guy did. I imagine you wouldn’t make it too far in the FBI by being wrong on stuff like that.
Which takes me to the subject of Cavalier Bench Dancing. Is that a subject? Anyways, the way the Cavaliers carry on when their winning – to me – is something I enjoy. To the rest of the world, I’d say it’s wearing pretty thin. And while on the subject of officials, would you suppose 40 and 50 year old refs take to kindly to this banter? I’d guess no. I’d especially guess that refs don’t really like Cavalier dance leader LeBron James all that much either. Why would they really? First off, they don’t know how to officiate a guy like him yet – just like they didn’t know how to officiate Shaq when he came into the league. The impact that knocks down, say a Dwayne Wade, doesn’t knock LeBron down. It doesn’t even move him at all sometimes. As a result, he doesn’t get all the calls he should. And as a result of not getting every call he should, it seems that, to the outside observer, LeBron James literally hates all refs. I’m not saying he doesn’t have a right to be frustrated at times, but he argues every single call – right or wrong – and he argues it with emphasis. He shows at least one ref up every night, and I think he pays for it – to some extent – in the way that Donaghy described Allen Iverson paying for his argumentative in-game outbursts.But on this Monday morning after the Cavaliers’ win over Milwaukee yesterday, all this Donaghy talk shouldn’t overshadow what Delonte West did yesterday. His 14 points off the bench in the second quarter – en route to 21 for the game – were particularly spectacular. The effort even prompted me to post this well thought out take on my twitter page yesterday - @StepienRules - as I watched him go off: DELONTE!!! He was – obviously - a huge reason why, after getting down 10-0 to start the game, the Cavaliers just ran away and hid from Brandon Jennings and the Bucks yesterday. And when Delonte West plays like that, he makes this team whole. And if he can continue be what he was yesterday, there will be a whole lot more wins, and a whole lot more dancing to follow…whether you like it or not.
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