O’Neal’s block was a bang-bang play. Most NBA plays are. There were two dozen in the Thunder-Pacers game Sunday. You’ve got to accept that some go your way, some don’t. To micromanage every whistle destroys the sport.
And we’ve got to get past the idea that some NBA conspiracy exists against certain teams.
While it’s possible that a rogue referee or player might conspire to fix a game, for financial reasons or diabolical reasons or simply because they’re certifiably insane, it is not possible that the NBA office would condone such actions in some kind of secret star chamber.
It is not possible that the NBA would rig a game or the draft lottery. It’s silly to think the league would compromise its credibility for the Lakers or the Knickerbockers or some other mega-market franchise, just to appease the television networks that would benefit from greater ratings and more advertising revenue.
The cost is too great. The benefit of a big-market franchise success is dwarfed by the potential risk if the plot is uncovered. If an NBA/television conspiracy comes to light, the league is finished. Banished to the fringes of boxing, a sport which once ruled American minds but now is trusted by few.
Stupid people make financially risky decisions. Smart people do not. Men with lots of money do not risk it all to make a little.
I know it’s gut-wrenching to lose a tight game. I know the Mavericks operate in a culture in which owner Mark Cuban combats the NBA at every opportunity. I know people get on Twitter with no clue of the ramifications.
But the NBA should not tolerate people who promote the idea that the NBA could be involved in a conspiracy.
Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at (405) 760-8080 or at . He can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including FM-98.1. You can also view his personality page at newsok.com/berrytramel.