Something's fishy in the finals
NBA on the verge of its 2nd straight dubious champion

by Berry Tramel Modified: June 9, 2007 at 6:56 am •  Published: June 9, 2007
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/> The NBA did not follow the letter of the law in the same series, when Tim Duncan stepped onto the court after a quick tussle under the basket between Spur Francisco Elson and Sun James Jones. The NBA ruled that Horry-Nash was an altercation, so the leave-the-bench-rule kicked in, and that the Elson-Jones scrum was not.

Splitting hairs. Splitting hairs and deciding NBA champs, that's what Stern lieutenant Stu Jackson did.

Which likely will leave the NBA with its second straight fishy winner. And that's no small thing. Slopes can be slippery.

Believe it or not, professional wrestling was not always the vaudeville show it was today. The wrestling was legit in the 1920s but slowly drifted away from validity. Soon enough, the sport became a human cartoon.

Boxing once was America's golden sport. These days, it has very little respectability. Even boxing's most ardent fans don't argue that the sport is on the up and up. Judging is suspect, quality matchups are rare. Truth is, boxing is a fringe sport in the 21st century.

Baseball survived the Black Sox betting scandal, but just barely. And the Black Sox did not crystallize via a big bang. Baseball betting had been a problem for more than a decade. Bad seeds like Hal Chase flagrantly soiled the game, and no one did a dang thing. The Black Sox were the result of baseball's inattention.

Loss of credibility can happen. The NBA must be diligent. Two straight tainted champions, and the slope gets slippery.

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by Berry Tramel
Columnist
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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Game 2: Cleveland at San Antonio
•When: 8 p.m. Sunday

•Where: AT&T Center, San Antonio

•TV: KOCO-5 (Cox 8)

•Series: San Antonio leads best-of-seven series 1-0.

•On Page 3C: The Hornets held more pre-draft workouts, bringing in Georgia Tech's Thaddeus Young.

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