Full-Court Press Won't Fix NBA's Image Woes

Commish can point to crooked ref, but game- fixing charge sticks
By Katherine Thompson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 12, 2008 3:38 PM CDT
Los Angeles Lakers' Kobe Bryant puts up a shot during an NBA basketball game Sunday, April 1, 2007. The teams' meeting in the 2002 finals has been brought under suspicion by Tim Donaghy.   (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
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(Newser) – It seems unlikely NBA commissioner David Stern would ever have arranged outcomes of important games, as disgraced former referee Tim Donaghy has claimed. But whether or not the accusations are true, the league has a Shaq-sized image issue on its hands, and strategies for dealing with the tarnish aren't in huge supply, writes Marc Stein for ESPN.

"We said it in July, and we'll say it again on the first anniversary: There's one criminal here," Stern insisted, but even if Donaghy fades away, the NBA's credibility issues won't. Congressional hearings might help, or the league could implement video coaches' challenges, but the fact remains that calling fouls in basketball will always be difficult and contentious.