A friend and loyal reader took me to task a bit for my characterization of Phil Jackson as a "whiner." How could I call Jackson a whiner, when I obviously could still not get over Game 6 of the 2002 Western Conference Finals?
Well, maybe this will help explain why:
Was Kings' '02 series loss fixed?
Bee Sports staff - Published 4:27 pm PDT Tuesday, June 10, 2008
The former NBA referee facing prison time after admitting to gambling on games is indirectly claiming the controversial Game 6 of the 2002 Western Conference finals was fixed to ensure the Los Angeles Lakers would beat the Kings.
In a letter sent to the sentencing court, Tim Donaghy alleges that two of the three referees in that game, known to be "company men," wanted to extend the series to a deciding seventh game. The team that lost Game 6 had two players ejected, the letter claims, and eventually lost the series.
The Lakers-Kings series was the only matchup of the 2002 playoffs that went seven games. No Kings were ejected, but two players - centers Vlade Divac and Scot Pollard - did foul out.
Now, I'm sure we can all agree that Tim Donaghy is far from an impeccable source when it comes to throwing around accusations as serious as this one. But I think it's telling that that particular game would be the subject of such accusations.