Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Book You Should Read, But I Won't

I care about the NBA. I care about its growth and its future as a major American sport. I most certainly care about the integrity of the game, but I also understand that it is the most horrendously officiated sport there is. Make no mistake, while the MLB playoffs shed a light of fantastic incompetence, they can't even touch professional basketball when it comes to bad refs. I also like to read non-fiction and crave information. So Tim Donaghy's new book, Personal Foul, should be right up my alley. But I'm not going to read it.

In case you didn't know, Donaghy is the referee who the FBI found had been gambling on NBA games. Now he is trying to make his money back by promoting his new book, which tells tales of refs making bets with each other on who would call the first technical foul or even purposely extending playoff series. These are all things that I believe happen in the NBA. Unfortunately, Donaghy has no credibility with me. Like Jose Canseco before him, Donaghy just seems like someone riding the wave of newly found information for his own glory.

It's the same reason I don't watch Fox News or read the New York Times; I don't want to be tricked into believing a false reality. Those news publications have lied enough that I can no longer trust them as a news source. Sure, most of what they say or print is probably factual, but it is simply not worth the real news to ingest the "factually incorrect" information which is surely there. Donaghy is a proven liar and degenerate, so there is sure to be a lot of misinformation in whatever he's saying.

However, if you are not an NBA fan, I actually suggest reading it. Don't get caught up in all the little details, just understand the politics of the game and see how professional basketball really works. One of the reasons I never got into hockey or golf is because I don't really understand the sports. Yes, I know the rules and how the games are played, but nobody can teach you the in and outs, the game behind the game. I suspect this is what Personal Foul conveys, probably by accident.

I already know the story. But if you don't know why you've never gotten into the NBA, this might be an instructional manual. The sport is truly dirty, which is why I love it. It's the way all sports used to be. Not overprotective like the NFL or underevolved like the MLB, but just five black guys with a ball and three white guys who bet on them. It's actually kind of racist, but honest all the same.


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