Tim Donaghy case: What they're saying
NBA players association executive director Billy Hunter: "Clearly it feeds to that whole psyche, folks believe that there's a series of conspiracies and the outcome is dictated and that it's almost a show. The last thing you want to do is to take on
NBA players association executive director Billy Hunter: "Clearly it feeds to that whole psyche, folks believe that there's a series of conspiracies and the outcome is dictated and that it's almost a show. The last thing you want to do is to take on the aura of World Wide Wrestling. I think people want to believe that the winner is based on merit and the best team wins in a given circumstance and that there are no prerequisites. It's not being staged. So what it does is it impacts the integrity of the game. So to that extent, yeah, I would be concerned, not just for the players, for the entire operation."
Lakers coach Phil Jackson, on suggestions some referees are "company men," acting to benefit the league: "They referee what they see in front of them. You know, a lot of things have happened in the course of the Tim Donaghy disposition. I think we have to weigh it as it comes out."
Lamell McMorris, National Basketball Referees Association spokesman: "Tim Donaghy has honesty and credibility issues from the get-go. He is a convicted felon who has not yet been sentenced for the criminal conduct that he has already admitted to. He may be willing to say anything to help his cause, and he may believe that these most recent allegations will help his agenda. I am not aware of any improper actions by any current NBA referees in the playoffs 2 years ago, or any conspiracy by the NBA to affect the outcome of any games then or now."
Scot Pollard, Boston Celtics forward who played for Sacramento in the 2002 Western Conference finals against the Lakers and fouled out in Game 6. Donaghy alleged that a pair of referees conspired to favor the Lakers and force a Game 7: "If it was proven that it was - I don't know how it could ever be proven that it was - that would hurt. That would hurt the league, it would hurt my feelings, it would hurt everybody. That's ugly. You don't want that to be true. I don't want it to be found out that that was true. I would much rather live with human error than human interference."
Lakers guard Derek Fisher, who played in that 2002 series against Sacramento: "I don't know how you determine the game was rigged. Obviously, I was there in the game. I don't remember any moment thinking, 'They're helping us out a little bit.' A lot of things change from game to game. Different officiating crews call games differently. I can't comment on it. You still have to win [Game 7]. I'm not going to give my ring back, I know that."
Lakers star Kobe Bryant: "I'm sorry to be Belichicky, but we don't think about it too much, to be honest with you. It's not something we focus on as players. I think it's more talked about outside of our circles more than it is inside. We know whatever legal proceedings they have going on, they'll get to the bottom of the situation, and for us as players, all we can do is play."