"... but with less ball-grabbing."
What proof do these lunatics have to support such outrageous claims? Well, how about all of this:
#3. Video Footage of NBA Officials Fixing the Draft Lottery
It's always good business for the NBA when the teams in the biggest TV markets end up with the best players, because no one would give a shit about LeBron James if he were shooting hoops in Bairoil, Wyoming. So, sometimes they gotta "look out" for those teams -- for instance, the video of the 1985 draft lottery has been called the NBA's Zapruder film, because it shows evidence of NBA officials favoring the New York Knicks. First, you can see an accountant dropping some envelopes cleanly into the lottery drum ... except one that gets banged around the rim, creasing its corner:
"Oh well, not like this is my one job in the entire year."
An accident, right? Well, what do you know, NBA commissioner David Stern just happens to pick up an envelope with a creased corner (after feeling around in there for a little too long) ...
Couldn't the NBA afford better-looking models?
... and that envelope just happens to contain the logo of the New York Knicks, allowing them to get the first draft pick. As a result, the Knicks walk away with future Hall of Famer Patrick Ewing, and soon New Yorkers have a reason to watch basketball on TV again. Everyone wins! (Except the other teams, of course.)
#2. A Referee Admits That They Let Popular Teams Win
In any sport where there's a referee, you'll always get fans claiming that the refs are crooked and have no dicks. However, when a game is so blatantly rigged in favor of one team that even Ralph Nader gets involved and demands an investigation, those "whiners" may be on to something.
"America deserves to know if these men have dicks!"
Take Game 6 of the 2002 Lakers/Kings playoffs. If the Kings won, the playoffs were over (and the NBA would miss out on one more game's worth of Doritos ads). But, because the LA Lakers are a marquee franchise and the Sacramento Kings are, well, from Sacramento, one disgraced former referee claims that his buddies just let the Lakers win. It's not just that one guy's word, though -- there's video evidence showing the refs calling bullshit fouls for the Kings while ignoring stuff like Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant straight up elbowing a dude in the face:
He then bounced the guy's head on the floor for 10 minutes before anyone said anything.
Oh, and apparently they're still doing this, by the way.
#1. The NBA Commissioner Pretty Much Admits It's Rigged
David Stern has been the NBA's commissioner for close to 30 years, so if anyone knows how dirty the game really is, it's this guy. However, he's not likely to just go ahead and confess it, right? Actually, he already kinda did.
Chris Trotman / Stringer / Getty
"Sweep the leg."
In 2011, and with a potential NBA lockout looming on the horizon (read: potential wasted millions), Stern held a closed-door meeting with players union chief Billy Hunter and many of the league's stars. Hunter claimed in the meeting that David Stern no longer had the sway David Stern thought David Stern did. This is how a pissed off Stern responded:
Stern told the room he knows where "the bodies are buried" in the NBA, witnesses recounted, because he had buried some of them himself.
Mike Ehrmann / Getty
"Haha, I mean the babies. I know where the babies are bur- no, that's worse."
Guess what? The lockout didn't kill the season, and eight months later Stern managed to block a massive trade for nebulous "basketball reasons." No other sport has a leader with such a conspiracy theory-ish air about him: David Stern is the reason NBA fans are right to treat every no-call on LeBron James like it's a WikiLeaks document.
OK, some of them may take it a little too far.