Maybe it’s because disgraced NBA ref Tim Donaghy grew up near my hometown (Go Cardinal O’Hara Lions!), but I’m totally intrigued by the whole NBA .

As the Sports Guy pointed out yesterday, there is nothing deadlier for a league than a gambling controversy:

For honest referees still working games, it doesn’t matter what happens from this point on — their collective integrity will always be questioned, their collective track record won’t matter, and that will be that.

Of course, the NBA has other problems than just the collective credibility of its refs being called into question, not the least of which is that the city of Phoenix has to live with the suspicion that it might have been the 2006-2007 NBA champ if not for one crooked official.

So I can’t help but smile when I remember that it was just a few months ago that the NBA held its All-Star Game in the biggest gambling mecca in the world, Las Vegas.

Tim Donaghy talks it out with his fellow refs.And it wasn’t so long before that that Bud Selig was thinking about moving the Expos to Sin City.

From USA Today, April 15, 2004:

Baseball’s relocation committee, determined to find a suitable home for the Expos before the 2005 season, discussed the six leading cities vying for the team during a two-hour conference call Thursday.

If you had to handicap the cities, the Washington, D.C., area, which includes Northern Virginia, remains the favorite. Portland, Ore., Norfolk, Va., and Monterrey, Mexico, also are in contention.

“Las Vegas is a serious candidate,” DuPuy says. “Very viable.”

Selig says, “Years ago you wouldn’t have thought about Las Vegas. I was raised in that era, but today gambling is legal everywhere. In Detroit, you can walk out of the ballpark and there’s a legal casino.”

Selig adds the promoters in Las Vegas “have been very aggressive, and it is one of the cities the relocation committee is considering.”

Now, you’ve got to think Selig woke up yesterday morning and read the headlines and thought, “I guess it could be worse. I guess there are worse problems than Barry Bonds.”

Bud's problems could be worse.And you’ve got to think that, if Jeffery Loria came to Selig this afternoon and told him he wanted to move the Marlins to Las Vegas, Selig would tell him he was crazy.

Because there may be gambling in every city in America, but no city has gambling like Las Vegas has gambling. And leagues that locate a franchise in Vegas are just asking for a scandal like the NBA has on its hands now.

I think Selig dodged a bullet when he decided to send the Expos to D.C. instead of Vegas. Now he’s just gotta make it through this Barry Bonds thing and it’ll be smooth sailing.

No Responses to “Thinking about putting a team in Vegas? NBA scandal shows why gambling should be a deal-breaker.”

  1. Publius says:

    How about Ryan “The St. Charles Train” Ryan – being that he is fromSt. Charles, Missouri.

    OR Ryan “Flarin’ nostrils” Howard

    Homerin’ Howard


    RY-noseroius Howard

    Hip-Hopotomus (oh wait, thats the Flight of the Conchords)

  2. I always remember Maddux being called “The Professor” by Braves commentators for his extremely focused style of play and nerdy spectacles.

  3. Dante Bichette says:

    Howard was and will forever be known as “BIG NOSE.” Short, simple, memorable. Nuff said.

  4. Stephen says:

    In Philly he\’s known as Rhino or The Howitzer.


    Kind of a silly post, but relative! Keep up the good work- Umpbump is one of the best baseball sites going.

  6. You neglected my favorite Brave’s name: Jim “Kerosene” Clancy…’cause that’s what he threw on every fire he came into.

  7. Ryan Howard is known in Wilmington, DE as either “Boom Tube” or “Soul Pole”.

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