Thursday, October 29, 2009

Congratulations, you're having a better day than Dick Bavetta

The Tim Donaghy scandal should have been a much bigger deal than it was for the NBA. No sport has more people regularly doubt the integrity of its officials than pro basketball (not even this month's SEC football absurdity can compare). Now one of the NBA's referees got caught betting as well as providing inside info to gamblers, and yet the story went away relatively quickly. That was about to change, as Donaghy is due to be released from prison soon and has written a book unveiling what he claims to be the truth about the behind the scenes dirty deeds of the NBA's officials. Yesterday word came down that the book would not be published next month after all. Donaghy's represenative says it was due to NBA legal threats, which they deny. Regardless, Deadspin has excerpts from the manuscript which are worth reading. Looking at those, I can definitely believe the NBA wants to do whatever they can to keep the book from being published. Even if you assume Donaghy is lying about half of what he says, it's still damaging stuff.

Wouldn't have expected Li'l Wayne to turn up twice on the blog within a week, but the rapper made news yesterday with the word that he included Lane Kiffin's name in his rap song "Banned From TV". The lyric goes "smoke weed, talk shit like Lane Kiffin/whole country in a recession but Wayne different". Not sure being associated with "talking shit" is something I'd be in a hurry to be proud of, especially when it's vocalized along with a string of drug references by a guy who's on his way to jail. Kiffin, of course, brags that Li'l Wayne has boosted his street cred". Words can't do justice to just how much of a tool this guy is.

Major college basketball recruiting reforms may be passed today, something the sport has needed for years. Removing the possibility of schools hiring someone as a "package deal" with a player to do anything but actually coach would be a huge positive for the sport's integrity. It's possible the proposal about not letting anyone but current staff members work camps is a little extreme, and this won't stop some guys from getting their hooks in on kids and getting paid for them. Overall though, this proposal is very good news.

For a long time people have known that Vegas doesn't lose. If you go there and play in the casino, eventually you will lose because the math of their house edge built into the games gets you. There is one potential exception to that, which is sports betting. While they have an advantage that helps them make money when you lose, it's conceivable you could win twenty in a row if you can find a weak spread. Last Sunday, thanks to horrible NFL teams like the Bucs, everyone found a weak spread. There are more outright awful NFL teams at once this season than I can remember there ever being. The lines for those teams are going to get bigger, but then fate may shift the other way as people catch the crappy team plus three TDs and win. Tough time for this to happen with the economy already taking a bite of the "experts in the desert", as Corso calls them.

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