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February 05, 2009
by Jeff Briggs
Jerry Greene of the Orlando Sentinel mentions in his column that, in the current issue of ESPN the Magazine, there is a poll question that asks, "What sports do you think are fixed?" Turns out, 38% of respondents believe the NBA to be fixed. 38%! Really?!? That number is outrageously high.
My first question would be, if the NBA is fixed, then why the hell are the Knicks so awful? Don't you think the NBA would try to get their signature big-market team at least into the playoffs if they had control over such a thing?
Maybe this is why so few people watch or care about the NBA now, because they think it's fixed. I know it's fun to spout off conspiracy theories and reference Tim Donaghy and the supposed 'frozen envelope' that ensured the Knicks got Patrick Ewing in the draft, but you can't possibly believe the whole league is fixed, can you? Maybe, maybe, some referee's have called a game in a questionable manner intentionally, but the league itself is not fixed. In fact, the NBA is the source of some of the most competitive and hardest fought sporting events every year.
Compare the 38% of people who think the NBA is fixed to the percent of people (from the same poll) who think pro wrestling is fixed, 75%, and it becomes even more ridiculous. Pro wrestling outcomes are all generated before matches, it has storylines created by its governing body and it is known to be entertainment rather than a sporting competition. Yet, only double the amount of people who think the NBA is fixed feel the same about Vince McMahon and the WWE.