If you thought the officiating during Game 4 was a little off, you probably weren’t alone. However, you might not want to remain too optimistic that Game 5 will be any different.
Former NBA referee Tim Donaghy joined 1050’s The Audible on Monday morning, where he expressed thoughts that the league is hoping for a Game 6 because of the massive revenue it would bring.
“There’s no doubt in my mind (the NBA) would love this thing to go to a Game 6,” Donaghy said. “I think they’re going to show (the referees) a lot of plays that should’ve been called against Golden State and weren’t. I think they’re going to concentrate on (Draymond) Green and make sure that he isn’t able to be in any physicality or rough house anybody in any shape or form. You’re probably going to see him in foul trouble again. It’s a situation where they’re going to try to get a Game 6 and open things up to create some more revenue for the league.”
Donaghy’s professional referee career spanned over 13 seasons before he resigned in 2009 over a federal investigation alleging that he had bet on games and made calls to push outcomes in his favor.
“I’ve been in the situation before, I’ve been in these meetings, I’ve been in these sessions. I’ve walked out of them with my crew and kind of laughed thinking to ourselves, ‘Wow, they really want the Lakers,’ or ‘They want the Spurs, or the Cleveland Cavaliers to win tonight.’
“It’s no secret we’ve walked out of these sessions laughing because David Stern was on TV one time saying the best NBA Finals would be the Lakers vs. the Lakers. It’s in the back of their mind at all times what’s best for the league. Dick Bavetta came out on occasions and said he was put on Game 6’s to make sure Game 7’s occurred. It’s a form of entertainment, and if you’re going to advance as an NBA referee and make that $75 to $100,000 a year refeering in the playoffs, you’re going to give the league what they want because they’re grading you, they’re advancing you and they’re paying you.”
Based off Game 4’s controversy alone, the pressure will be on the officials even more than usual as the Warriors remain just one win away from avenging 2016. Danny Crawford, who has officiated 34 NBA Finals games will be Game 5’s crew chief. Derrick Stafford (12 Finals games) and Ed Malloy (6) will make up the rest of the crew.
To hear the rest of Donaghy on The Audible, listen to the full interview below. His thoughts on the NBA’s desire for a Game 6 begin at the 3:30 mark.