the realization that the NBA had an official who may have fixed games is a complete nightmare for david stern, mostly because it's providing fodder for the majority of fans who believed that the refereeing was already shady to begin with.
now, there's proof.
when dwayne wade was awarded with foul after pseudo-phantom foul in the 2006 finals, when star players and the best teams were given beyond the benefit of the doubt when they didn't deserve it, when whistles were swallowed at random times (or at crucial moments), when certain notoriously favorable referees were called upon to officiate certain games in which it would benefit the league for playoff series to be extended, well, there's no shortage of conspiracy theories floating around, despite the denials.
what can david stern do? even though it might just be a solitary issue, the perception is that it's not. can the whole of them be incompetent? well, here's one that wasn't, so how about the rest, right?
how stringent can he further the existing officiating standards without making them robotic? aren't they already scrutinized?
and yet, despite the grading already in place, one was dirty. and they didn't know.
so, despite stern's dismissals, he can't point to his referee judging system anymore. that has failed. and despite his dismissals of crazy conspiracy theories, he's got a criminal investigation on his hands.
every questionable call from now on will be fixed, whether it is or not. every human judgment will be because there's money on the line, whether it is or not.
the wolves have a nice flesh of meat to chomp on.
from microfiber ballgate to the murderous all-star game weekend in vegas to a crappy finals that could have been averted by reseeding, the commish hasn't done a very good job running the league recently. now here's his biggest challenge, and for once, it's fair to ask if he's up to meet it.