Who’s in the mood for a good sports conspiracy video? Because I’ve got a great one for you. If it blows up, it could be the greatest one ever.
The video above was posted (and presumably edited, too) by YouTube user mathewsoa. It features a number of clips for recent NBA games which strongly suggest that league officials are deliberately attempting to help the Los Angeles Lakers win games.
Some background for those who don’t follow the NBA closely: the Lakers are, of course, one of the league’s most storied franchises and home to many of the biggest stars in the game. Due to a number of factors, most notably injuries, the Lakers are struggling to earn a berth in the NBA playoffs this year. As things stand right now, the team sits in ninth place in the Western Conference — one spot back of the playoffs.
It’s safe to assume the NBA would prefer the Lakers to be in the playoffs. A Lakers-less playoffs would get significantly lower television ratings and, thus, damage the league financially.
But is it safe to assume that NBA officials would conspire to call games in such a way as to give the Lakers a decidedly unfair advantage? If such allegations were proven true, they would surely shake the basketball world to its very core.
It’s difficult to watch the above video and come to any other conclusion, though. Edited behind a clip of ESPN’s Bill Simmons talking about the “Lakers get every call variable” is clip after clip of the Lakers either getting away with obvious fouls or getting the benefit of very weak foul calls on the part of their opponents.
Perhaps the single most damning clip is at the 3:10 mark in the video. Late in a game against the Sacramento Kings, Kobe Bryant takes a long shot. You can see the official at the top of the screen watch Kobe take the shot and then track the ball all the way to the basket, where it doesn’t go in. He then turns back to Kobe and decides to call a foul. Not only is the call obscenely late, but there was no foul to be seen upon viewing the replay of the play.
As Simmons says in the audio clip, the Lakers are going to be in the playoffs. It’s becoming more and more clear that there’s nothing even the Lakers players themselves can do to prevent that inevitability.
So proud to be included in this Lakers 2013 playoff conspiracy clip! It’s an honor! youtu.be/5MhmGyZ7KF0
— Bill Simmons (@BillSimmons) April 1, 2013