In the wake of the Tim Donaghy scandal and its recent fallout, Ray Allen said NBA referees need to be held accountable for their actions, but he stopped short of saying he believed everything Donaghy had to say to the media in recent days.
“He made a very strong case,” said Allen. “I can’t say that he would do anything to jeopardize — he went to prison, it’s hard to say whether or not he would lie or make something up of that nature. ”
Donaghy has already been punished for betting on NBA games, but in a recent book, and in recent interviews with the media, Donaghy has been trying to make the case that he was not a rogue official gone bad. Donaghy has accused the NBA of, among other things, putting certain referees on certain games to manipulate their outcome. He’s also said that a group of referees had the fix on Allen Iverson because the NBA did not suspend Iverson for threatening an official.
While Ray Allen did not say whether he believed those accusations specifically, he did have quite a bit to say on NBA officiating.
“As a league, you see certain incidents that take place,” said Allen. “Yeah, I think referees sometimes — if a player’s going at a referee, the referee might not look as favorably on that player. I think we have to take biases out of refereeing. That type of stuff has to be taken out of our game.
“It’s unfortunate. You play a game and sometimes you get a bad whistle…as a league we need to make sure we do what we can to make sure there aren’t any biases. Regardless of who is on the floor. I know I’ve been in the league a long time, but if I foul somebody call it. If I don’t it’s not a foul. It’s a tough job the referees have, because refereeing is perspective…just as long as it’s a good working relationship. It’s tough sometimes, the referees don’t want to listen to you, don’t want to hear you, so the game can’t get better. ”
Allen said that just like players are punished with technical fouls, fines, and benchings, referees, too, should be held accountable.
“As players, we need to do a better job, because if a referee misses a call, I hope he didn’t do it on purpose, but we need to make sure we hold them accountable just like we are held accountable as well,” he said. “You know at least if a referee makes a bad call, or does something to decide a game, or has a player sitting on the bench, and it’s a bad call, then they should — it’s the same as us. We make a bad play we get benched. Or we get fined for technical fouls. Because the referees are part of the game, very much.”