It is unclear why, but for some reason the NBA will always have tons of conspiracies from its fanbase. The 2016 NBA Finals is one of them.
There is no hard evidence of a 2016 NBA Finals conspiracy
There is no concrete evidence to suggest that there was a conspiracy surrounding the 2016 NBA Finals. While there were controversial moments and calls during the series, such as the Draymond Green suspension in Game 5, these were ultimately the result of the NBA’s rules and regulations.
The NBA takes issues of fairness and integrity very seriously, and the league has a number of systems in place to ensure that games are played fairly and without any interference or bias. These systems include a team of officials who are trained and monitored closely, as well as rules and regulations that are meant to ensure a level playing field.
While it is not uncommon for fans and commentators to speculate about potential conspiracies or biases in sports, it is important to remember that these claims are often based on speculation and not on concrete evidence. In the case of the 2016 NBA Finals, there is no evidence to suggest that there was a conspiracy or any kind of intentional bias that affected the outcome of the series.
So, was there a real NBA conspiracy for the 2016 Finals in favor of LeBron and the Cavs?
Wow, if you’re looking for insider-trading type evidence, you might be disappointed! But let’s dive in anyway! The lead official for the finals has actually been linked to the Tim Donaghy scandal and was named the league’s worst referee! But the most convincing evidence (outside of the league’s decisions on Draymond) is actually on the court! The officials called everything against Golden State and only called the obvious things against Cleveland, making no controversial calls against the Cavs. It’s pretty clear that the Warriors would have won by a mile if not for the officiating, but the series was gifted to Cleveland in the end. And there’s obviously money at work, too.
For example, Draymond was suspended for his tap on LeBron, but not for the kick on Adams against OKC. What’s up with that? Well, the kick took place in the semifinals when Golden State was losing to OKC. Such a suspension would have likely ended the Warriors right away. But there’s always better TV rating and more money in a championship rematch, so the league ensured that the Warriors would be in the finals.
There were also three series this year when officials came under fire for favoring a team across the entire series: Cleveland vs. Detroit, Cleveland vs. Toronto, and Cleveland vs. Golden State. It’s highly suspicious that the three most controversial series all featured Cleveland and a Cleveland team being favored by officials.
Draymond’s suspension in the finals for practically nothing was also very suspicious. It likely (and did) extend the series, with more money in a Game 7 (not to mention TV ratings), so the league did what they could to ensure it would happen. And then, when it came to Game 7, they made sure there would be no repeat champion. The NBA wanted someone new, and Cleveland was the best solution to the Golden State problem.
While evidence for the finals being rigged can’t be found too clearly off the court, there was clear and utter failure on it. It’s almost universally accepted that officials have always given LeBron and his teams a lot of help, but this was taken to new heights. If it was rigged, we have to worry about the league (and other leagues, since one has proven susceptible to bribery) going forth. If it wasn’t rigged, we need to worry about the officiating moving forward, since it clearly favored the Cavaliers in this series. It’s a tough pill to swallow for Warriors fans, as they were definitely robbed in the 2016 NBA Finals.
Tim Donaghy’s Statement about the NBA conspiracy for the 2016 NBA Finals:
“No doubt in my mind they would love this to go to a Game 6. They are going to show (the refs) a lot of plays that should’ve been called against Golden State that weren’t,” Donaghy told KNBR. “I think they are going to concentrate on Draymond to make sure he isn’t able to be in any physicality, or roughhouse in any way, shape or form. You are probably going to see him in foul trouble again. It’s a situation where they are going to try and get a Game 6 and open things up so they can create more revenue for the league.”
Donaghy served 15 months in prison for betting on games in which he reffed. He was released from jail in November 2009. The NBA kicked Donaghy out of the league in 2007 after the scandal came to light. The same year that Kevin Durant was drafted, in 2007.
So why exactly did the NBA suspend Draymond Green?
Draymond Green was suspended during the 2016 NBA Finals for making contact with LeBron James in Game 4. Green was assessed a Flagrant Foul 1 for the incident, which was his fourth flagrant foul of the playoffs, resulting in an automatic one-game suspension.
The NBA has strict rules and regulations around player conduct, particularly when it comes to physical contact and unsportsmanlike behavior. Green’s conduct in Game 4 was seen as a violation of these rules, and the league decided to take action by suspending him for Game 5.
The suspension of Green was controversial, as it had a significant impact on the series. Green was a key player for the Golden State Warriors, known for his tough defense and ability to contribute on offense. His absence in Game 5 was felt on both ends of the court, as the Warriors struggled to contain LeBron James and Kyrie Irving, while also missing Green’s ability to create plays and score.
While the NBA’s decision to suspend Green was based on its rules and regulations, some fans and commentators have criticized the league for what they see as an overreaction or bias. However, the NBA has maintained that its decisions are based on the rules and regulations that are meant to ensure a level playing field for all teams and players.
Did the NBA want LeBron James to win the championship in 2016?
There is no hard evidence to suggest that the NBA wanted LeBron James or the Cleveland Cavaliers to win the championship in 2016, therefore, no hard conspiracy for the 2016 NBA Finals. While it’s true that the NBA benefits from having popular teams and star players perform well, the league has a number of systems in place to ensure that games are played fairly and without any interference or bias.
The NBA takes issues of fairness and integrity very seriously, and the league has a team of officials who are trained and monitored closely, as well as rules and regulations that are meant to ensure a level playing field. The NBA has a strong interest in maintaining the integrity of the game, and any suggestion that the league might try to manipulate the outcome of a game or series would be taken very seriously.
HOWEVER, let’s just all admit that the NBA was very happy that the series went to 7. And the Cavs won that game fair and square, with a bit of help from The Block, The Shot, and The Stop.
But wait, did the Warriors complain about the referees at all?
Yes, the Golden State Warriors did complain about the referees during the 2016 NBA Finals. After Game 4, which saw Draymond Green assessed a Flagrant Foul 1 and suspended for Game 5, Warriors star Stephen Curry criticized the officiating, saying that the calls were “kind of tough to swallow.”
Following the Game 5 loss, Warriors coach Steve Kerr also spoke out about the officiating, saying that the referees had “got fooled” on a number of calls and that the game was “not well officiated.” The Warriors were frustrated by what they saw as inconsistent and unfair calls, particularly in relation to Draymond Green’s suspension.
While the NBA takes complaints about officiating seriously and works to ensure that the referees are impartial and fair, it’s not uncommon for teams and players to express frustration with calls during games and series… For the most part!!
And how about LeBron? Did he mention the referees at all?
He sure did! LeBron James indeed commented on the referees during the 2016 NBA Finals. After Game 4, in which Draymond Green was assessed a Flagrant Foul 1 and suspended for Game 5, James was asked about the officiating and said that he didn’t want to get into it, but added, “The game is played in between the four lines, and everything else is irrelevant.”
James was careful not to say anything that might be seen as criticizing the officials or the league, but his comments suggest that he was aware of the controversy surrounding the calls and the impact they were having on the series. James was focused on his team’s performance on the court, however, and was determined to do his best to help the Cavaliers win the championship. And he sure did. With the help of his teammates and well maybe a small lil suspension to Draymond!!