A BASN Special Report (Part One)

By Eric G. Satterwhite, BASN Contributor
Updated: October 11, 2009

NEW YORK (BASN) — Rule 1 for any takeover of a prolonged protracted protagonist states, “If you fancy the King’s demise you must beguile the citadel’s sentries.”

NBA Kingpin David Stern quartered in NYC has elected to freeze the cheese of NBA referees– locking out the whistle blowing keys to his everchanging hegemony legacy.

Commissioner Stern who commandeers the NBA mothership with a wingtip leadership clip that blips, “When I lead, if you’re soft you’re lost, to stay on course, I most rule with force.”

The force has come down on Stern’s beloved striped shirt made men and a Violet lady whose autumn is akin to the Donaghy doldrums which is no NBA games to officiate.

Stern who repudiated/admonished/ financially pencil-whipped any Association owner, coach, player, will call ticket booth attendee, and arena parking attendant who dared his mandate not to publically lambaste the whistle blowers lack of vision in officiating a 48-minute slate has proven that even he David Stern is a bondservant to C.R.E.A.M. (Cash Rules Everything Around Me)…or is this just a NBA frolic of charades?

Could it be that the Commish’ Sire is ready to exterminate in his ire a clueless/clandestine/cluster that he granted carte blanche with the blind trust of an avenging angel and granted his silver satin jacket sentries unprecedented untouchable/bulletproof status?

How dare the game’s official reject their marching orders and bite the hand that feeds them? Stern’s staunch stance pities not victims of collective bargaining amnesia.

Have the mutinous made men and singular feminine who stalemated Stern’s stash stipulations are essentially exposing the tail and ripping the horns off the devil in their consolidarity?

Follow the body of what drops next and formulate your own decision since it’s possible that the NBA view of it’s fanbase regarding the referee referendum can be summed up with this, “no need to use your idol/idle worshipping mind if you’re thinking/hooping on the Devil’s playground.”

Back in the Day

There is little doubt that NBA officials are the most maligned group in USA major professional team sports when it comes to public scrutiny and Federal indictments. During King David’s dominion the subsequent has taken place as we press rewind.

In 1998, four Association referees pleaded guilty to tax fraud for cashing in league pre-paid first class airplane tickets and not reporting the cash windfall on the transaction.

At the time, the IRS was investigating the NBA’s officiating corp on allegations that the striped crew’s were repetitively/ systematically attempting to evade income taxes.

The NBA referees, according to their contract at that time, were entitled to first-class tickets for all flights longer than two hours and full-fare coach tickets for all other flights.

The Association referee’s also were denominated to interchange those tickets for reduced tix and annex the modified amount for their own calculated gain. Since the early 1980′s it was a known Association fact that league referees had been earnestly depreciating their flight status.

Due to this flight arrangement ongoing for more than a decade this perceived largess of being a NBA made man, in a form of Commissioner commission and increase to salary had in one specific referee’s coffers, net grew from $75,000 base salary to substantial zero’s escalating the said referee’s take home dough comfortably into six digits in the early 1990s.

The referee airplane commission cash me out bonus baby had boomed with the advent of FAA bargain fares that followed airline deregulation and the advent of the frequent flier miles formula, which with canny manipulation made some referee’s tickets free!

All in all, four referees were indicted and lost their NBA gigs for failure to report the additional cash. In deference to the embattled NBA officials Steve Javie a high profile referee in today’s NBA today received an acquittal on the above charges based on the following.

Gregory Magarity of Philadelphia, the trial counsel in Javie, credits his victory to several factors. Two defenses were presented. First, the defense contended that the NBA referees perceived the NBA reporting requirements in connection with airline tickets as an attempt to hinder the referees’ exercise of their rights, under the collective bargaining agreement, either to fly first class or to keep the difference in the ticket prices.

Thus the defense in Javie contended that the submission of the full fare, albeit voided, ticket receipts to the NBA was not done with the intent to evade taxes, but rather was done to secure the full payment due to the defendant from the NBA. Second, as a corollary, the defense was able to show that the defendant, while paying for coach or reduced fare tickets, in fact flew first class on virtually all of the flights at issue.

He accomplished this through the use of his frequent flyer awards. To redeem the frequent flyer awards, the defendant presented the lower fare ticket to the airline at the boarding gate, and received a boarding pass for the upgraded first-class seat.

As a result, the defendant did not have a ticket or a receipt to submit to the NBA, and chose instead to submit his voided first-class ticket receipts. The government argued that the frequent flyer awards had no value, and accordingly contended that the difference between the coach fare paid by the defendant and the full fare reimbursed by the NBA was income to the defendant.

In contrast, the defense contended — apparently persuasively — that the receipts that the defendant submitted to the NBA, while themselves voided and therefore not the actual expense receipts, in fact accurately reflected the flights actually flown by the defendant, and the class of service that he used.

On January 15, 1999, King David reinstated 7 referees that had been forced to resign because of the aforementioned tax evasion charges. There is little question that the NBA chieftain has expressed incredible loyalty to the fiefdom of NBA officiating.

One of those ousted officials that King David reinstated was Joey Crawford. Crawford plead guilty to IRS tax evasion charges on July 1, 1998 and immediately resigned before Stern’s reinstatement.

Coincidentally on Tax Day — April 15, 2007 — Joey Crawford assigned to referee the San Antonio/Dallas contest allegedly challenged Tim Duncan to a wild west fisticuff/faceoff for allegedly laughing at legendary MLB umpire Shag Crawford’s son..(Joey’s dad).

On April 17, 2009 Stern threw down the gauntlet on Crawford suspending Joey for the remainder of the 2006-07 season and banishing Crawford from all NBA playoff duties.

Stern being stern when it comes to NBA officials also fined Duncan $25k for “verbal official abuse” and warned any repeat behavior would be met with ejection.

This was Duncan’s payment for being aggressively enticed by a veteran official. Stern also delivered this salvo on Crawford’s suspension stating that , “Crawford failed to meet the standard of professionalism and game management we expect of NBA referees.”

Yet Stern and his incredible past compassion for referees reinstated Crawford again on September 17, 2007 with this statement, “”Based on my meeting with Joey Crawford, his commitment to an ongoing counseling program and a favorable professional evaluation that was performed at my direction, I am satisfied that Joey understands the standards of game management and professionalism the NBA expects from him and that he will be able to conduct himself in accordance with those standards.”

At present Stern with the swagga’ of a “Bavetta vendetta”has forged on with alleged replacement referees with veteran Association referee-dom locked out and shut down from active participation. Yet, the so-called replacments may be on the path to perpetual permanence .

Therefore, you the reader utilizing your free will should read between the out of bound lines of the NBA’s referee referendum restructuring future by bouncing the red or the blue pill.

To be continued…