ByJonathan Sim, writer at
I'm a writer/film theorist. Check out my articles on Pixar, Harry Potter, Back to the Future, Die Hard, politics, and more!
Jonathan Sim

So, last week, I went on the topic of how the 1985 NBA draft was fixed so that the Knicks could get Patrick Ewing. But now, I'm going to talk about another NBA thing that was fixed: the 2002 Western Conference Finals.

And just so you know, I'm getting these NBA theories from Mike Korzemba, a YouTuber I recently found out about and he makes pretty great videos, so you should definitely subscribe to him.

Here's the theory...

In the 2002 NBA season, two teams dominated the Western conference. The Sacramento Kings:

And the Los Angeles Lakers:

These two teams, the Kings and the Lakers, went against each other in the 2002 Western Conference Finals. And basically, whoever won that series would go to the Finals and possibly win the championship. The Kings had a 3-2 start and if they won Game 6, they would go to the Finals. Game 6 is considered the most controversial games in the series and basically, let's take a look at why this game was considered to be rigged.

First of all, the Lakers shot 40 free throws and the Kings only shot 25. 27 of those free throws were shot in the fourth quarter.

Exactly 27 free throws. That means that the Kings fouled the Lakers every minute in the quarter). And that's bull. Scot Pollard fouled out in 11 minutes, and Chris Webber had five fouls. He would have to play less aggressively or else he'd foul out as well.

With three minutes left in the game, Kings were up 92-90. Chris Webber is called for an offensive foul.

OK. So what I want you to do is click on the video above. Go to 2:52 when Webber's "foul" was. Do you think it looks more like an offensive foul on Webber or does it look more like Horry (who received the foul) flopped. Go and watch it. Horry clearly flopped. Webber elbowed him very slightly and Horry threw himself to the ground.

In the next possession, Kings player Vlade Divac fouls out for another minor foul against Horry. What's wrong with you, Horry?! Horry makes both foul shots and ties the game. Webber then goes for a hook shot, but completely airballs. He was only a few feet away from the basket. But let's look at the shot.

Now, the picture is grainy, but we can see the Lakers player behind him hit his arm, and that's what caused him to miss badly. Webber then looked at the ref for a foul, but didn't get the call.

And let's take a look at Shaquille O'Neal's free throw field goal.

12/16?! If Shaq has ever had a game where his free throw percentage was over 5%, you know the game was rigged.

OK, that was just a joke.

And let's take a look at the next call. So Shaq made a free throw (again, rigged) and that put the Lakers up by one. Then, in the next Kings possession, check this out. Go to 2:17 in the video below.

Did you see that?! Shaq clobbered him in the face. That should be a flagrant, maybe even a flagrant two. But that was just called as a regular foul. So you're telling me, that Shaq smacking someone in the face is in the same league as that minor Webber foul from earlier?

Let's look at this next ridiculous call. Go to 5:50 in this video.

Webber was called for a foul...for that. Now, that's what Penn Jillette and I like to call "bulls***".

Now, here's our last call and this, along with the Webber block call is one of the ABSOLUTE WORST calls in NBA history. Or to be exact, it was a no-call. Alright, so go to 3:51 in this video.

HOLY--JEEZ! DID YOU SEE THAT?! Kobe threw his elbow at Mike Bibby's face and NO FOUL WAS CALLED. WHAT THE--


Now, all you die-hard Laker fans are probably going, "Well, the only reasonable explanation is that no referee saw that!"

Oh yeah, I hear you. No referee could have possibly seen that. And to make a long story short, the Lakers won this, then they won Game 7, and they won the championship.

Why was the game rigged?

Simple. Take a look at this quote from former NBA commissioner David Stern when asked what his dream Finals matchup would be.

"Lakers vs. Lakers...I'd be lying if I told you there wasn't a special fascination with the Lakers."

After the Patrick Ewing theory and this theory, it's no surprise to me as to why David Stern is the FORMER commissioner.

And that's the theory!


Do you think the game was rigged?


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