Very interesting stuff here. I hope it’s not true (like with any other conspiracy talk).

caldwellN.Y. Post: Joe Caldwell feels exonerated by referee Tim Donaghy and his latest allegations about the NBA scheming to fix playoff series, including the Kings-Lakers 2002 Western Conference finals.

The banned former NBA star has been telling his story since the late 1970s about another semifinal conspiracy involving the Lakers and it’s fallen on deaf ears. Until now.

Caldwell mentioned it in his book, “Banned from Basketball” – the incident in the tunnel of the Alexander Memorial Coliseum on the campus of Georgia Tech before Game 1 of the 1969 semifinals between the Lakers and the Atlanta Hawks. While talking to his coach, ex-Knicks great Richie Guerin, Caldwell claims he overheard thencommissioner Walter Kennedy tell veteran referee Mendy Rudolph that the NBA can’t have its Finals in a small arena like in Atlanta.

“We heard a voice, looked up and there’s the commissioner saying, ‘This is the NBA. We can’t have our Finals here,’ ” Caldwell said. “There’s 7,000 people here. They were trying to eliminate us. We were the best team in the NBA.”

The Lakers swept them, 4-0. The Hawks were flagged for 34 fouls in Game 1. In the final game, Jerry West went to the line 21 times, 57 times for the series Caldwell says Guerin went nuts on Kennedy in that breezeway after hearing his remark and was later fined.

Continue reading: ‘Hawks Vet Claims Fix vs. Lakers in ’69 Playoffs’

  • Chris Manning

    This is nuts… look like the Lakers coach cost us the championship that year anyways due to his ego — check this out:

    After that game, the key question was why Chamberlain had stayed out the final six minutes. At the time of his final substitution, he had scored 18 points (hitting 7 of his 8 shots) and grabbed 27 rebounds, significantly better than the 10 points of Mel Counts on 4-of-13 shooting.[73] To justify a late minute sub, either Chamberlain’s injury had to be grave, or Van Breda Kolff’s trust in Counts absolute. Among others, Bill Russell did not believe Chamberlain’s injury was grave, and openly accused him of being a malingerer: “Any injury short of a broken leg or a broken back is not enough.”[73] Ironically, Van Breda Kolff came to Chamberlain’s defense, insisting the often-maligned Lakers center hardly was able to move in the end.[73] He himself was perceived as “pig-headed” for benching Chamberlain, and soon resigned as a Lakers coach.

    Wilt talked about this a year later in an interview (25 seconds in):

  • k1on

    like the congress has nothing better to do.

  • KOBE2K9

    [Comment ID #66125 Will Be Quoted Here]

    yeah I dont understand why congress needs to be involved at all

  • theDude

    Boo-hoo! 57 free throws in a series (14.25 per game). Add 40 to that and we’re talking about Wade’s 97 in the ’06 Finals (16 per game). Forget this Hawk’s claim until we prove the ’06 finals debacle.