We all know television rules all sports. It could be the dreaded extra point-commercial-kickoff-commercial NFL deathtrap. It could be that moment you see an NFL referee standing on the field waiting to announce his replay decision until TV gives him the go ahead. It could even be the EIGHT TV timeouts during a college basketball game. Advertising and TV comes first, the game comes second.
But rarely is the curtain pulled back on TV's iron grip over the games like it was when ESPN cameras candidly caught NBA referee Bill Kennedy having a fake chat with Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni and Spurs coach Gregg Popovich Wednesday night. After a discrepancy over the length of a timeout, Kennedy thought he had to create a diversion to stall for commercials even though the television cameras were actually fixed on him the entire time. Smoothly handled, I must say.
While commercials controlling the timing and length of games is somewhat annoying, at least it's not like TV gets to decide who wins in the NBA Playoffs in any kind of grand conspiracy. Thank goodness for that.