David Stern Says League Has Much to Do to Clear Up Fan Perception of Rigged GamesNEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- National Basketball Association Commissioner David Stern is bent on fixing public perception that its games are fixed.
"If any one fan legitimately holds some view questioning the integrity of our officials, we have work to do," Mr. Stern said in an interview with Advertising Age. "If there's a fan out there that believes [the games aren't clean], and I believe there is, then we have an issue. And when we deal with our brand, there's no such thing as a minor issue."
It's clear that there's more than one fan out there feeling that way. According to a survey by YouGovPolimetrix of 907 people reported exclusively by Ad Age, 41% of casual or avid fans think it's either very likely or somewhat likely that the league alters the outcome of games, and 29% of all NBA enthusiasts believed the league played some role in setting up a Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers Finals matchup, the league's most storied rivalry. What's worse, the poll was done prior to former NBA referee Tim Donaghy's allegations that NBA executives and referees manipulated games to boost ticket sales and TV ratings.