BASKETBALL TRIVIA….The Lakers lost last night, and despite the unseemly gloating of some who might otherwise be thought of as friends, I’m over it. For now.

But I do have a basketball question. Hoops afficionados are forever going on about how the Lakers benefit from biased officiating, usually complaining about (a) rampant 3-second violations and (b) uncalled fouls. Fouls are a judgment call, of course, but it strikes me that postgame reviews could show fairly clearly whether or not Shaq is really getting a break in the lane. So what’s the story there?

But here’s my main question: assuming for the moment that the complaints are true, and not just the envious whining of less fortunate basketball fans, why are the refs biased? Are they supposedly taking orders from the commissioner’s office, which thinks the Lakers are good for business? Is it because the officials are just starstruck by the Laker players? Or what? I understand the conspiracy theory here, but I don’t quite understand what the motivation is supposed to be. Why do the refs go so easy on Shaq & Co.?

UPDATE: Chad Orzel, who at 6’6″ thinks he ought to get more time in the lane, has some more thoughts about basketball, specifically the taxonomy of pickup hoops.

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