SG: That's easy – the nude scene with Jaye Davidson in "The Crying Game." I remember people screaming in horror when it happened, like they had just seen a baby carriage getting run over at a busy intersection. In fact, that was such a disturbing moment, it actually got Davidson nominated for the "Best Supporting Oscar" that year – it was like the Academy was saying, "Here, we'll give you a nomination if you promise NEVER to do that again."

Q: My buddy Chuck and I just had a 20-minute conversation as to why Bavetta is not involved in Game 3. As two of the other 19 NBA diehards left, we figure that Stern is saving Bavetta for Game 4. Stern desperately needs this series to get to 2-2 – the NBA cannot have a lackluster Finals followed up by a lockout; it would sink this league. And Stern still has this game covered with Crawford and Salvatore. So, here's to Bavetta in Game 4, and a 2-2 tie.
–Kyle Blanton, Las Vegas

SG: Yes, I received this e-mail on Tuesday night, before we found out Dick Bavetta was reffing Game 4. All joking aside, I'm worried that the NBA is morphing into professional wrestling. With all due respect to the Pistons, who may have played the best playoff game of any 2005 team Thursday night (four turnovers?!?!?!), Game 4 was decided in the first few minutes when it became clear that the Pistons were allowed to clutch, grab, paw at the ball and contest every shot with no repercussions, culminating in Ben Wallace raking Duncan across the arm (probably the worst no-call of the playoffs) and Popovich picking up a technical. The Spurs were D-U-N done after that. Of course, in Game 2, the Pistons weren't allowed to breathe on anyone without a foul being called.

Sometimes I feel like Mel Gibson in "Conspiracy Theory" complaining about this stuff, but I honestly feel that the officiating is slowly undermining the credibility of the league. My friends who follow the NBA feel that way. Enough of my readers feel that way that I don't think I'm crazy. And it's getting to the point that I can actually guess which referees will be assigned to which games … and I'm right! That's insanity! This is a much bigger problem than high schoolers entering the draft, six-year contracts, revenue sharing and anything else. Where have the quality referees gone? Why are some playoff games called completely different than other games? Why are certain refs only assigned to must-win games for the home team? Why does it seem like certain refs have grudges against certain teams, and more importantly, why has there been a preponderance of coaches calling out these grudges (more than any other year)?

Q: If you had to compare entertainment vs. sports career flameouts, would you say Lindsay Lohan is Doc Gooden? In other words, she may still have a career but never the same? And Britney would be Strawberry, I guess – constantly reaching new lows.
–Bill, Atlanta

SG: I love the Lohan/Gooden comparison – both of them were once-in-a-lifetime performers at precocious ages, and I'll be telling my male grandchildren about both. I don't know about the Britney/Strawberry comparison though; Straw definitely had the charisma, but statistically, he never really backed it up … whereas Britney was one the most successful/famous celebrities on the planet for a good 4 to 5 years. I would compare her more to someone like Junior Griffey – unquestionably successful, definitely memorable, but too much happened too soon.

Continued...


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