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Friday, July 27, 2007

Pollard: Ref ‘didn’t stand out’

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Scot Pollard hasn't had any memorable run-ins with disgraced NBA referee Tim Donaghy, who has worked games during the former Kansas University forward's entire 10-year pro career.

"I could say I don't like him that much, but there's a long list of refs I don't like very much," said always-colorful former Kansas University forward Pollard, who played last season with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

"When I first heard of this, it's not like I said, 'I know who that is.' He didn't stand out in my mind."

"This" is this week's revelation that 13-year NBA veteran official Donaghy is under investigation for involvement in gambling - affecting the outcome of games through his calls and betting on games he officiated.

"I can't single him out for any specific trait except he's one of the guys you can't joke with, can't talk to," Pollard said. "Some of them you can talk to, can say (kiddingly), 'Hey are you gambling on the game?' Others you can't. He's one you can't."

Pollard said though he doesn't know Donaghy personally he feels for the man.

"I'm not 100 percent sorry for him because obviously this is something he created, (but) I feel compassion for his family if he has to go into witness protection," Pollard said, aware of reports some of Donaghy's dealings may be with mob members.

Pollard said he is confident this is an isolated incident - "there are so many eyes on them, so many people reviewing every one of their calls I can't see it (being commonplace)" - he said he understands how a ref could influence a game's outcome.

"Basketball in my opinion is the only one of the major sports a ref could do that - if I don't like this guy I'll call two fouls early on him and get him out of the game,''' Pollard said. "A star player could get two early fouls, and it can affect the game.

"With football, you'd need a team effort of the refs to determine a game's outcome. They have instant replay. There are so many refs onfield and cameras, it'd be hard for one ref to change things.

"Baseball is a slow-enough-moving game with an ump here, baseline ump there. Plenty of things in baseball can't be controlled by a ref. Hockey : there are not many rules. I think it can happen in basketball."

As a competitive player, Pollard has disagreed with plenty of fouls before and been whistled for technicals.

"There's been 100 games in my career, high school, college and the pros, I could say, 'If one call goes the other way, we win,'" Pollard said. "Does that mean the ref is on the take? No. I put it on the player.

"After a game in the playoffs this year, one of my teammates said, 'The refs screwed us.' I said, 'Let's stop that now.'

"Coach (Roy) Williams once said to me: 'Have you ever after a victory said to the media, 'We didn't play well, but the refs gave us the win?' Of course I haven't. He said, 'You can't blame the refs for a loss if you don't give them credit for a win.'"

Pollard believes the Donaghy case will deter any refs who might think about getting tied into the gambling world.

"This guy's career is over," Pollard said. "His money making potential is over. In baseball, look what happened to Pete Rose. After that (ban from baseball), do you think anybody is saying, 'I'll make some money gambling on the side?'

"Even if a small temptation arose, I think it'd be gone now. I'd be shocked if you hear other guys fixing outcome of games."

Pollard, who is in Indianapolis with his wife and two daughters awaiting the birth of a baby boy, said he doesn't expect to return to Cleveland next season.

"I haven't heard from them," he said of the Cavaliers. "We (he and agent) have had discussions with a few teams. There have been a few leads. Nothing solid yet. It's like last year. Teams have got to get some free agents locked up, then fill roster spots.

"I think I am underappreciated," added Pollard, who has homes in Lawrence, Indianapolis, where he played two years ago, and Cleveland. "I'm younger (32) and healthier than people think. I've got a lot of gas left in the tank, more than people think. I've not had any back problems, knock on wood, in more than a year. I think I have two to three more years left in me."

The former Sacramento Kings player thinks he might be a better fit for a Western Conference team.

"The last four years I've been riding the pine basically. There's been a problem with me in the East. I'm a running center. In the West, you run more. People look at me as a classic East center, setting screens. I've always been that guy that outruns my guy for easy buckets on offense. On defense, I can get a rebound, block a shot. It's a matter of being in the right situation.

"Cleveland was a great experience going to The Finals, but also the style ended up a halfcourt style. Mostly, I just want to be warm."

Comments

KEITHMILES05 14 years, 3 months ago

Can't help but like 'ole Scot. Of all the former Hawks in NBA he and Pierce are my favs. Dude has made his money so he is truly doing what he enjoys.

He is not at a loss for words either. However, he is classy in what he says.

dbegert 14 years, 3 months ago

Except when he says, "Kids, do drugs."

Just kidding Scott. You my boy!

JayCeph 14 years, 3 months ago

Congrats to him on his baby boy. Maybe he'll go to KU in about 18 years. Unless he chooses to declare once he reaches 8th grade...

sevenyearhawk 14 years, 3 months ago

Scot just about has to be one of my favorite players and people in general ...

I remember he had some pics on the Kings' Web site, (http://static.flickr.com/41/79558029_...) where you could e-mail postcards to people, he had a kids' party hat, and looked like his usual goofy self.


I also remember seeing him at the 23rd Street Dillion's with his wife and Lolly waaaay back in the day ...

Can't say I was too happy with the whole "kids do drugs" thing, but that was just him being his weird self.


We had a class together, and the professor told me after the semester that Scot had offered to buy a HEARSE from that the prof owned.

This was about the time that "Marvin" showed up ...

remember that?

(I looked and looked and couldn't find that team photo with everyone in the old green Cady convertible)

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