Swinging slightly away from our hyperfocus on the Celtics, there's that other big offseason story of the Tim Donaghy scandal. You can't discount the potential impact that this could have on the sport.
Before the KG trade, the league was reeling from the negative press involved in one of its officials potentially linked to fixing games and mob ties. Read more on the latest developments at Sports Law Blog (Michael McCann was a guest on Celticsstuff Live last weekend).
I understand that the outcome of any particular Celtics game didn't matter much to anyone except the bookies last year, but if the team were competing for something important, it would have been an outrage to think that the games were fixed.
Think about how Suns fans must feel. It doesn't even matter if the playoffs really were altered illegally. The worst part is that there is that shadow of doubt. Stern will have a really hard time fighting that perception of doubt this year, no matter what he does. It will take time to win fans' trust once again.
The first time a call doesn't go our way at the end of the year, can you tell me that you won't think about this scandal at all? You have to wonder just how much it will hurt the sport on the whole. I think we'll get past this, just like we got past the Malice at the Palace. Still, it is something that will be there all year.