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Good Luck Trying to Find Footage of the Infamous 2002 Kings-Lakers Game 6

Jun 17, 2008 – 8:50 AM
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Matt Watson

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Mike Bibby and Shaquille O'NealAs the major sports leagues go, the NBA has always been rather progressive when it comes to allowing fans to post clips and mix tapes of game footage on YouTube. While the NFL and MLB try to remove videos as fast as they pop up, the NBA seems to understand that in the end it's all free advertising.

But in the wake of Tim Donaghy's allegation that two referees conspired to fix the 2002 Western Conference Finals, Melody Gutierrez of the Sacramento Bee made an interesting observation last Thursday:
Several of my colleagues say they've previously viewed video clips on YouTube of each game from the infamous 2002 Western Conference playoff series between the Kings and Lakers. But as of today, clips of Game 6 are missing. All the other games are there. [...] Where did Game 6 go? YouTube won't say. Their official response to my question was as dry as they come. "We do not comment on individual videos or video sets," a spokesperson said.
It's true: search for yourself and see. What's the story? Did the NBA selectively request that only the most embarrassing footage be taken down? In a follow-up post yesterday, Gutierrez says the NBA has denied any involvment.
I just got a call from NBA spokesman Mike Bass, who had seen a previous post here on the missing YouTube clips from Game 6 of the 2002 Kings-Lakers Western Conference finals. Bass wanted to get something straight. "The NBA had nothing to do with any footage being taken down," Bass said.
I'd like to believe Bass, especially given the NBA's hands-off approach to this kind of stuff in the past, but this seems like too much of a coincidence.

Newday's Neil Best asks a similar question: why hasn't ESPN Classic already replayed Game 6 of the 2002 Kings-Lakers game? If David Stern was serious about transparency and that Donaghy's claims are garbage, he'd go the extra step to make sure fans could see this game, either via YouTube clips or re-played on cable, not try to hide it from everyone.
Filed under: Sports