An anonymous Denver Nuggets player claimed the Lakers paid $50,000 to win Game 5 of the Western Conference finals Wednesday night at Staples Center. He did not reveal who received the money or who wrote the check. Or, whether it was in cash.
The implication was clear, however.
The Nugget believed the referees were paid to call the game in the Lakers’ favor, a charge the Lakers dismissed Thursday. The Nuggets were whistled for 30 fouls compared to 22 for the Lakers. Denver shot 30 free throws, and the Lakers shot 35.
“The Lakers paid $50,000 to win that game. They got their money’s worth,” a Nugget told the Denver Post newspaper after Game 5, not wishing to be identified for fear of receiving a fine from the league.