"Sooner than later, all hell is going to break loose. The NBA will never be the same again." - Adrian Wojnarowski (Yahoo! Sports)
"The league's doomsday scenario." - Mark Kriegel (Foxsports.com)
"A crisis that you'd gladly trade straight up for baseball's steroid scandal." - Marc Stein (ESPN.com)
"It strikes at the heart of who we are." - Ray Ratto (CBS Sportsline)
"Everybody run for your lives! We're all doomed!" - Dear Mr. Supercomputer (Dear Mr. Supercomputer)
OK, that last one was in jest.
An NBA referee is alleged to have gambled on games he was officiating. Certainly, that's a problem. But to surf the mainstream media this morning, you'd think that the NBA is on the verge of collapsing due to one person's misgivings.
Columnists have, as is par for the course, taken the Chicken Little approach to sports journalism. I have yet to find an article noting the fact that there has only been one referee suspected of wrongdoing. The best I can find is a member of the "mainstream blogosphere" that isn't taking the "sky is falling" approach. Meanwhile, others have placed this on par or worse than the ongoing baseball steroids scandal (also a tad overblown) and Michael Vick's gruesome reenactment of Best in Show.
Baseball is currently being investigated by the U.S. Congress. The NFL is making enemies of PETA. Formidable enemies to be sure. The NBA has to deal with the FBI. That's bad for the NBA to be sure, but I haven't read anything suggesting that this is a chronic, institutional problem. And only that would make this a scandal of ESPN.com proportions.