In this era of internet journalism, you'd think that a traditional media source like the Denver Post would know better than to take an anonymous, unsubstantiated, off the cuff comment from a player to press, but I suppose you've got to create controversy to sell papers.
Did a Denver player really say that the Lakers paid the officials $50,000 for a win? Does Denver REALLY think that this critical Game 5 was won and lost because referees were paid off? I know that given the whole Donaghy fiasco that it's not completely implausible, but I'm pretty sure this is just a case of sour grapes. If anything, this game was called the most fairly out of all of these games. The foul disparity was only 30 to 35 in favor of the Lakers. If anything, the conspiracy was the NBA trying to drag out this series in Game 4 where the Lakers took a 35 to 49 drubbing at the FT line. The calls and no calls went both ways. Perhaps Denver would like to revisit Carmelo's karate chop to Kobe's neck that was just considered good hard basketball?
I'm pretty sure the refs have nothing to do with Smitty's 1-10 three point shooting, or Melo's 38% FG percentage, or the fact that Kenyon Martin can't hit an undefended open 10 foot shot (twice)! Denver, just give credit where credit is due. You got outplayed this game, like the Lakers were outplayed in Game 4.
Oh, I'm sure the unnamed player who made this statement was just Rocky the mascot. I'd hate to think that after watching the Nuggets play so heroically so far, that someone would be cowardly enough to make conspiracy theories as an excuse for losing.