"I went into the NBA as bright-eyed and bushy-tailed as I could get," Alex says. "I loved the game. I didn't want to taint it." Of course, that was before Alex did all those "bad, bad, bad" things.
Not long ago, we brought you the story of a stat-padding NBA scorekeeper who, one day in 1997, awarded 23 assists to Lakers guard Nick Van Exel, mostly for the hell of it. That was Alex. (He is now an officer in the Navy and asks that I not use his last name.) From 1995 to 1998, he headed up the Vancouver Grizzlies' stat crew. Alex is a numbers guy, and he came at the job from the perspective of someone who spent his childhood, as he says, "recreating baseball games with Dungeons and Dragons dice and baseball cards." So it was particularly galling for him to find that the seemingly cold and objective NBA box score was, on many nights, a self-serving fiction, subject to so much artful embroidery and deliberate manipulation that one might reasonably conclude that the boys from Enron were sitting courtside, counting dimes.