I hear that.
There are definitely biases towards Big Market teams, and teams with history.
The Lakers is one of the teams that had the most benefit from this.
Look at the teams in the league right now that are leading in free throw attempts per game.
Yes, the Lakers get a lot of free throws. But three of the top 10 teams in free throw attempts are in the lottery, with only OKC and the Clippers being real contenders.
Look at the worst free throw teams now ...
28) New Orleans
21) New York
20) San Antonio
The team with the league's best record is one of the worst teams at getting to the line. Two of the East's top teams in Atlanta and New York are also low on the list, and Memphis is another strong play-off threat there.
There is no clear relationship between getting to the line and winning games. This trend extends across the past several seasons. Yes, there are teams that get to the line a lot and win, and there are those that don't. But just because a team gets a lot of foul calls does not automatically let them win games, which makes any perceived conspiracy on your part miraculously ineffective.
Now, look over the last several seasons. I am going back to 2003-2004, because that is as far back as I can get the numbers through a casual search, and I don't feel like doing anything more involved.
Since the 2003-2004 season, the Lakers have attempted approximately 20,226 free throws (I say approximately because I back-tracked their per game averages for the number of games they played, and rounded, so I might be off by a few).
That is 4th in the league during that span. Behind Denver, Utah, and Orlando. Rounding out the top 10 since 2003-4:
It is worth noting that the Clippers, OKC, and Indiana, although strong teams now, were not perennially strong in the past decade.
The worst free throw teams since 2003? Well, San Antonio is 27th, and how have they been doing? Phoenix is 26th, and though they suck now, for good chunk of this past decade they were a serious contender (at times favorite).
The Bobcats have taken more free throws in the past decade than the Mavericks, who were a title favorite in Dirk's prime, and won a title recently (and Dirk is arguably the greatest free throw shooter in league history).
By the way, the league average for free throws in the past decade is 19,206, and the worst mark (belonging to New Orleans) is 17,338.
So the total spread between best and worst over the past decade is 5083 free throws, which works out to be 6 free throw attempts per game. The difference between the Lakers over this span and the league average works out to be 1.05 free throw attempt per game.
So, over the past decade, the Lakers have only managed to get about one extra free throw attempt for every game over the league average for this span.
Quite a conspiracy you got going on.
The numbers don't lie, baby, so get off the smug high horse and stop calling us all blind for not believing in easily falsifiable accusations of rigging.