good points above, and "conspiracy" is kind of an odd term here, as I don't think most nba "conspiracy" theorists believe stern has a red phone directly connected to the officials' dressing room. rather, the league has interests that are obvious to any good employee. good employees then see that the mission of the organization is carried out. right now, if you're a ref that calls fouls for james harden, you're doing well. if you're not, you're not doing well. nobody needs to be explicitly told these things--at least nobody who will continue employment with the organization. again, this is why Cuban called for transparency in terms of evaluation and assignments for nba officials and was harshly rebuked.
btw, I really think that if nba officials simply called the game by the existing rules, we'd actually have a better product. one prime example: charges. we've created a culture in which running under airborne players and then falling down is rewarded. it severely limits the chances of a real head-to-head challenges at the rim. to try to make up for it, the league instituted the "charge circle", which, like moving the three point line close, had the opposite of the intended effect, imo. then, they started cracking down* on flopping. why not just abide by the principle of verticality and let guys actually attempt shotblocks instead of calling all airborne contact on the defense? you're basically begging for shane battier to run underneath a driver, totally sucking the life out of the play. how much more fun would it be if battier went for the block knowing that he wouldn't be automatically whistled if there was any contact, no matter who initiated it? but the league has weighed this against the prospect of dwyane wade getting his shot blocked and decided that the latter should be impossible.
*if you're a player whose name my wife doesn't know.