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Nightfyre
06-10-2008, 09:26 PM
Ex-NBA referee: playoff series manipulated

By TOM HAYS, Associated Press Writer

In this April 10, 2007 file photo, NBA official Tim Donaghy talks with another official during a timeout in a basketball between the Washington Wizards and New Jersey Nets in Washington, D.C. A letter filed Tuesday, June 10, 2008, in the Brooklyn borough of New York, by a lawyer for Donaghy in his federal gambling case alleges his fellow refs broke league rules by routinely fraternizing with players, coaches and team management and the inappropriate relationships influenced the outcomes of games.

NEW YORK (AP)—NBA referees, influenced by cozy relationships with league officials, rigged a 2002 playoff series to force it to a revenue-boosting seven games, a former referee at the center of a gambling scandal alleged Tuesday.

Without identifying anyone or naming teams, Tim Donaghy also claimed the NBA routinely encouraged refs to ring up bogus fouls to manipulate results but discouraged them from calling technical fouls on star players to keep them in games and protect ticket sales and television ratings.

Speaking before the start of the NBA finals Game 3 featuring the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics, NBA commissioner David Stern called the allegations baseless.

“All I can say is that he’s looking for anything that will somehow shorten the sentence, and it’s not going to happen,” Stern said.

The allegations were contained in a letter filed by a lawyer for Donaghy, who pleaded guilty last year to felony charges alleging he took cash payoffs from gamblers and bet on games himself. The 41-year-old Donaghy faces up to 33 months in prison at sentencing on July 14.

“If the NBA wanted a team to succeed, league officials would inform referees that opposing players were getting away with violations,” the letter said. “Referees then would call fouls on certain players, frequently resulting in victory for the opposing team.”

The league called Donaghy’s allegations false and self-serving, saying the scandal was limited to him and two co-defendants, both former high school classmates who also pleaded guilty to gambling charges.

Donaghy’s lawyer has sought to convince a federal judge in Brooklyn that Donaghy, of Bradenton, Fla., deserves more credit for coming forward before he was charged to disclose behind-the-scenes misconduct within the NBA. The letter, filed Monday, suggests prosecutors have hurt Donaghy’s chances for a lesser prison term by downplaying the extent of his cooperation.

Donaghy’s attorney, John Lauro, and prosecutors declined comment.

“He’s a singing, cooperating witness who is trying to get as light a sentence as he can,” Stern said. “He turned on basically all of his colleagues in an attempt to demonstrate that he is not the only one who engaged in criminal activity. The U.S. attorney’s office, the FBI, have fully investigated it, and Mr. Donaghy is the only one who is guilty of a crime. And he will be sentenced for that crime regardless of the desperate attempts to implicate as many people as he can.”

In one of several allegations of corrupt refereeing, Donaghy said he learned in May 2002 that two referees known as “company men” were working a best-of-seven series in which “Team 5” was leading 3-2. In the sixth game, he alleged the referees purposely ignored personal fouls and called “made-up fouls on Team 5 in order to give additional free throw opportunities for Team 6.”

“Team 6” won the game and came back to win the series, the letter said.

Only the Los Angeles Lakers-Sacramento Kings series went to seven games during the 2002 playoffs. And the Lakers went on to win the championship.

At the time, consumer advocate Ralph Nader and the League of Fans, a sports industry watchdog group, sent a letter to Stern complaining about the officiating in Game 6 of the Western Conference finals.

The Lakers, who beat Sacramento 106-102 in that game in Los Angeles, shot 27 free throws in the final quarter and scored 16 of their last 18 points at the line.
In this April 10, 2007 file photo, NBA official Tim Donaghy talks with another official during a timeout in a basketball between the Washington Wizards and New Jersey Nets in Washington, D.C. In the letter, dated May 8, 2008 prosecutors asked a judge to consider giving Donaghy a break on his sentence for gambling on NBA games to reward his "substantial assistance" in an investigation that resulted in indictment and guilty pleas of a professional gambler and a middleman, both former high school classmates of the referee. Prosecutors say Donaghy faces up to 33 months in prison at sentencing on July 14. His attorney has asked for probation.

The letter also alleged manipulation during a 2005 playoff series.

“Team 3 lost the first two games in the series and Team 3’s owner complained to NBA officials,” the letter said. “Team 3’s owner alleged that referees were letting a Team 4 player get away with illegal screens. NBA Executive Y told Referee Supervisor Z that the referees for that game were to enforce the screening rules strictly against that Team 4 player. … The referees followed the league’s instructions and Team 3 came back from behind to win the series. The NBA benefited from this because it prolonged the series, resulting in more tickets sold and more televised games.”

In that same series, the letter says “Team 3” lost the first two games of the series and that team owner complained to NBA officials. The letter also alleges that the opposing team’s coach later was fined $100,000 after revealing an NBA official informed him of the behind-the-scenes instructions.

That would correspond with the 2005 first-round playoff series between the Houston Rockets and the Dallas Mavericks, in which Mark Cuban complained to officials and Jeff Van Gundy was fined.
In this April 10, 2007 file photo, NBA official Tim Donaghy talks with another official during a basketball game between the Washington Wizards and New Jersey Nets in Washington, D.C. In a letter dated May 8, 2008, prosecutors asked a judge to consider giving Donaghy a break on his sentence to reward his "substantial assistance" in an investigation that resulted in the indictment and guilty pleas of a professional gambler and a middleman, both former high school classmates of the referee.

Donaghy’s letter said that in the first of several meetings with prosecutors and the FBI in New York in 2007, he named names while describing “various examples of improper interactions and relationships between referees and other league employees, such as players, coaches and management.” For example, it said, referees broke NBA rules by hitting up players for autographs, socializing with coaches and accepting meals and merchandise from teams.

“The NBA remains vigilant in protecting the integrity of our game and has fully cooperated with the government at every stage of its investigation,” Richard Buchanan, NBA executive vice president and general counsel, said in a statement. “The only criminal activity uncovered is Mr. Donaghy’s.”

Donaghy, who pleaded guilty last year to charges he conspired to engage in wire fraud and transmitted betting information through interstate commerce, has said he made NBA bets for four years, even wagering on games he worked. He also admitted recommending bets to high-stakes gamblers and collecting $5,000 if his picks hit.

Associated Press Sports Writer Brian Mahoney in Los Angeles contributed to this report.

Pasta Giant Meatball
06-10-2008, 09:30 PM
27 free throws in the final quarter of that game for L.A.....WOW i think he may have some truth to that game being fixed. Just WOW.

FAX
06-10-2008, 09:33 PM
Unbelievable.

Check that. Believable.

FAX

sportsman1
06-10-2008, 09:35 PM
That article says otherwise, but if he comes out flat and implements David Stern, it will then hit the fan lol.

FAX
06-10-2008, 09:58 PM
I can't remember. Who would "Team 3" be?

FAX

Basileus777
06-10-2008, 09:59 PM
I can't remember. Who would "Team 3" be?

FAX

The Mavs. They are talking about the Mavs/Rockets series in 2005. Cuban complained to the league about Yao setting illegal screens and Yao ended up in foul trouble the rest of the series. Van Gundy complained and was fined 100k by Stern.

Smed1065
06-10-2008, 10:03 PM
I know why they say home team advantage now.

FAX
06-10-2008, 10:07 PM
The Mavs. They are talking about the Mavs/Rockets series in 2005. Cuban complained to the league about Yao setting illegal screens and Yao ended up in foul trouble the rest of the series. Van Gundy complained and was fined 100k by Stern.

Thanks. I see it now. That's amazing, really. But not surprising.

Now, if only one of the officials from the Chiefs/Colts playoff game would come forward. The PI call on Tony G. is still stuck in my mind.

FAX

Psyko Tek
06-10-2008, 10:09 PM
I've watched to many NBA games not to believe it

Pasta Giant Meatball
06-10-2008, 10:20 PM
Thanks. I see it now. That's amazing, really. But not surprising.

Now, if only one of the officials from the Chiefs/Colts playoff game would come forward. The PI call on Tony G. is still stuck in my mind.

FAX

No kidding that call was horrendous...but unfortunately the officials didn't force our defense to not show up that day

stlchiefs
06-10-2008, 10:36 PM
Stern's blanket denials don't hold up well against these detailed allegations. Donaghy seems to really have some facts that support what's he's saying. Unfortunately I could see this story simply disappearing much like Spygate.

SBK
06-10-2008, 10:58 PM
Anyone who doesn't think the NBA rigs games via refs has never watched an NBA game.

Valiant
06-11-2008, 02:36 AM
Yeah you have to be an idiot to not see how the league forces certain games or calls to boost tv ratings and ticket sales..

mikey23545
06-11-2008, 03:58 AM
Possible shorter sentence + possible book deal = one lying motherf#cker.

cookster50
06-11-2008, 06:09 AM
This article brought to you by the word "duh"

little jacob
06-11-2008, 06:58 AM
would anyone be surprised to learn games were being fixed?

kepp
06-11-2008, 06:58 AM
I've watched to many NBA games not to believe it
Anyone who doesn't think the NBA rigs games via refs has never watched an NBA game.

Bingo. I've been shaking my head at bad calls and imaginary fouls for years so it comes as no surprise.

KCUnited
06-11-2008, 07:01 AM
Possible shorter sentence + possible book deal = one lying motherf#cker.

This argument cracks me up. When's he suppossed to come clean, before he gets caught?

gblowfish
06-11-2008, 07:50 AM
Hmm....ref's tipping the balance at the foul line to keep a team in the media picture.

Kinda reminds me of watching KU in the Big 12 last season.

Did I say that out loud?

:evil:

RNR
06-11-2008, 07:53 AM
I think this goes on in all sports I lot more than we would like to think. I don't think out right fixing but slanting the game to go the way that would increase profit. There are billions of dollar floating around these sports. IMO it would silly to think this type of stuff does not go on. Just look at the red white and blue wartime money making Patriots. It took a full blown scandal to get the NFL off their nut sack.

little jacob
06-11-2008, 08:54 AM
so who is willing to bet against this series going 7 games? have to milk the first respectable ratings in a decade...

RNR
06-11-2008, 08:55 AM
so who is willing to bet against this series going 7 games? have to milk the first respectable ratings in a decade...

Pass

Rausch
06-11-2008, 08:57 AM
97, Donks/Chiefs, 'nuff said...

FAX
06-11-2008, 09:51 AM
This article brought to you by the word "duh"

ROFL

FAX

beach tribe
06-11-2008, 10:17 AM
I have ALWAYS believed this. A foul can be called on any contested shot at the refs discretion.

The sport is an unwatchable joke IMO.