Sunday , Jul , 22 , 2007 Oly Sandor

Tim Donaghy’s Cooperation With FBI Will Reveal Commissioner Stern and NBA’s Ugly Warts

Reports have circulated that Tim Donaghy will cooperate with the FBI’s investigation … This will help the NBA to make sure such a scandal never happens again … However, his testimony will reveal some disturbing fact … Click here for news and analysis on this story …

ESPN news reports on the Tim Donaghy scandal:

Authorities believe former NBA referee Tim Donaghy will cooperate with their investigation that he made calls to affect the point spread in games on which he or associates had wagered, The New York Daily News reported Sunday, citing anonymous sources.

A law enforcement official told The Associated Press that the bets were made on games during the 2005-2006 and 2006-2007 seasons.

Those studying Donaghy’s games might have noticed some trends.

When the home team was favored by 0-4½ points, it went 5-12 in games officiated by Donaghy this season, according to, a Web site that tracks referee trends. Home underdogs were 1-7 when the spread was 5-9.5 points.

Donaghy was part of a crew working the Heat-Knicks game in New York in February when the Knicks shot 39 free throws to the Heat’s eight, technical fouls were called on Heat coach Pat Riley and assistant Ron Rothstein, and the Knicks won by six. New York was favored by 4½.

My Quick Take: An NBA referee involved with point-shaving, bookies, and a crime family. If only this was an episode of The Sopranos. Unfortunately, the Tim Donaghy scandal is real and will cast a dark cloud over the NBA for a long time.

His cooperation with the FBI is a good thing. And Commissioner Stern must use Donaghy’s testimony to create initiatives to ensure NBA referees never get caught in something like this again.

But Donaghy’s cooperation will reveal some ugly warts. He knows where the bodies are buried. He also knows about the skeletons in the closet. This leaves the NBA open to unprecedented criticism.

Donaghy may reveal if anyone else was involved. He’ll make the NBA look negligent and incompetent by discussing how he hid his secret for so long. Then he’ll talk about games in which he changed the outcome.

Fans will churn over all of this, debating how a crooked ref altered the fortunes of their team.

The NBA will eventually use the information Donaghy provides to the FBI to build a stronger league. But the details will be ugly. And things will get worse before they get better.

Want more on this story? Then read:

-Tim Donaghy’s Career As An NBA Ref & His Presence In the 2006-07 San Antonio Spurs-Phoenix Suns Playoff Series.

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