NBA referee Tim Donaghy accused of betting and point shaving … this is going to leave a mark. The NBA this time has no Larry Bird/Magic Johnson fix to save the day like in 1979–80.
The NBA finds itself in the midst of a nightmare that threatens the integrity of its sport. If the NBA did not already have a terrible image problem due to the thug like behavior of its athletes recently and the low ratings of their last NBA Final between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the San Antonio Spurs; they now have a real problem. Veteran NBA official Tim Donaghy is being investigated by the FBI for betting on NBA games as the NY POST originally reported. In a sport that can be affected by so few people, point shaving in the NBA is an enormous problem and the allegations against NBA official, Tim Donaghy, could scar the league forever.
The FBI is investigating allegations that veteran NBA referee Tim Donaghy bet on basketball games over the past two seasons, including ones in which he officiated.
Defense attorney John Lauro confirmed Donaghy is under investigation but refused to comment on the allegations or the case. (ESPN)
We always wondered as a terrible foul was made during a basketball game what would possess a referee to make such a call. What was he looking at? Why would he have made such a call that could alter a game in such a manner? I think we may start to understand the reasons. It wasn’t incompetence. Instead it was most likely point shaving. Now the question arises just how many times did veteran NBA official Tim Donaghy make a concerted effort to affect the outcome of a game?
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Donaghy officiated 68 games in the 2005-06 season and 63 games in 2006-07. He also worked 20 playoff games, including five last season — Pistons-Magic on April 23; Warriors-Mavs on April 27; Suns-Lakers on April 29; Nets-Raptors on May 4; and Spurs-Suns on May 12.
As The Boston Globe reports Tim Donaghy is under investigation as to whether he made calls that affected the point spreads of games, games that he personally bet on and whether there is any involvement to Donaghy and organized crime.
Although attempts to reach Donaghy by phone yesterday were unsuccessful, a law enforcement official said the referee was aware of the investigation and had made arrangements to surrender next week to face charges. The case, which has been ongoing for several months, also involves investigators exploring connections between Donaghy and organized crime.
Others covering the NBA nightmare betting scandal:
NBA Commissioner David Stern made the following statement:
“As we previously stated, we have been co-operating with the FBI in their investigation of allegations that a single NBA referee bet on NBA games that he officiated,” commissioner David Stern said in a statement yesterday afternoon.
Although asked by the government not to comment, Stern said the naming of Donaghy prompted a fuller statement.
“We would like to assure our fans that no amount of effort, time or personnel is being spared to assist in this investigation, to bring to justice an individual who has betrayed the most sacred trust in professional sports, and to take the necessary steps to protect against this ever happening again.”