Blog Entry

NBA to investigate Donaghy's latest claims

Posted on: October 29, 2009 3:51 pm
Edited on: October 29, 2009 4:48 pm
The NBA will investigate additional allegations by disgraced former referee Tim Donaghy that were scheduled for publication in a book that has been spiked by its publisher.

In the book excerpts, which have been published online, Donaghy offered more details of alleged game manipulation by other referees. The NBA and the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of New York investigated Donaghy's initial claims and did not find anyone else culpable.

Elizabeth Ventura, the NBA's senior vice president of communications, issued the following statement to and other news outlets:

"In 2008 Mr. Donaghy's allegations were thoroughly investigated by the FBI and the U.S. Attorney's Office. We are reassured that the U.S. Government completed its investigation finding that the only criminal conduct was that of Mr. Donaghy.

"We take any question regarding the integrity of our game extremely seriously. At the time Mr. Donaghy’s crimes came to light, we appointed Lawrence B. Pedowitz, a former Chief of the Criminal Division in the U.S. Attorney's office of the Southern District of New York, to lead a comprehensive independent review of the NBA's officiating program. Mr. Pedowitz's review revealed that the NBA’s core values of neutrality and accountability were not compromised by anyone other than Mr. Donaghy.

"As with all allegations concerning the integrity of our officiating program, these latest assertions by Mr. Donaghy will be turned over to Mr. Pedowitz for a complete review."

Donaghy was sentenced to prison time in 2008 after pleading guilty to federal wire fraud charges. Donaghy was accused of betting on NBA games, including those he worked, and tipping off high-stakes gamblers with inside information.

UPDATE: Robert Nardoza, spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office, declined to comment on whether federal authorities were re-opening their investigation. No criminal charges have been filed against any NBA employee other than Donaghy. "We saw the article," Nardoza said, referring to news that Donaghy's publisher had pulled the book amid fears of legal action. "Beyond that, I'm not going to comment."

Donaghy's tell-all, "Blowing the Whistle: The Culture of Fraud in the NBA," was scheduled for publication later this month by Triumph, a division of Random House. Despite news reports to the contrary, NBA spokesman Tim Frank said the league "never threatened a lawsuit or anything else."

In the excerpts, Donaghy cut a wide swath through the ranks of his former colleagues, naming names and offering details on how other officials allegedly manipulated games. Many of the details mirrored those he gave to federal prosecutors as part of his plea negotiation.

According to a person directly involved in the NBA's probe conducted by Pedowitz, all the referees named in the excerpts from Donaghy's manuscript were interviewed during the initial investigation -- in some cases, numerous times. 

“The National Basketball Referees Association is disappointed, but not surprised, with the actions taken by Tim Donaghy," referee spokesman Lloyd Pierson said in a statement. "This continues to be the Tim that we know. He repeatedly attempts to highlight himself in the media, but the 59 NBA referees will continue to officiate games with the utmost integrity and the focus will remain on the 2009-2010 NBA Season.”

The story isn't over; it never is with Donaghy. No doubt he will find another publisher, or self-publish the book, and the storm will gather again.

I don't know how thoroughly Donaghy's claims were investigated at the time, or whether these new allegations will draw the attention of federal authorities. I don't know whether Donaghy is telling the truth or not. I wasn't there; Donaghy himself wasn't present for some of the improprieties he alleges.

What I do know is that this sad chapter in NBA history will have more postscripts.

Category: NBA
Tags: Tim Donaghy

Since: Jan 5, 2009
Posted on: October 31, 2009 10:12 pm

NBA to investigate Donaghy's latest claims

Sounds like ther character in the movie "The Firm", that Tom Crusie played.

Since: Sep 8, 2006
Posted on: October 30, 2009 5:27 pm

NBA to investigate Donaghy's latest claims

What would they gain by allowing fixed games to continue? The classic cases of rich getting richer and poor continuing to stay down. You can call conspiracy theorists idiots all you want. If you want facts to prove the conspiracy theorists are right, look no further than the 2002 WCF game 6 between the Lakers and Kings. The Lakers should never have won a title that season, that 1 game determined the difference between the Lakers winning a championship and a real champion winning it. The Kings were so much better than the Lakers in that game it was amazing that the Lakers barely beat the Kings with 8 men on the court. If the refs called it the way it was supposed to be called the Kings win that game by about 20. That's 1 big example of the NBA being fixed.

Since: Jul 10, 2008
Posted on: October 30, 2009 4:20 pm

NBA to investigate Donaghy's latest claims

You're right Ssdking78, bad calls are never going to go away.   And you're right about the replays slowing the game down.  In football we kind of have gotten used to it.  Baseball is already seen as a slow pace sport.  How about slowing it down some more.  Basketball I find it the biggest distraction except when it's thhe end of the quarter and you're looking to see if the shot clock ran out.  That's always a fun one and timed is stopped anyway. 

But you can only use instant replays in certain instances even if it were used in the NBA or MLB.  Refs in basketball would probably still be the ones calling fouls like officials do in the NFL.  Since touching is such a big part of the game, intant replay won't be able to tell was was a soft barely soft brush or a hard foul.  There is just so much going on.  It would probabaly be used in NBA like in the NFL where it would be more about being inbounds and out or making sure the time ran out or not.  

In baseball where you don't have fouls it gets kind of stickly, like last night where the double play was called at first when the ball actually bounced before the first baseman caught it.  Let's say that play is reviewed by intant replay and you discover that the ball bounced, so the man at second is not out.  Now the first baseman doesn't throw to second for the force or double play becaus the ump already called him out.  So, it you over turn the play and the batter is out, what do you with the guy who ran from first to second?  Is he still safe a second?  But the first baseman didn't throw to second to get him out because the ump called him out at first.  Does he go back to first?  The chances are the runner could have made it to second?  In the case of the play last night, the first baseman had two option when the ball was hit to him on the bouce:  tag first base and then throw to second and for the tag out.  Or throw to second for the force and then receive the ball back for the double play.  So, in the case last night, which team would get penalized for the bad call by the ump if there was reply over turning the call?

Since: Aug 26, 2009
Posted on: October 30, 2009 3:13 pm

NBA to investigate Donaghy's latest claims

This will never go away, it's not about Tim.  It's about the power that is vested in any official.  Still to this day, only football offers instant replay.  And it's only on a chanlleged calls.  It's impossible to review every call and every play.  The game time would go from 2-3 hours depending on a sport, to 4-5 hours respectively.  So, as long as there is sports betting, there will be refs that would use that to their advantage.  Look at the game yesterday, Yankees and Phillies, no replays and like 5 stupid calls that might of cost either team the game.  I'm not saying they were bad calls on purpose, but how are we ever going to know, WAS IT A BAD CALL, OR WAS IT CALLED BAD INTENTIONALLY.

Since: Jul 10, 2008
Posted on: October 30, 2009 1:50 pm

NBA to investigate Donaghy's latest claims

You just reiterated that point and kind of proved his theory with your statements about 1 player being able to carry they're team deep into the playoffs.  If this is true then why hasn't this happened with a greater amount of teams throughout the years? Davidi85,

Single players carrying teams has happen always happened throughout the years of basketball.   But the short answer is, most teams don't have those dominant players.  A lot of teams have good players, but not players that can turn any team from a loser into a winner. Look at last season.  The top teams all had dominant players considered the best in the league.  Most have a #2 that pushes the team to elite status.  Lakers, Orlando, Spurs, Celtics (when KG is healthy), Cavs (but had no #2).  Rockets before they lost their center.  Nuggets.  For years, Utah went deep into the playoffs for years with Malone and #2 stockton.  Sonics with Payton.  Of course there are other factors, like coaching.  MJ took his team into the playoffs, but didn't when until Phil Jackson took over (Pippen's rookie years was another playoff year. The next year, PJ's rookie year was the first of their championships).

The Lakers went to the finals repeadedly with Jerry West and Elgin Baylor and they constantly went deep into the playoffs and finals four times.  But Bill Russell was more dominant back then with the Celtics and won the finals most of the time.  And Chamberlain did it with the Warriors (Philly and Golden State) and Sixers in the 60's going deep into the finals, but ran into the more dominant Celtics.  The Pacers did it with Reggie Miller in that small market.

One reason why you have players dominate a team and the entire sports in basketball and not in football and baseball is because of the make-up of the teams.  During most of the basketball game, the starting line-up is made up of only five players.  That dominant player is 20 percent of that line-up and is on the court usually when the best players from the opposing team are on the court also.  If there are two stars, that may be 40 percent.  But that one or two players will control more than the 20 or 40 percent of the teams play.  Last year in the playoffs with the Cavs and Magic, in that game where the Cavs were behind and desparate, LaBron, debateble, but 1 or 2 best player in the game, was given 100 percent of their offensive load in the second half of the game.  It's only in track and field, tennis, boxing and a few other sports where a athlete controls 100 percent of the offense. And those are sports where individuals can dominate year after year.

In baseball and football, you don't have that because there are so many pieces. A-Rod is only 9 percent of the offense.  Unlike basketball, he can not handle the ball more than any other player.  Unlike basketball, his defensive skills only come into play when balls are hit his way.  But in baseball, pitcher has a greater impact on individual games since he control the defense 100 percent of the time if he goes nine innings.  That's why in baseball great pitching is needed to go deep into the play-offs.  The Yankees didn't return to the World Series until they got back to great pitching like they had earlier in the decade.  But in baseball it usually takes 2 or 3 great pitchers.  But still, each of those pieces have a smaller impact on the game, because pitchers don't play ever day and don't give you offense, like the dominant basketball player.

In Football, each player makes up even a smaller percentage of the team on the field.  And yes, QB's dominate the play, along with running backs and recievers, but all of those pieces need to work together.  LaBron and Koby can take over a game, but QB can't dominate if recievers are crap and running backs can't break the line.  There are just too many pieces.  That's why one quarterback addition can't make a football team into winners.  Put the best QB in Detroit right now and you might get an extra win.  Move LaBron to New York and the Knicks are in the play-offs.  Star basketball players have bigger impacts on their teams.  And in football, the QB and other offensive players have no impact on the defense.  So a QB acquistion won't change a crappy defensive team.

But this takes place in college sports also.  Teams with the most dominatant players win.  But in college, the players have to
be overly dominant because of the lack of play-off series.  In a seven game series, the better team will probably win 4 out of seven.  But, the better team may not always win the first game of that seven game series.  That why the one and done playoffs produce more upsets.  On any given Sunday, the best NFL team may still lose a game to a horrible team.  Playoff series help prevent that.

But the posters point was that why isn't there more parity in a sport where the teams are made up of fewer players. The more players that make up a team, the more parity you will have in a league.  Basketball has less players than the other major North American team sports.  Individual sports have the least amount of parity.


Watch that and HONESTLY tell me the Lakers deserved to go to the finals in 2002. Without the refs the Lakers would've gotten STOMPED in that game 6.
I looked at the youtube clips you listed.   The second one, you didn't put down the point in time, so I didn't know where to look.  I the first and third one, yes those were bad calls.  But, if you look at the angle the refs called them from and not the tv camera's it possible that refs saw it the way the called it.  In the clip where Kobe hits Bibby in the head, Bibby has his arm locked around Kobe.  From the ref that called it, he can easily tell Bibby's arm around Kobe, but he's standing behind Bibby and it's harder to see Kobe arm go into Bibby's head.  In the third video with the Bibby called found on Kobe's jump shot, the ref on the side from the tv camera's point of view, his view is blocked by another player.  The ref that called the foul was under the basket and behind Bibby and saw Bibby's arm slap towards Kobe as he took the shot and falls away.  From the side it's obvious that it's not a foul.  From behind Bibby, it's not obvious.  

Yes, bad calls are made both ways.  How come bad calls made against the Lakers are just bad calls?  Bad calls for the Lakers are a conspiracy?  Last season when the Lakers played Orlando, fans were on this board complaining about the bad calls made against the Magics even though the refs blew calls in against the Lakers.  But they still shouted conspiracy.  Nevermind the fact that if there was a conspiracy, Orlando would not have been the team representing the East.  But don't let logic get in the way of a good conspiracy.

And lets get one thing straight everybody, about the Tim Donaghy.  Even if Donaghy was screwing with games and he had a few buddies doing the same thing, that doesn't mean there is a David Stern conspiracy.  Now if Stern were to do a conspiracy, it would make more since to put the best players in the smaller markets since the teams in the large markets turn a profit even when they suck.

Last year,  Minnesotoa, Oklahoma City, Memphis, Charlotte all lost money.  The Knicks, Clippers, Warriors and Wizards turned a profit, along with smaller markets Cleveland, San Antonio and Orlando turned profits.  The big markets make money regardless since the market is large enough to support the losing teams.  The New York market is larget enough to support two losing teams.  Los Angeles could support two.  Small markets can't and need more of a draw to fill the stadiums since they don't have the population.   Since the games televised on a national level are the teams with stars (Cleveland didn't have national games televised before LaBron), then put the stars in the small towns.  The small towns would make money and the big markets would continue to make money.  And the nation would continue to watch the stars.  But this conspiracy would never happen because this conspiracy actually has logic to it.

Since: Jan 9, 2007
Posted on: October 30, 2009 12:45 pm

NBA to investigate Donaghy's latest claims

I am going to investigate my paycheck, to see it if shouuld be higher.

Since: Nov 26, 2008
Posted on: October 30, 2009 12:43 pm

NBA to investigate Donaghy's latest claims

I remember when everyone laughed at Jose Canseco.  Players tried to destroy his credability, out of fear and self preservation as it turns out.  Baseball brass tried to ignore what they knew was going on.  Jose Canseco is not the greatest human being.  In fact he's somewhere between knucklehead and scumbag.  No matter what his motivation was, turns out he was telling the truth.  Are we to believe that only people involved with baseball possess the greed gene?  Only in the game of baseball are there people so desperate to get ahead that they will cheat to get there?  Or look the other way as the cheating occurs if it is benefiting them at the same time?  I don't think so.  In fact that sounds rediculous.

Tim Donaghy is not the greatest human being.  In fact he's a scumbag.  But should we believe he is lying just because the league and his former peers say so?  Not me.  I'm going to wait awhile to see how this shakes out.  Too many simialarities to a disaster fueled by greed that we've all seen before.  If Donaghy has truthful information that he can prove, here is what you will see next:  NBA referees desperately trying to discredit Donaghy at every opportunity in a somewhat of an over the top fashion.  Stern (just like Selig did) pooh poohing questions about Donaghy's allegations by calling him a "convicted criminal", as if once you are convicted of a crime you no longer ever tell the truth.  Stern saying this lieutentant or that director of affairs has looked into all the allegations and have found them all to be completely untruthful, but staying very vague about exactly how the determination was made that the allegations are false.  Donaghy with some wild stories that promt more pooh poohing from brass and more attacks on his character from his former peers, as though we are all two years old and haven't already figured out that this guy is a loser.  But as Jose prooved, even losers can know the truth.  And tell it.  And after closer review of the allegations and the pecularities of the flow and officiating of the games mentioned, some media and some fans will say "wait a minute, he could be telling the truth" and "this seems all too familiar".

I see a pattern that we are about half way through.  I hope I'm wrong, but greed invades all levels of society, so I'll wait. 

Since: Jan 17, 2008
Posted on: October 30, 2009 12:09 pm

NBA to investigate Donaghy's latest claims

that was funny, but very true....the nba knows more than theyre telling and of course will self-investigate this to the fullest!!!

Since: Jun 25, 2009
Posted on: October 30, 2009 11:37 am

NBA to investigate Donaghy's latest claims

I'm sure some of you have read this already. But here is a link that answers all of your questions ( or should anyways).  I never had a doubt in my mind that the NBA was rigged... you can choose to believe that he's making all of this up if you want to be naive... not me.

If you honestly read this and think for a second that he's not telling the truth then you are the same guy that thought Canseco was lying about steroids... low and behold he ended up being right.... so is this NBA ref....

This provides MUCH MORE then just one fix when the lakers beat sacramento... this story and these excerpts show you how the refs make the game so much fun by cheating..... it's hilarious !!

Count how many other refs are involved.. THAT HE KNOWS OF.....  then get back to me..... tell me what you think.

Since: Dec 29, 2006
Posted on: October 30, 2009 11:21 am

NBA to investigate Donaghy's latest claims

...that's why the refs wanted new contracts and held out...more (hush hush) money!

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