NBA referee Tim Donaghy went to prison for betting on NBA games that he officiated. A free man for more than four years, Donaghy now makes a living doing what destroyed his living: handicapping NBA games.
Donaghy picks winners, and quite a few losers as his 236-220 2014 record demonstrates, for RefsPicks.com. If the site annoys for its poor taste, then the thirteen-year NBA official telling a Toronto radio station that the league favors teams just like he did will infuriate. In effect, Donaghy claims that the NBA does what he did: favor one team over another for financial gain.
Given the questionable calls in the heated Nets-Raptors series, and the star-filled Brooklyn roster, Toronto fans seemed a natural audience for Donaghy’s conspiracy theory.
“What they do is they actually send in a representative from the league office to sit down with the referees at an 11 o’clock meeting in the morning where they go over game film,” Donaghy told Toronto talk-show host Jeff Blair. “They will show the referees what they want called, what they want them to concentrate on, what they feel needs to be called or let go in a series to avoid any problems. In this situation, Brooklyn would be put at an advantage. A Brooklyn-Miami matchup would bring great ratings and that’s what this is all about for the NBA and the league offices–bringing in as many dollars as they can.”
The NBA, as one might gather, was not amused. “Tim Donaghy is a convicted felon looking for any opportunity for people to listen to his baseless allegations,” NBA spokesman Michael Bass countered. “For Mr. Donaghy to continually try to challenge his former colleagues’ ethics is distasteful and says more about his own integrity than it could ever say about our referees, who are the best and most scrutinized game officials in the world.”