Archive for the ‘NBA Betting Scandal’ category

DAILY RAYS OF SUNSHINE

May 28, 2008

CAT FIGHT BETWEEN KOBE’S WIFE AND ESPN THE MAGAZINE BLOGGER

This is a good one from The Sports Pig. Kobe Bryant’s wife Vanessa reportedly flipped out on ESPN’s Laura Lane. Lane writes on her blog..

So as I’m walking out of the Lakers locker room after some post-game interviews with the players, I pass Vanessa, who is sitting outside the locker room as usual with her two girls.
“Laura!” she screams (yes, she apparently knows my name). “F- you! You f-ing bitch!”
“Excuse me?” I say, completely baffled as I look around me to see if there is someone else named Laura. No, there’s not.

Her daughters – ages 5 and 2 – are sitting next to her on the bench looking at their mom as she screams.

“F- you! How dare you write about me and my daughters and their schedule! You didn’t say you were writing an article! F- you! You f-ing bitch. You have no journalism ethics! F- you! You bitch – ”

Bryant isn’t happy that Lane critiques her clothing and behavoir during Laker games…

Kobe’s wife, Vanessa, has opted to make her own fashion statement. Vanessa, who is usually prim and proper in all black has decided to have fun tonight with her outfit. She’s wearing a white tube dress, a purple tutu, black leggings, high heeled short boots and a rhinestone incrusted white leather jacket with the number 8 on the back, Kobe’s old number. Bryant’s daughters, Natalia and Gianna both have shirts that say “Got MVP?”

“When he changed his number I didn’t have anything with a 24 on it so I had them make this dress,” Vanessa says. “I don’t know how to sew that well so I just told them what to do.”

After the screaming session, Lane unloaded on Bryant.

She’s insane. Everyone knows it. Perhaps she’s angry at the world because there were rumors today that came out that Kobe Bryant slept with a Lakers cheerleader – a hotter version of his wife who is also named Vanessa – and she got fired.
While I am completely against cheating, can you honestly blame Kobe if he didn’t want to sleep with that???

Considering there are a lot of rumors going around, I’m sure she’s upset. So she took it out on me and now I have an awesome story.

About three different reporters at the game and one of my editors told me I should write about her cussing me out. That’s the beauty of journalism. You don’t fight, you write.

THAT WAS A FOUL

I love arguing whether Brent Barry got fouled. The refs have called these playoffs like pussies the entire way. If they were consistent, that call is made and Barry goes to the line for three free throws.

San Antonio columnist Buck Harvey writes that the Lakers deserved a break on the final play…

That was the last time the Lakers were in San Antonio for the playoffs. Then Tim Duncan threw in a leaning jumper for the lead — and Derek Fisher and 0.4 followed.

This time — with Fisher again involved — one bad call deserved another.

This time the refs didn’t see that a Fisher jumper had grazed the rim, not resetting the shot clock. This time the refs chose to look the other way when Fisher leaped and landed on Brent Barry.

This time the Lakers deserved what they got.

They clearly outplayed the Spurs.

JOEY CRAWFORD WAS THE CREW CHIEF? WHY IS HE STILL WORKING THE PLAYOFFS AFTER THE DEBACLES OF THE LAST FEW YEARS?

The conspiracy theorists are howling in San Antonio. I don’t think they’re right but who the hell knows. Crawford imploded last year. Is it beyond belief that he still holds a grudge and lets emotion get the best of him during some NBA games?

The Philly native certainly has a history…

Crawford was suspended late in the 2006-07 season after he tossed Tim Duncan from a game for laughing at him from the bench on April 15, 2007, in Dallas. He was reinstated for this season and remains one of the league’s highest-rated referees. A veteran of 31 seasons, Crawford has worked 38 NBA Finals games, more than any active referee. His 266 playoff games worked heading into this playoff season makes him the most experienced active playoff referee.  

PITTSBURGH TALKER PAYS HEFTY PRICE FOR OVER THE TOP REMARKS

We pointed out on Tuesday that Mark Madden was a bit out of control last week on his Steel Town radio show. Now he may lose his job. He’s waged public wars with Pittsburgh sports figures for year but it looks like he cross the line in his comment about Ted Kennedy.

Madden said the following about Sen. Kennedy, who days earlier had been diagnosed with brain cancer: “I’m very disappointed to hear Sen. Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts is near death because of a brain tumor. I always hoped Senator Kennedy would live long enough to be assassinated.”

Madden works for one of the few owned and operated station in the ESPNRadio family. An independent station may not have jumped as quickly. I’d like to see him given another shot.

JIM NANTZ, ANOTHER MILLIONAIRE SPEWING MISINFORMATION

Another out of touch TV guy is pontificating about the blogosphere. Nantz threw out this gem during a recent interview on MSNBC.

I have to admit, I’m so far out of the loop on the blogosphere, I really don’t partake in that. I know that it’s got a huge following. On the few occasions that I have gone or been introduced to it and checked out what’s been written, maybe about my world, it’s usually so vile and vicious that I shut it down after a minute or two.

There’s no stopping it. The scary thing is how much credibility someone lends to that. How much credibility do we give to people out there who aren’t trained in journalism and then try and masquerade as someone who can pass along information as factual.

Upon reading about it, I was glad there was a firestorm about it. I really appreciated Buzz Bissinger — I read he was a little ashamed of his level of anger — but I completely understood where he was coming from.

Nantz was so interested in the topic he did admit he couldn’t carve out the 90 minutes to actually watch the CostasNow show….

MSNBC: Did you follow the discussions that came out of the recent “Costas Now” show on sports media–

JN: I read about it.

As out of touch as Bob Costas, Nantz may be more so. He is a blue-blood with a golfing background. Sorry bro, don’t really care about your thoughts on what average joe sports fans enjoy and don’t enjoy.

THE U.S. SUCKS AGAIN..WE HAVE MICHELLE AKERS, BRAZIL HAS LAISA ANDRIOLI

 

I would assume the Brazilian team is damn good in women’s soccer.

If not, who cares with great athletes like the 20-year old Andrioli on it’s side. You can click here for the rest of the photos (ABSOLUTELY NSFW).

BERMAN RECANTS ANTI-VEGAS STATEMENTS

August 22, 2007

Marc Berman

NY Post Columnist and NBA Writer, Marc Berman, sits down for a fireside chat with Mr. Sunshine, Steve Cofield, to discuss Berman’s latest column, “Stern Wrong? You Bet! Tying NBA to Vegas set stage for Scandal”. 

Why David Stern Is A Smug, Audacious Ass?
Why a $5000 spiff/per game doesn’t make sense?

Why Marc Berman received loads and loads of irate, Vegas email reactions?

All that and more with Mr. Sunshine!
Ok — it needs to be pointed out that Marc Berman is NOT related to Chris “Bacon Lover” Berman, fyi.

OFF SHORE SOURCES DISPUTE MOST MEDIA REPORTS ON TIM DONAGHY SCANDAL

July 26, 2007

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The place to go for info on this NBA betting scandal is the folks who are embedded in the off-shore gambling world. That’s where all of the big money wagering took place after someone got to Tim Donaghy. After speaking with lots of these moles, here’s our theory on what happened, including guesses at some of the fixed games.Most of this flies in the face of the general media’s theories.Donaghy’s was not threatened. He wasn’t forced into doing this. He was not a degenerate gambler who got in too deep. That may be a nice Sopranos story line but things in the real world of the mob are much more subtle. It was a straight payoff deal for big money. Maybe in the $500,000 range. We know from new reports the Gambino Crime family is involved. Word is it’s a super high level, sophisticated gambler/handicapper who reputation is well known. The person may have ties all the way back to John Gotti.

Everyone is on the wrong path on trying to target fixed games. We’ll never know which games were arranged unless Donaghy flips or someone in custody turned state’s evidence. All the late game foul/cover examples and over/under stats are ridiculous. These guys are too smart. The whole point was to make it impossible to detect.

The fixer is high level gambler. There is a crew of the world’s best gamblers who hit in the 57-60% range on a regular basis. The names are well known. Read the book “The Smart Money” by Michael Konik.

Their best plays (based on angles/trends) hit at 60+ %. In theory, Donaghy was only brought in as insurance on the other four games, the gambler may lose. If things went as planned, Donaghy would have to do nothing. He was there to insure the victory, with or without making calls.

Don’t bother looking at the opening/closing lines. The evidence is more likely found with the action between the open and close. A tel-tale sign for the off-shore books is when they see one of their big names betting a game at -6 then -7 then -8. Sophisicated winners don’t do that. That raises eyebrows. If you looked at the opening and closing lines you may see, opened -6….steamed up to -8.5…then closed -6.5. You miss it by looking at just the beginning and the end.  

I think Donaghy’s arrangement was for around 15 games. The goal was hit to roughly 12-of-15.

Here’s our best guess at some of the games. Again, in some cases nothing happened. Donaghy was only an insurance policy.

11/16 – DETROIT 90, N.J NETS 82

The action on this game was curious. The fixed side here was Detroit. Richard Jefferson added some drama. He was iffy for the game. Donaghy’s partner and the public pound the line up to -3, -3.5. Right before the game, it’s announced Jefferson will play. Line goes back down to -1 and then it’s pounded again towards -3 again. It settles around -1.5. Jefferson scores 11 and there are a couple of instances in the final minute where calls on Detroit fouls aren’t made. Pistons cover easily. How could you tell the fix was in? Line opened -1 and closed at -1.5.

12/29 – CLEVELAND 109, MILWAUKEE 99

You could never tell in this one because Donaghy didn’t have to lift a finger. The Cavs were the side laying six. Cleveland blew out to a 20-point halftime lead.  It got as close as eight to start the 4th but the Cavs pulled away safely for the cover. Game opened -5 and finished -6. Again, nothing obvious.

Here’s the interesting scuttlebutt going around. Off-shore betting site Pinnacle was a good spot to work this deal because it’s limits on NBA sides were very at $100,000. If you remember Pinnacle ceased U.S. operations on 1/11. The theory is that this hamstrung the efforts to get huge money down and there wasn’t another Donaghy game for a while, roughly two months.  

The crazy thing is roughly five or six games in (all wins) everyone off-shore has some idea something is happening. Vegas has no clue. But instead of alerting anyone, the off-shore sites, simply get in on the action. But so do most of the huge name bettors around the world. Reports that Donaghy’s fixer did go 10-for-10 has been confirmed multiple times.

Now when did it end? Here’s the best guess. Donaghy is there as insurance, plus the guy who set it up is a great sports gambler. It would be shocking if the gambler is way off on game. This doesn’t work if he’s some hack who need Donaghy to make 8-to-10 calls to fix his misread on a game.  Sometimes circumstances are beyond control.

4/11 – PHILADELPHIA 102, BOSTON 94

Everyone remembers this game but they would never put it together with the Donaghy scam. The side is Boston. The line opens -1.5 and closes -2. It’s coming in at the half, once again Donaghy has to do nothing. Then Doc Rivers steps in and tanks the game. Yup, the much discussed game where he took all his starters out with an 18-point lead. It was an avalanche by Philly, nothing Donaghy could do without making it obvious. Philly wins outright and the Donaghy fixer’s streak ends here. All the talk revolves Rivers tanking the game to help the Celts in the draft lottery. Since many of the big bettors were onto the fix, it was absolute destruction for the players off-shore that night. Everyone was on Boston.  

There are a lot folks who said there was one playoff game fixed. It was New Jersey-Toronto game 6. But there’s talk of double-crossing in this case. The line exploded from N.J. -5 to -8.5. The Nets won by one point. The thought is, the fixer had had enough with everyone jumping on his deal and set them up to lose with the phony side being Nets to cover.

The theories could be wrong. But make sure if the details/games affected come out, check back and see how accurate this was.

ESPN920’s PAUL HOWARD VINDICATED?

July 24, 2007

LISTEN TO HOWARD’S QUESTION HERE 

This question to David Stern during the 2007 NBA All-Star game has been referenced multiple times by AP and ESPN over the last few days. Hear it for yourself. David Stern says he’s not worried about game fixing in the NBA and in typical Stern style he tries to belittle Las Vegas ESPNRadio920 host Paul Howard.

Mayor Goodman getting sick of Vegas bashing by national media

July 24, 2007

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LISTEN HERE TO FULL GOODMAN CONVERSATION 

Oscar Goodman joined Mr. Sunshine on Monday to talk about the NBA’s betting scandal. He states that he was so livid with Newsday’s Ken Berger and his anti-Las Vegas column that he fired off an angry letter earlier in the day.  

The Mayor may also be in dreamland, stating that this is a positive for Las Vegas’ future in pro sports. The media will ignore the facts and do little research on legalize sports gambling.  The Mayor was unaware of the fact that David Stern cancelled next week’s Monday meeting on the topic of Vegas and the NBA. 

It is the ultimate irony that the loudest pro-Vegas voice is the guy who represented the same sort dirtbags who got Tim Donaghy into this trouble.

VEGAS CAN’T TRUST THE NBA SAYS CASINO EXEC. GAMES OFF THE BOARD NEXT STEP?

July 24, 2007

We starting pushing yesterday on the air for the NBA to be pulled off the board.

We got multiple complaints from bettors who had the Phoenix Suns 2006-07 for the NBA title. Those with Suns future bets for the 2007 NBA title planned to speak with the Gaming Commission about the subject.

I don’t see how Nevada sports books can continue to take bets on a sport that would hide game fixing suspicions

THE MGM Mirage spoke on the subject 

Alan Feldman, senior vice president of public affairs for the MGM Mirage, said “time will tell” if there have been any irregularities in betting on NBA games.

“From the way this unfolded, it appeared no one in Nevada had any knowledge of this,” Feldman said. “I have to believe that everyone involved — the FBI, the league, Nevada regulators, the sports book operators and the customers — will want to know if there’s any information that will shed light on this. We’ll do everything we can if it means bringing additional light.

Contrary to Mayor Oscar Goodman’s open-arms invitation to the league, Feldman said an NBA team might not be the right fit for Las Vegas’ gaming industry.

“We’re one of the most highly regulated industries in America and we live and die on our integrity,” Feldman said. “We can do nothing to put that in jeopardy. If it turns out that the league is shown to be incapable of protecting the integrity of their game, it’s not a league we need to have in Las Vegas.”

Anger is building within the ranks of Las Vegas Sports Book Directors. Patrick Rathore runs the Stratosphere Sports Book,They never talk to the right people. They don’t call the directors or call the people in the business. Never once do we get a phone call saying this guy is refereeing. Obviously it came out (Donaghy) knows which refs working a month in advance so he’s privy to all that info. IIf there was some sort of concern, why not send us that list of when he’s refereeing games? Then we can say to you this game is moving two or three points. If something’s going we’re going to find out about it.”

LISTEN TO ENTIRE INTERVIEW WITH RATHORE 

ARE THEY STUPID OR LAZY? BOTH!

July 24, 2007

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The Vegas bashing is in full swing with the NBA ref scandal.  

 

It’s amazing, between the antiquated media and the cheat politicians, how Las Vegas takes a beating anytime the subject of illegal gambling comes up. The Tim Donaghy scandal now has a slew of lazy/uninformed columnists writing the same old story…”betting scandal = bad for Vegas.”

Ken Berger, Newsday:

Here is the first thing Stern must do: Wipe Las Vegas off the NBA map for good.That’s right, Kobe Bryant, who called the allegations against Donaghy “very unfortunate.” Imagine how hard it would be for the players to swallow this pill: No more Vegas junkets for summer league, the All-Star Game, Team USA training camps and qualifying tournaments.

In light of this investigation, it would simply be hypocritical for the NBA to keep its summer home in the mecca of legal sports betting.” 

Fellas. Let’s explain it for 1000th time. Legalization and regulation of sports betting prevents these types of scandals. It doesn’t pave the way for the Donaghy’s of the world. What does, is you and the unenlightened politicians, who spread inaccuries & fear about sports betting.

 

There is no way any attempt to fix a game could be executed in Las Vegas. MGM-Mirage, Harrah’s, Boyd, Stations, etc. run Las Vegas not the Gambino Crime Family! Remember it’s New Jersey, where the crooked politicians continually vote down legalized sports gambling, that keeps popping up in these illegal gambling stories. You can’t bet over $3000 at any sports book in Nevada without showing ID.

 Try getting down 50-100k at 17 stops on any given day before a game. The books are all linked and better yet if someone was winning consistently, the action wouldn’t be taken anymore. Ask the biggest winners in Vegas, they’re banned from nearly every book in town. You can use all the runners you want, it ain’t gonna work.  


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