Sacramento Kings’ owner Joe Maloof spoke for the first time about the Tim Donaghy NBA game fixing claims. He appeared on Las Vegas’ ESPNRadio1100 on Thursday with Steve Cofield & Dave Cokin


Regarding Game 6 of the Lakers-Kings series in 2002, “It was so emotional. It was hard to reflect on it right after the game. Just such an important game. It was a very poorly officiated game. Our family has been in the NBA for many years, it was probably the worst officiated game I’ve ever seen. And we never said anything after that. We never whined about it.”


Maloof pointed out the most egregious error by the officials,” The refs blew it, it was a

horribly officiated game. They blew it when they called a foul on (Mike) Bibby, when he gets a direct elbow to the face. It was wrong, wasn’t the right call.”


He was asked if the recent Donaghy claim got him thinking maybe there was some other force behind the 27 Laker free throws in the fourth quarter, “Not for one second, no. We’ve been around the NBA for a longtime. Our family has a wonderful relationship with the league. You would never think anything like that would happen. I don’t believe in any conspiracy.“


Maloof said he trusts in NBA commissioner David Stern 100%, “I’m not suspicious. I know the league, I know how important it is to maintain the integrity of the league. It was a bad day for those guys. As far as anything else, I don’t believe it happened.”


He also thinks the NBA investigation was more than thorough, “The commissioner has looked at all those angles. I’m sure the proper people have looked at that. I don’t think there’s anything associated with any kind of conspiracy, I really don’t. I know David Stern, I know the integrity of the league…I just don’t see it happening. I think you have to leave it up to the commissioner, have a belief in the office that there was nothing fishy about that game. I believe them.”


Maloof had this to say about the majority of Sacramento fans polled saying they believe Donaghy, “Customers and fans are going to say that, because they love that team. The team is very important to the city.”


Has the league told owners and players not to speak on the subject of Donaghy?


“I’ve never had the league call me and tell me not to comment on any issue,” said Maloof. “I don’t think there’s a problem in the league with that. It’s America you can say what you believe.”


Maloof did eventually soften his stance that he is 100% confident this will all blow over, “Right now the NBA has never been hotter. It’s white hot. Ratings are up in the low 40-percent range. Arenas are full all over the NBA  There’s a lot of positive regarding the NBA. Maybe this has to be looked at more it’s getting too much attention around the world. You’re probably right that there needs to be more attention given to this (by the NBA).”


The Kings owners went on to address concerns that this may hurt the effort to get a new arena in Sacramento, “I don’t think there’s any problem with the (new) arena in Sacramento. I think our fans are terrific back there. They support this team. They’ve supported it all along. I think if they really look deep into their hearts, they’re not going to believe that there was any type of conspiracy.”

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  1. Todd Jacobs Says:

    David Stern is such a pompous ass. I hope they prove something went on. Then we can get rid of this pathetic excuse of a commissioner who thinks he is always right and we the public are too stupid to understand. Smarmy was a great description. Have Dana White smack that ridiculous look off his face ASAP! Then lets get rid of the NCAA heirarchy! Let the revolution begin!!!

  2. Orkie Glazer Says:

    You have to go back to the Ford Pinto.
    NBC had a brand new “news” show called Dateline. Dateline aired a story about the Ford Pinto and how when rear-ended, it blew up. That in and of itself was not news as others had reported something similar albeit untrue. The fact that the NBC News department rigged the Pinto with dynamite for the story in order for it to blow up on impact, was news and showed the lengths to which NBC would go to “justify” their premise. Of course when a court of law found NBC liable and made them pay damages to Ford, the Network should have been embarrassed enough to turn away from the way it does business. They didn’t blink an eye and it wasn’t until 1991 when Dick Ebersol and NBC acquired the rights to televise the NBA for 600 million dollars, that the full effect of their lack of integrity was exposed.

    Let’s review some facts.

    Since 1979 there have been 8 NBA champions-this season included. Only 8 teams-8-have won the NBA championship. Think about that for a second. Eight teams. That means that 22 teams start the year KNOWING that they have no shot of winning the title. In case you think I am wrong here is the list. Celtics, Lakers, Rockets, Pistons, Bulls, Sixers, Heat and Spurs. Let’s look at baseball in that same time frame. Baseball-which we are constantly being told is broken and needs to be fixed has had these teams win the World Series since 1979: Yankees, Orioles, Red Sox, Blue Jays, Royals, White Sox, Twins, Tigers, A’s, Angels, Mets, Braves, Pirates, Phillies, Reds, Cardinals, Dodgers, Diamondbacks and Marlins. Sportswriters think Baseball needs a salary cap? How has that worked out in the NBA? Parody? (play on words-duh) 8 teams in 30 years?

    I won’t even address the NBA draft at this point except to say one thing. Watch old drafts on ESPN Classic and you will notice that for years David Stern assured us that the lottery’s integrity-a new word for Stern-was being carefully watched by the accounting firm of Arthur Anderson. You can’t even make these things up.

    Now let’s get to the fraud that is the NBA.

    I have believed since the early 1990’s that the NBA has done it’s best to make sure Marquee players and teams were playing on TV more than anyone else and it stands to reason that if they (NBA/NBC) were making sure of that on a random Sunday in January or March-when the NBA used to get ratings-minimal but better than Nascar-then you better believe you will see those players when the advertising revenue is at its peak in April/May/June. There is a very poorly kept secret in television sports that in long playoff series, Networks break even on a game five, make money on a game six and make lots more money on a game seven. Please check the numbers. It’s a fact and I doubt the Networks or the NBA would argue this is not true-facts prove otherwise.

    The evidence of this fraud is overwhelming, but I won’t go into every single piece as I don’t have the time or the space, however I will take just a few instances and you can take it from there because mine are not the ones that have already been exposed-these would be additional to the ones you have read about.
    Let me be clear. I don’t believe players are throwing games, but talk to a player and he knows the real deal. Let’s take a few games and then I will go into what happens.

    2001 NBA Western conference Final. Sunday June 4, 2000.
    The Indiana Pacers won the East on Friday night June 2 and are awaiting the winner of the West to play for the NBA championship. Portland for the most part has outplayed the Lakers and on the surface should have a great shot to win game 7 and the NBA can celebrate for the next two weeks that the two best teams in the league are playing in the NBA finals. Imagine the excitement across the country-Indiana vs Portland….how great for the league to have it’s two best teams….ummmm never gonna happen. There was no chance that NBC which paid 600 million dollars for the NBA rights and had been reeling since Michael Jordan’s retirement, was going to air a Portland/Indiana finals-the NBA’s worst nightmare. It might not have drawn a 1 share. Now to the game. The Lakers are trailing by 75-60 with just over 10 minutes to go. Shaq has 4 fouls and Rasheed Wallace owns the game. The common refrain is that Portland got cold from the floor shooting something like 0-13 or 2-17 in the 4th quarter. Well here is a stat most people don’t consider. When you get fouled on a shot in the NBA and you make it, it is considered a shot attempt. When you get fouled on shot and miss it is not considered a shot attempt. When you get constantly fouled and miss and no calls are made, you go 0-13 or whatever it was. Don’t take my word for it. Watch the game-I think a lot of it is on youtube. There is no doubt the referees swallowed their whistle late in the ball game so much so that not only was rasheed doing his usual bellyaching, but so was most everyone else. It was an embarrassment for the league that it was allowed to happen. Watch the game and tell me that was on the level. Take this side note for whatever it’s worth-the Lakers shot 37 free throws (majority in the 4th quarter I believe, but can’t verify that) the Balzers shot 16. Coincidently, who worked the game? Hugh Evans, Steve Javie and…Dick Bavetta.

    Let’s go to another game. Miami is hosting the knicks sometime after Jordan’s 2nd retirement. Clarence Witherspoon misses a short jumper in the paint with about 5 or 6 seconds left-don’t remember exactly. The ball finds it’s way to Latrelle Spreewell who promptly falls out of bounds. It should be Miami ball under the basket with 2 or 3 seconds to play. Sprewell knows he made a mistake. Miami is happy-until one of the officials decides that Spreewell called a timeout before he fell out of bounds. Huh? This is how ESPN reported the story back then.

    “Getting the winning points from Patrick Ewing with 1:20 left and the benefit of an official’s call with 2.1 seconds left, the Knicks knocked the Heat out of the playoffs 83-82 Sunday in Game 7 of their second-round series to advance to the Eastern Conference finals against Indiana.
    So upset were the Heat with the way the ending went down-they felt an official had awarded the Knicks a timeout when no one had asked for one-that Jamal Mashburn chased the referees as they ran off the court while Miami’s coaches yelled that they had been robbed.
    Referee Bennett Salvatore said Sprewell had called a timeout, although Sprewell admitted he hadn’t.
    “They had three officials in their pocket,” Mashburn said.
    “I had Sprewell calling time out,” Salvatore said, “but I wasn’t sure where his foot was. I didn’t believe he was out of bounds, but I wanted to check with my partner (Dick Bavetta and Dan Crawford were the other officials) to make sure he was not out of bounds when my whistle blew. He confirmed that there was no question the timeout came before he went out of bounds.”
    Hardaway was among the most vocal critics of the call-on the court and again after the game.
    “I see why they call Dick Bavetta ‘Knick’ Bavetta,” Hardaway said.”

    To be sure, Chris Childs claimed he called the timeout even though he had earlier denied doing just that. The interesting thing on this one is Hardaway. Who is the “they” he is referring to? The media? Never heard that from them. The League? Don’t think they would say that about an official. The players? Ya’ think? and everyone in the league knew it. Is there another “they” he could be referring to? Not likely. So let’s see we could have an Indiana/Miami east finals (snore) or we could have a Knicks/Indiana finals…hmmm…no brainer ….and who do you assign to games to make sure it falls out as you want it? New York Knick Bavetta.

    But let’s look at another game if that’s not enough for you.

    Everyone is focused on Game 6 of the 2002 Sacramento/Lakers series. That’s not the game in question. Look at game 4 in LA, Lakers down 2 games to 1. Less than 10 seconds remaining. Vlade Divac has the ball for the Kings with a one point lead. A bucket here and the Lakers are in it deep with less than 10 sec left. Divac is attacking the paint and moves in for the slam which he does. Foul is called BEFORE THE SHOT on Kobe Bryant out top. Vlade is stunned. Watch the tape. Kobe doesn’t come close to fouling anyone and no one touches him as he heads unmolested to the basket. Out of nowhere a foul. The call is a non continuation call to boot. Lakers are in the penalty though so instead of a three point play, Vlade makes one of two to extend the lead to 99-97 with roughly 8-10 seconds to go.
    Before I continue, let me explain how this works. Players make or miss shots-not officials. Outcomes are not defined beforehand per se, that would be a felony. However, theopportunities for players to make or miss these shots is how this all works. To fix the outcome would be illegal. To ensure the desired results would be ..the NBA.
    With that as a backdrop let’s get back to game 4. Vlade makes one of two. Two point game. The Lakers set up a play-Kobe misses a layup. Watch the play and you will see what I am writing about. Shaq rebounds and gets HAMMERED and undoubtedly on purpose because if he goes to the line the game is over for all intents and purposes due to his horrid free throw shooting. The Kings maul him as he catches the ball, then on his way up, then on the next rebound attempt. No call with plenty of opportunities to get it right. The ball gets tipped out to a wide-open Robert Horry who sinks the game winning three as the buzzer sounds. By calling the foul on Bryant, it basically ensured the Lakers a chance to get the ball back with a chance to tie or win the game. By not calling any fouls committed against Shaq, it left open the opportunity for someone to make a shot instead of ending the Lakers chances by putting shaq on the line. Instead of going back to Sacramento up 3 games to 1, it’s 2-2 and THAT leads to the game 6 in question. The real issue was game 4 which would have basically put the series away…of course if the NBA was on the level. However, we know better.

    That’s just a few instances of many. But let’s let the participants have their say.

    This is from Rasheed Wallace:
    “I still don’t think they (Cavaliers) beat us, we beat ourselves,” Wallace said. “And I think we also fell victim to that personal NBA thing where they are trying to make it a world game and get (television) ratings. They wanted to put their darling in there (the NBA Finals) and they did, and look what ended up happening.“This game ain’t basketball anymore, it’s entertainment,” Wallace said. “It’s starting to get like the WWF. There ain’t no real wrestling anymore either. It’s all fake.

    This 1996 gem from Pat Riley:
    “This whole thing is supposed to be about equality and it is not,” Riley said, referring to what he considered the pro-Chicago bent of the referees. “They won 72 games and we won 42, so there’s a disparity of 30 games. That’s the absurdity of it.”Likely speaking of ref Steve Javie, known for dishing techs like candy on Halloween, Riley said, “It seems like some guys are here to be seen. They have to ‘control’ the game.”

    Here is a little tidbit from the Jeff Van Gundy incident:
    Van Gundy started the saga by telling three reporters at the team hotel in Dallas that a referee not working the playoffs called him after the Rockets went up 2-0 and warned that Yao was mentioned in an online evaluation from supervisor of officials Ronnie Nunn.Van Gundy also told the reporters that referees “were looking at Yao harder because of Mark’s complaints” to the league office, referring to Cuban.

    Wallace again as recently as three weeks ago:
    “All that bull(bleep)-ass calls they had out there. With Mike [Callahan] and Kenny [Mauer] – you’ve all seen that (bleep),” Wallace said. “You saw them calls. The cats are flopping all over the floor and they’re calling that (bleep). That (bleep) ain’t basketball out there. It’s all (bleeping) entertainment.

    There is plenty more where that came from, but you get the point. Not a lot of players are willing to bite the million dollars hand that feeds them, but look close and you will see plenty of quotes on the same issue.

    The Media:
    So the usual suspects in the media chime in with their “we would have known about this if it was true” excuses. Please. Baseball players kept STEROIDS IN THEIR LOCKERS, but these geniuses had no clue for a decade and now act as if they were the ones who rid the game of steroids. These same jock sniffers now claim that accusations of improprieties are absurd because they have no inkling about any of this. Rick Bucher of ESPN blames the rogue ref swallowing Stern’s Kool-aid at every turn. Any journalist worth anything would have screamed bloody murder when the Pal Gasol heist was made and demanded Stern do something in the name of the best interests of the game ala Bowie Kuhn, Pete Rozelle and other responsible commissioners. Instead they hailed Mitch Kupchak for his shrewd business savvy. Please.
    How in the world can a full season go by with nary a mention of Tim Donaghy except for an occasional blurb on a ticker. Every day we heard about steroids for close to two years at the very least. THIS MAN FIXED THE OUTCOMES OF GAMES FOR YEARS AND WE GET NOTHING FOR NINE MONTHS UNTIL NOW? No questions if he is the only one? We take Stern at his word? How does Stern know? Where is the media-the self-proclaimed watchdogs of our sports culture? They are at lavish press feedings pregame. They are in the studios of ESPN who seem to have just about every writer on their payroll. Can we really expect ESPN to handle this issue, as anything but an attack on their house being they and their parent company ABC are shills for the league? It is intellectually dishonest for reporters to deny the grumblings that have always been in locker rooms in the NBA about the way this league goes about its business. They know better.

    But the media has a problem. They don’t cover wrestling because it’s a fraud in their holier than thou sports world. I have no clue about wrestling, but what I do admit is that they let you know up front it’s a farce and therein lies the rub. The NBA has been manipulating outcomes for years. What would this do to a sportswriter who are every condescending moment, has trashed “conspiracy theorists” as loons and kooks. What it should do is get off it’s well fed pregame asses and do some actual investigative work instead of swallowing David Stern’s BS hook, line and stinker. They won’t though. Why bite the hand that literally feeds them? Instead they beat up the messenger like they did Jose Canseco until he unraveled their incompetence, then they tried to act as if it was them who took steroids down all along.
    The real problem in the NBA right now is David Stern is upset. Donaghy stepped on his territory. HE is the only one who gets to manipulate games and how dare Donaghy try to elbow him out.

    No one in the media can figure out why this issue has never come up before. We already know why the media hasn’t reported it, but as the above quotes have shown, it’s been out there for years. Why haven’t referees talked? Who is going to talk? A disgraced Hugh Hollins, who sold his airline tickets and committed tax evasion along with an array of other officials in the league?

    For those who don’t remember Hugh Hollins, let me refresh your memory.
    The Knicks are playing the Bulls in the Eastern conference Finals in 1994-the year after Jordan’s first “retirement”. The Bulls lead the Knicks 2 games to 1 and the Knicks are down three with seconds to go. Hubert David pulls a shot from the top of the key as Scotty Pippen flies right by. The shot misses, the Bulls rebound. Game over. Or not? Hollins calls a foul on Pippen and awards three shots to Davis. Davis makes all three and the Knicks win in overtime and eventually win the series before losing to Houston in a seven game final. Watch the replay. Pippen is no where near Davis-wasn’t even close. But here was Hollins saving the NBA from a Jordan-less Bulls/rockets series. Instead the city of New York got excited over the prospects of their first championship in 20+ years and gave the NBA a seven game finals with all of New York watching. So the New York times reports that FBI investigators spoke with Hollins, who said they asked him about Dick Bavetta when most referees confirm that have never spoken to the FBI about anything, contradicting Stern’s claim that investigators have looked into all of this. The next week or so will show everyone the intensity of the Stern spin machine. Every ref will come out of the woodwork claiming they spoke to the feds and the media will swallow it all no questions asked. It’s a joke. Back to Hollins. Stern wants us to ignore the words of a “convicted felon” (Donaghy) because the fact that he has committed a crime makes him unreliable. What about Hollins? Does the same go for him being that he admitted to breaking federal law by not reporting his income from the sale of first class airline tickets? (A federal crime, by the way). So can we take Stern’s advice and ignore Hollins because he is an admitted criminal?

    Stern, on television talking about the integrity of the NBA officials, makes me laugh and he should make you laugh too. In a 2005 story on the Van Gundy affair in the New York Times, Selena Roberts wrote “The N.B.A. doesn’t like to acknowledge the potential presence of a cheating gene in its midst. In the late 90’s, more than 20 league officials were hit with tax-evasion charges when they exchanged their first-class tickets for coach seats and kept the change. Two years ago, in court documents filed by Karla Knafel, a former mistress of Michael Jordan’s, the official Eddie F. Rush was described as the matchmaker who played cupid for the clandestine couple. Tax cheating, wife cheating. It is not so difficult to assume that deceptive practices could transfer to the basketball court, but the league doesn’t view it that way.” Roberts ended her piece with this “Stern barely wants to consider that possibility. He isn’t running an investigation of Van Gundy’s allegations to uncover an officiating conspiracy; Stern is beginning it as a scare tactic against the next coach who wants to speak out. It is much cleaner to isolate this controversy to Van Gundy – and localize the N.B.A.’s image pain – than to consider an alternate culprit to the game’s integrity.”

    The chickens have now come home to roost, but Stern’s pattern of shooting the messenger instead of attacking the problem is still common place . Compare Stern’s reactions to that of Bud Selig and consider the kind of abuse baseball received from the media for not addressing the steroid problem and then compare the utter silence of the media when Stern fines coaches or players after letting the cat out of the bag, while dismissing any hint of conspiracy as a whack job theory. Nevertheless, let’s address the integrity issue of the officials that Stern always refers to. Here is factual information on some very prominent officials in the NBA. You be the judge:

    Joe Crawford, a former National Basketball Association referee, was sentenced to six months of house arrest and three years’ probation yesterday for Federal income tax fraud.
    Crawford was one of eight N.B.A. referees accused of downgrading first-class airline tickets purchased by the league and pocketing the difference without reporting it on his income tax.
    Crawford, 47, apologized at his sentencing in United States District Court. Crawford, an N.B.A. official for 21 years, pleaded guilty July 1 to one count of tax fraud. He resigned the same day. (New York Times October 3, 1998)

    I could copy and paste every story but let’s just list a few of the culprits. Mike Mathis, Darrel Garretson, Kenny Mauer, Bennett Slavatore, Jess Kersey, Ronnie Nunn, Hugh Hollins…well you get the picture. How can it be that most of the officials involved in this scandal were hired back by the league and not a word from the amen chorus at ESPN or Peter Vescey about what it looks like for the league to have referees who have obviously lied and committed fraud for a few thousand dollars, running their games each night-all being posted on the big boards in Vegas? That doesn’t make you pause-at least for a moment- about their integrity and at what price will/can they be bought?

    Just so you don’t think they all made an “honest” mistake, consider this from an interview with Crawford about the tax fraud:
    “Referee: Why did you do it?
    Crawford: In our collective bargaining agreement, it reads that we can make money on our plane tickets. I made the mistake of not putting it on my W2. If the government deems me to be a criminal – and I’ve already pleaded guilty to the charges – then so be it….”

    So what Crawford is saying is that in their CBA they were allowed to sell their seats back and keep money from the sale. What they were not allowed to do was not report it to the IRS. I could understand if one or two refs “forgot” to put it on their W-2, but it makes me wonder when you have so many doing it, if there wasn’t a “plan” so to speak in place for them all not to report it so as to not alert the IRS about any of the others. (Which there seems to have been) It seems a no brainer that their failure to report tens of thousands of dollars to the IRS was done on purpose to protect each other and thereby allowing at the very least, the question to be asked, what else have they conspired to do together?
    Additionally, how was it that Stern hired them back so soon after their convictions? Did he have to? Did some officials know things about what goes on in the NBA? Why would Stern leave himself open to such questions unless he had to? Baseball in contrast, has still not re-hired Umpires for doing far less than committing federal crimes, a few year back.

    I won’t pass any judgment on referees who hid anywhere between 10, 000-100,000 from the IRS, but it does beg the question at the very least, what else would these guys do for money. Here is a little known story by NBC News, which is stunning and has amazingly never been reported as far as I can tell by ESPN, Stephan A Smith or the league lapdog Peter Vescey. The most stunning fact of this following story, will amaze you and I will save it for the end. Here are brief parts of the story-combined- filed by John Walters of soon after the story broke last July:
    “Ed T. Rush was hired as an NBA official when he was 24 years old. Joey Crawford began refereeing NBA games at the age of 25. Tim Donaghy, the referee who allegedly bet thousands of dollars on games the past two seasons, became an NBA ref shortly after his 27th birthday.
    What do these three referees, all of whom have had anything but inconspicuous careers, have in common besides their precocity? All three have Philadelphia roots. In fact, one of the most startling facts to arise from the Donaghy scandal, which the New York Post broke last Friday, is that Donaghy is one of four referees who worked games in the NBA last season to have graduated from the same high school: Cardinal O’Hara in suburban Springfield, Pa….. with all the AAU, high school, junior college and college games that take place each winter, and with every last one requiring officials to work them, isn’t it rather unlikely that one city-Philly-could produce such a bounty of cream-of-the-crop talent?…Is that strange? That four basketball referees from Philadelphia all ascended to the highest level of their profession before their 31st birthday? That Rush would have been the NBA’s Director of Officiating during the time when both Callahan and Malloy (ed. Two other referees from Cardinal O’Hara) were hired? And that even before then, he would have wielded a great deal of influence as one of the league’s true veteran figures?”

    While that all in and of itself should give everyone serious concerns, consider that two of the bookies involved in the Donaghy scandal also attended Cardinal O’Hara high school. Now reread what Walters wrote above and tell me everything is kosher in the NBA.

    I am not suggesting others were into what Donaghy was, but it sure seems like there is some kind of old boy network going on. Think about the odds. There are sixty (60) NBA officials and to think that five of them came from the same neighborhood, let alone the SAME HIGH SCHOOL, should at the very least be cause for alarm in the offices of the NBA. But Stern doesn’t bat an eye. Amazing.

    The League
    Another very under reported fact was this from Donaghy’s attorney as per the Las Vegas review-journal:
    Lauro also suggested Donaghy told investigators about the gambling activities of other NBA officials, and the attorney asserted the league might have “pressured” the U.S. attorney’s office “into shutting down this prosecution to avoid the disclosure of information unrelated to Tim’s conduct.”

    Anyone who understands how complex and how long the NBA manipulation of games has been going on has no doubts that the league office is doing everything they can to keep this from getting out. All you have to do is think about the entire Donaghy affair and how it was absent from ESPN (an NBA TV partner) for months and no one even thought twice about the fact that an NBA REFEREE WAS FIXING GAMES. Are we to believe that he was a lone gunman so to speak? That the referees who hid their money from the IRS would pass on an opportunity to make a few grand here and there especially if they were acquainted with bookies from their hometowns? One would think that it could be possible. The NBA doesn’t blink. The Las Vegas review Journal explains just how uncooperative the NBA office has been with Vegas and the men who know.
    “Donaghy left fingerprints on his work, but in which games did he potentially affect the outcome, and how did he do it?
    Ken White, a former bookmaker who serves as LVSC’s chief operating officer, has looked for those answers. He researched betting trends involving the former referee and sent his report to the NBA last fall.
    “They never called back to discuss it or anything,” White said. (ed. There’s a surprise). Conducting his own investigation was R.J. Bell of Las Vegas-based Bell studied moves in betting lines and outlined 19 games that Donaghy refereed during the 2006-07 season that could raise red flags.
    “At every stage of the controversy, the NBA only has been willing to admit what was readily obvious,” Bell said. “And at every stage it has gotten bigger. “As more information is released on the Donaghy scandal, the more incriminating the facts become.”

    I don’t want to get too lost in this information about Donaghy because I think he is a nobody in the bigger scheme of NBA game manipulation, but suffice it to say that studies in Vegas revealed that in 15 of Donaghy’s games where the line moved by 11 _ points, big bettors won 15 of 15 games. However, after going into a few more games in depth, the article writes this stunner:
    “The highest-profile game on Donaghy’s resume was Game 3 of the Western Conference semifinals between Phoenix and San Antonio on May 12, 2007. The Spurs were 4-point favorites and won, 108-101.
    Donaghy was part of a three-man crew, and assigning blame solely to him for what was considered one of the worst-officiated games of that NBA season is unfair. Of course, when highlighting a small number of games or isolating trends, a case could be made against most referees. The FBI’s case is ongoing, and while the public waits for more to be revealed, Stern has attempted to minimize the problem by repeatedly insisting all is said and done.
    “From the beginning, the initial statements that came out-it was isolated, no other referees were involved-were kind of ridiculous,” said Steve Cofield, an ESPN Radio host in Las Vegas. “I think there’s a lot more to the story.
    “The NBA has done a nice job of somehow managing the story. Does the NBA have that much pull where they can go to federal prosecutors and say, ‘Keep quiet.’ That’s the problem.There’s too many questions.”

    What is amazing through all of this is how the NBA has managed to do what it always does to a witless fan base and use its slight of hand to keep the hounds away. Blame everyone, but the true culprits. There is something truly amiss in the NBA and years from now when the facts are known, sportswriters around the globe will be bellyaching about how they knew something was wrong….we have heard that song and dance before.

    In all of this, I give credit to Mike Wilbon, who has at least questioned why the NBA is offering no true response to the allegations. As much as I like Mike, it will be short lived as his new gig at ABC and esteemed status at ESPN, will soon force him to silence up because the NBA wants to go on as if nothing has happened. It was good while it lasted Michael. Vescey and his ilk will still shill for the league because for them to admit that the league is manipulating games makes them akin to the teenage boys in the fathers’ basement writing about the WWF with their pants around their ankles. Worthless words about a worthless league.

    Stern, ever the lawyer, stands by his tainted men and refuses to releases any information on the NBA’s internal “independent” investigation (done by an old crony of Stern’s) until after the Donaghy case is finished. Another surprise.
    As to the thought of doing what every other sports league does and have an independent office out of Stern’s control run the NBA officials, Stern, in his usual smugness, blew it off. “Stern dismissed Los Angeles Lakers’ coach Phil Jackson’s idea about having referees governed by an independent group, not wanting to surrender control over whistle blowers even with being seen as a potential conflict of interest. “I think that would not be a wise management decision,” Stern said.” Really? It seems to me it’s exactly what this poor excuse for a sports league needs. But Stern, ever the pompous administrator, would not elaborate on why that would be such a bad business decision. Easy for me to figure out….

    I could go on and on for hours, but I will end it here, although I may just continue at some point later on. The only question I have is why has the media ignored the issue? As I said before, for media guys to admit the NBA is the fraud that it is, they would have to come to terms with the fact that the “league” they cover, is anything but. I have laid out at least four specific games and the reasons behind them and can reference quite a few more. Most often when I bring this up, most people say that it makes some sense until you get to the Spurs? How have the Spurs won those championships?

    For me, that the easiest one of all.

    I don’t think it’s a secret that the NBA has an image problem and Stern and everyone else knows it, which is why he instituted a dress code. The NBA was actually suffering from many problems, but the most obvious and important one to get under control-more than TV ratings-was the image that the league had become a safe haven for thugs. The answer to the Spurs question, is the NBA’s anti-thug. Tim Duncan. Duncan wins two championships in the last three years and we don’t hear a thing about the thugs in the league anymore. The PR spin master, as he has done with Donaghy, uses his lawyer-ese subterfuge to get everyone to take his or her eyes off the ball.

    It is simply because of this that the NBA will always be under a cloud of suspicion. David Stern’s unwillingness to play it straight and his arrogant and pompous attitude, even now with this scandal, will have his willing apologists in the media move these stories off the front pages in order to keep his smoke and mirrors league afloat. To the media I ask this last question. What other league has ever changed their playoff sequencing after the season had already started-ie the middle of the season-like the NBA did a few years back when Shaq was hurt early on and with the Lakers languishing in 7th place or thereabouts. Stern changed the opening round playoff series-autonomously mind you-from best of five to best of seven. Who ever heard of that? Change the playoff structure AFTER the season had already begun? By the NBA by laws was he even allowed to do that? (I have no idea) To me it was easy to see why he did it. He needed to let the golden goose to go as far as it could in the playoffs. Teams might have a chance to beat Shaq 3 out of 5. But 4 out of 7? While I know it can always be manipulated, they also have to make sure it doesn’t get too close for comfort. Sometimes players just miss shots, Reggie Miller hits a mess of threes in ten seconds or Derek Fisher hits a three with 0.04 on the clock, turning even the best-laid plans to waste. One thing Stern has always been good at is knowing who butters his ratings bread and having Shaq and Kobe around is a lot easier for him than not.

    The one thing I was amazed at when he switched the process mid season, was why no one in the media questioned the integrity of it all. Probably too busy envisioning all the tasty food those new playoff pre game meals will provide.
    In conclusion, I know most of you will view this piece as beneath you. You always have, which is why we are where we are in the NBA. Just a simple dereliction of duty. Ask yourself when you heard about Joey Buttafuco did you subscribe to the “walks like a duck, talks like a duck….theory” or did you need to see more evidence? Or when you heard about OJ? Or Ray Caruthers? Where there is smoke there is fire, people, and it’s raging here. At least enough fire where you can no longer say this NBA is manipulated thing is just for the kooks. Will you sleep on this like you did on the steroids issue?

    I assume you will, because doing real investigative journalism is lot harder than screaming at Tony Realli or writing a puff piece about Kobe Bryant or Ray Lewis. So, in closing, I think it’s best to finish where I started. Dick Ebersol and NBC. All you need to know about Ebersol, is the three letters XFL. He chose to get involved with Vince Mcmahon, another shady character who oversees a “sport” where the outcome is also manipulated. While the XFL didn’t last long, Ebersol proved what his interests were when jumped into bed with the WWF. As he did with the NBA, he wanted to know he had a guaranteed product.

    To those of us who know better, it wasn’t the first time Ebersol chose to bet on a “sure thing”.

  3. Maloof(s) is a David Stern shill trying to get the arena deal done in Sac. Duh. Like he would bad mouth Stern or NBA

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