Posted by: thescoundrel | June 11, 2008

Is The Next Big Sports Scandal – Game Fixing by NBA Executives

Or my alternate title –> Has the NBA turned into Professional Wrestling

According to an article in the NY Daily News, former NBA referee Tim Donaghy has thrown some of his coworkers and NBA Executives under the big bus of professional sports scandals. Donaghy who has previously plead guilty to felony gambling fraud charges is making claims that the 2002 NBA playoffs were guided to a more exciting finish by NBA officials that were directing the referees on how to influence the games outcome through creative refereeing policies. He also stated that it was not uncommon for NBA Executives to have referees manipulate games. Oops! Now The NBA commish is denying the league has ever employed any such achievement. Still one thing about a bad boy is when they are being punished; they hate to bear the full brunt of the discipline, especially if squealing on compatriots might get them a lighter sentence. That can work both ways: he might be throwing up some false decoys hoping that the Feds will lighten his sentence without any real meat to serve on their conviction table (fat chance on that idea) or he might just be thinking hey these guys put me in this position and are leaving me high and dry so they should play with the Feds also. I am sure there will be film at 11. I can hardly wait for another government legislator setting out to clean up professional sports (perhaps they should try plucking the logs from their own eyes before trying to remove the specks from the sports industry’s eyes) to start convening commissions to study the NBA. It is not like the legislators have anything really important to do like work on like fixing the energy crisis, winning the war in Iraq or any other challenging responsibilities to work on. I want to see professional sports cleaned up myself but having the Congress and Senate to oversee the cleanup in expensive commission studies will end up being nothing more than a political show put on by pandering politicians looking for positive imaging opportunities. I have an idea why not just let the legal systems deal with it. I wonder though, how are the gamblers going to place a claim on personal funds lost to illegal booking operations because some referees and the NBA intentionally directed the path of the game.

It kind of sounds like the NBA is taking a page out of Professional Wrestlings book of operation. Can you say Kayfabe!!! I wonder which basket scoring plays were a work and which ones were a shoot? So tell me was Kobe the heel and Shaq the face or was it the other way around in the Lakers ego clash? Are the Lakers doing a job or are they being setup by the NBA executives as they work an angle to give the Celtics a push? Inquiring minds want to know?



  1. I think this is foolishness.

    One rogue ref – certainly. A couple, certainly possible.

    However, a premeditated effort – No. Too many people, too fluid a sport to accomplish this without being caught. In addition, the consequences are too great – BILLIONS of dollars would be at stake, for what? A few points in ratings?


    If the alligations came from a more credible place, it might be worthy of consideration. But to come from a admitted felon – I just do not see it as plausible.

    Fixing college games is reasonably easy, as you have refs and players making little money. Thus $50,000 cash can make a lot happen. It’s simple risk-reward.

    For a professional sport itself to fix a game – the risk-reward does not equate.

  2. I do not claim to know if the statements will hold water or not. Thats why I said it in my post. However just because vast fortunes are at stake does not mean greedy individuals might not have taken it upon themselves to help direct traffic. Consider the Harlem Globetrotters, great basketball but face it the game is all entertainment. I would also venture a guess that there are those within the NBA whom consider the NBA too lucrative yet too expensive to operate –>to rely on chance and talent. So it would not surprise me if there was a group within that took it upon themselves to nudge the direction of the game. Any one making the claims that this referee is could always be painted in a negative way. In reality it might cost them if something was uncovered or it might not. That is why I included the Pro Wrestling comparison and the link to their lingo. Most everyone has always known Pro Wrestling is scripted but it has not stopped its popularity. It is huge. People like fairy tale endings and my take is I would not be surprised if an element of Harlem Globetrotter type NBA executives was forming.

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