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A report out of Channel 7 in Boston says that Tim Donaghy was not alone in the NBA referee gambling scandal that threatened the credibility of the entire league and its commissioner, David Stern.
According to an undisclosed source, Donaghy was one of 13 officials involved in the scandal. Donaghy and his high school acquaintance, Jimmy “The Sheep” Battista, pleaded guilty in connection with the conspiracy and served 15 months in prison. Battista, Donaghy, and another friend came up with the gambling strategy in December 2006, and Battista would pay Donaghy $2,500 – $5,000 for every bet he could guarantee.
“I sucked him in, and I’ll say that, because that’s what it was,” Battista said in an interview with HBO’s Bryant Gumbel on Tuesday. “How I got him in was that he didn’t have to pay on the losses. I just paid him on the wins. If he lost, don’t worry about it. I got it. You win, how many apples are in the basket? Cha-ching.”
The controversy started with a Celtics-76ers game in 2006. The Celtics were favored by 1 1/2 points, but were tied late in the third quarter. The C’s went on to win by 20 points, and with Donaghy as one of the officials, it seemed the scandal was golden.
Donaghy was the “King” of the scandal, delivering on Battista’s bets a whopping 78% of the time.
The source said that Battista has the phone records to prove his contact with the 12 other officials involved.
Assuming this is actually true, wow. Just wow. The NBA, for a time, was rigged. If I’m a publisher, I go with Battista and Donaghy and I get a book published. If the claims made are true, than any lawsuit can be dismissed.