It was announced last week that former NBA referee and admitted gambling afficionado Tim Donaghy's book, Blowing the Whistle, would not be published by Random House. That seems pretty convenient for the NBA especially after you read some of the excerpts from the book. A report from Deadspin claims a source at Random House stated that the NBA threatened to sue the publishing house if the book was put into print, which immediately caused them to shelve the project.
Of course we had enough idiot writers in the media that immediately discredited Donaghy's claims as false in the wake of that decision. Kevin Hench of Foxsports.com believes that since Donaghy's publisher could not find enough sources to corroborate Donaghy's claims in the book it shows how erroneous his claims truly are. Yeah I would agree except for the fact that it's not surprising no other referees or NBA officials would confirm Donaghy's allegations in the book. It seems that they would have a vested interest in those claims being dismissed.
Maybe it's just me, but I still can't get over the fact that Donaghy placed 134 phone calls to official Scott Foster that lasted no more than two minutes and occurred before and after games Donaghy officiated and on which he admits wagering. Knowing that simple fact it seems that there was more than one NBA official involved in betting and fixing NBA games.
If that doesn't convince you, the fact that in the period of games that was investigated, Foster officiated 7 games. In those 7 games the point spread moved at least 2 points and big money gamblers won all 7 times. The odds of something like that happening are less than 1%. I'm sure Foster, who has resumed officiating NBA games, certainly has a great explanation which I would love to hear.
Rather than dismissing Donaghy's allegations in the book as false and using the fact that it is not being published to validate that belief, we could try and dig a little deeper. Anybody that's watched a good amount of NBA games knows how easily a referee can manipulate a game for his own personal benefits, or for the league's interests, specifically TV ratings and the promotion of superstars.
We are all familar with Game 6 of the 2002 Western Conference Finals between the Kings and Lakers and the horrible officiating in that game. The lengths to which a game can be dictated by referees is apparent in that on Shaquille O'Neals 17 fourth quarter free throws, he stepped over the line on each one, a clear lane violation, and was not for it once. If you don't believe me, check out this video and go to the 6:03 mark.
There's a good chance that Donaghy has exaggerated his allegations in order to sell his book. Without a doubt, that is almost certainly true, but looking at some of the evidence we have and claims that have been made, I'm also betting a good portion of it would be true. Maybe if the media can actually do it's job and you know, investigate these allegations, rather than finding excuses to dismiss them we can find out if there is any fire where all that smoke is coming from.