Tim Donaghy is back in the conversation, thanks to the UNTOLD document, but why is it still so relevant?

It’s been more than 15 years since the story of Tim Donaghy NBA The betting scandal made headlines. There is now a Netflix documentary on the subject, and “UNTOLD: Operation flagrant violationAmong the most-watched programs on the streaming service this month.

The former NBA referee, who pleaded guilty in 2008 to conspiracy to engage in online fraud and to pass on betting information to other individuals for his role in the NBA betting scandal.

It should be a simple discussion. Donaghy pleaded guilty and served a prison sentence and there’s nothing else to see, right? Nexflix is ​​betting you’re wrong.

Then-Commissioner David Stern said in 2007 that Donaghy’s actions amounted to Isolated mode. The NBA has never honored any of Donaghy’s accusations that league officials manipulated results to extend the playoffs series or that personal vendetta affected in-game calls. The NBA refused to participate in the documentary.

But Donaghy did not leave. As long as there is talk among those hungry for any sign of conspiracy theory, there will be interest.

“I just went to get gas at Wawa and I was in the back of class and the guy at the front of the class shouted, ‘Brother, you’re number two on Netflix,'” Donaghy said. the athlete. “I think it was weird that he was shouting this out in front of a lot of people, but it is what it is. Like I said before, it’s a little embarrassing, but I hope the real story comes out.”

In addition to his guilty plea, Donaghy wrote a book called Personal Mistake: A First-Person Account of the Scandal That Shook the NBA, which was released in 2009. FBI agent Phil Scala, who worked on the case, wrote the book’s introduction and appears in Netflix show, in which he openly questions the NBA’s motives in not looking at more officials and in choosing Donaghy as the only rogue referee.

There’s also “Gaming the Game” by Sean Patrick Griffin, which dives into exposing many of Donaghy’s facts about his role in the betting scandal. Professor of Criminal Justice in the castle, Griffin also has A website dedicated to scandal.

Among the things he argues after seeing the FBI documents are Donaghy’s claims about when he stopped betting on games and how much money he made from the bets. It also counters the narrative that Donaghy was pressured by one of the conspirators, Jimmy Batista, to participate in the betting.

It’s easy to dismiss Donaghy as a convicted felon to keep his name in the public eye. It’s about the truth, Donaghy says. His truth, which is believed to be reinforced by the inclusion of Scala in “UNTOLD”.

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The documentary doesn’t necessarily make Donaghy more credible, as he and former high school classmates Batista and Thomas Martino (who also pleaded guilty for his role) tell conflicting stories about some of the scenarios. Scala asks questions about the NBA, but one vote was part of the investigation. The rest of Donaghy’s content hook is that he raises questions and makes accusations that are still debated in the NBA locker rooms. It’s the content that will get viewers talking, and wondering how much the truth is claim That officials singled out Allen Iverson for marginalizing abuse as a payoff.

There’s a reason teams want players to know who’s running each game as they get ready. They realize that some stewards will name certain infractions more or will allow certain things to slip more than others. Knowing who is in charge of the referee makes a difference for players who rely on fitness because it can mean that making a close call on an offensive foul is not acceptable. Some referees may allow more dialogue with the players and knowing who has a quick whistle can be the difference in not catching a technical foul.

Then there are the alleged insider stakes among officials who assert Donaghy. Whoever calls the first mistake, for example, with whoever blew the first whistle, allegedly has to treat the crew to dinner.

There are players and coaches who think that some officials simply do not like certain players. Some of these points have spilled over into the public discourse. Chris Paul After losing 14 consecutive post-season competitions when Scott Foster runs his games, it’s analyzed as much as Paul’s assist-to-turn ratio.

“I’m thinking of some referees who have phone numbers for coaches, owners and players and have been in constant contact with them and you know that’s going to spill on the ground and that they’re going to get an advantage,” Donaghy said. “Or if the referee hates a player or coach, that too will go into a negative situation. That’s how I was able to really pick the games well, and that really got the FBI interested. The relationships really stretched to the ground.”

Donaghy and many other games report a terrible case of poor management: Game Six of the 2002 Western Conference Finals. Los Angeles Lakers The loss was 3-2 and the two-time champion faced disqualification at home against Sacramento Kings.

The Lakers fired 40 free throws in that game, 28 of which were for Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant. The Kings hit 25 as a team in a 106-102 loss. The Lakers attempted 27 free throws in the fourth quarter to Sacramento’s nine.

Sacramento star Chris Webber had five fouls and quarterback Vlad Divac, as did backup center Scott Pollard. Only one Laker, Derek Fisher, made more than four fouls. The kings and their fans were not forgotten, and many believed that the match, which was tied to the fourth place, was taken from them by management.

The Lakers would go on to win Game Seven in Sacramento in overtime and clinch their third championship. The Kings haven’t come close to the title since, failing to make it out of the second round of playoffs in all of the years since that series.

Some people make the mistake of thinking that Donaghy captained that match. Dick Bavita, Ted Bernhardt, and Bob Delaney each officiated one game in the 2002 NBA Finals.

Donaghy lent his weight to Game 6, once again, in “UNTOLD” and in this interview.

“It’s funny to me that the three guys who officiated that game, because they did a terrible job, a conference final … moved on to the NBA Finals,” Donaghy said.


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Reviews of the documentary confirm that there is still enough satire in the world to keep Donaghy pertinent to the discussions. “UNTOLD” was in the top ten in service this week, following its August 30 release.

Donaghy said he’d like to get to a point where it could only be Tim, who is engaged to marriage and the father of four daughters. But there is always someone who wants to talk about their past. As long as Donaghy is willing to speak, there will be content for programs like “UNTOLD”.

If you’re like Griffin, the documentary won’t affect you at all. For others, it presents “UNTOLD” to the three conspirators trying to make you see things from their point of view, with varying levels of blame passed on.

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(Top photo: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)