Posts Tagged ‘Tim Donaghy’

Entertainment or an athletic competition?

Tuesday, December 15th, 2009

BDL Interview: Tim Donaghy

[excerpt #1]

BDL: The results of that system and methodology have come into question of late. A few claims made in the book have met with skepticism from reporters, statisticians and, in some cases, the principal people involved in certain conversations you cite in the book. How do you respond to the charges that some of these things are either remembered incorrectly or even fabricated?

TD: They’re not fabricated, and, in fact, I think the people that came up with these stats have a hidden agenda for trying to discredit me.

BDL: What agenda would you say that is?

TD: Well, you look at ESPN. I mean, obviously they have a broadcast partnership with the NBA and they’re trying to discredit what’s in the book, and they’ve come up with stats that have nothing to do with the way I picked the games. But I have my own stats that I’m compiling right now that are going to be released in the next few weeks that are going to show that there’s very much some consistency with what is written in the book.

BDL: Can you tell me a little bit more about the information that you’re compiling?

TD: Not right now — it’s still in the process of being compiled. But it’s something that we’re going to have out there in the next few weeks.

BDL: You say you used a variety of factors to make your betting determinations, rather than just saying, “Well, Steve Javie doesn’t get along with Allen Iverson(notes), so we’ve got to bang that game.” But you do reference frequently in the book that determining which officials to go after was really the key. Did you ever reach a point where you felt you’d bet too heavily on those particular officials and that you needed to diversify your approach? Or did you feel that, since you said you were winning, you should just stick with what works?

TD: Absolutely just stick with what works. And I was very consistent and successful in putting these lines on these games and betting these games on a consistent basis and winning.

BDL: You’ve been doing quite a bit of press surrounding the release of the book. Do you feel that you’ve been treated unfairly in any of the pieces? How have you perceived the reaction to the book at this point?

TD: I think the reaction to the book is that the fans are certainly well aware that there are some unusual things that have taken place in the NBA over the last 10 or 15 years, and we’ve received hundreds of phone calls and e-mails stating that they know what’s in that book is true.

BDL: In the afterword of “Personal Foul,” you reference some things you think could be done to restore fan trust in NBA officiating and some of what you see as the league’s failures in that regard. You write: “If I were an NBA fan, I wouldn’t know whether to laugh of cry.” Do you still consider yourself an NBA fan? And at this point, do you feel like fans, on balance, can trust what they see night in and night out?

TD: I think I’ll always be a basketball fan at heart, but as far as an NBA fan, I’m certainly not an NBA fan at this time. I haven’t watched a game in two years. You said you’re from Boston, right?

BDL: I’m from New York, but I live in Boston.

TD: OK, New York and Boston. Two meccas for sports. You can’t sit there and tell me that the fans in Boston and the fans in New York, who are very knowledgeable fans, do not sit back and say that over the last 10 years a lot of unusual stuff has gone on in the NBA, to the point where they feel comfortable with watching an NBA game and thinking that things are on the up and up.


[excerpt #2]

BDL: Your father was a referee, and you say you respected his commitment to the idea that players should decide games; that it shouldn’t be about guys with whistles or anything else. You say that’s not the way it is in today’s NBA. What opportunities do you see for the NBA to get closer to letting the players decide things?

TD: Obviously, when you talk about the NBA, they have to decide whether it’s an athletic competition or whether it’s entertainment and a show. And if they’re going to say that it’s an athletic competition, then they have to have these referees referee the rules, have the hammer and basically not referee the games with an eye on the bottom line of what’s good for the league.

BDL: You mention that you don’t expect anyone in the league offices will take your advice on how to make things better. But from a fan perspective, the idea seems to have some merit — people don’t really want to see games decided by things like Brent Barry getting clocked and not getting a call.

TD: Right. Absolutely. NBA fans are very knowledgeable fans, when you talk about a lot of these major cities, and I truly believe that they’re not going to allow David Stern to keep his head in the sand and not comment on this. I think there’s going to be an outcry for some answers over some of these situations, and there’s going to be an outcry for drastic change to have these games officiated properly, and I think eventually it’s going to make the league much bigger, better and stronger than it’s ever been before.


FWIW, this small corner of the blogosphere has little doubt that Tim Donaghy is, in fact, telling the absolute truth:

A. With his claims to have been able to predict a high percentage of winning games, for specific NBA match-ups, based on a combination of factors including his ‘inside knowledge’ of different referees and their biases/tendencies toward favouring/punishing particular players, coaches, owners, etc.

B. With the different accusations he has levied towards David Stern, the NBA League Office, and other referees/officials/employees who work for the Association. 

Personal Foul

Tuesday, December 8th, 2009

Those who would seek to discredit Tim Donaghy for failing to tell the absolute truth in his recent talk with 60 Minutes correspondent Bob Simon, about what was involved with his wagering on NBA games, are off-base.

If you’re someone who has considerable personal experience with both basketball and the world of sports wagering then you know full well that what this former NBA official had to say in this interview is highly accurate and an authentic telling of the facts.

NBA officials are, first and foremost, human beings … and, human beings the world over have inherent biases which they must live with on a daily basis.

What Tim Donaghy did, as a NBA official, he should not have done … but, the way that David Stern has chosen to conduct himself in this situation is also reprehensible and has failed to address adequately the problem which the league has had with the quality [i.e. consistency] of its officiating for a good number years.

In every basketball game there are, in fact, 3 teams on the court.

1. The home team.
2. The away team.
3. The supposedly “neutral” team, assigned to officiate the contest.

Unfortunately and all too often it’s a member[s] of the 3rd team who fails to perform his/her job properly and, thereby, decides the outcome of a specific game in favour of either Team 1 or Team 2.


Tim Donaghy’s claims on trial

Those who wager on sports and win consistently understand the game in ways that others simply do not

Wednesday, June 11th, 2008

There’s a good reason this is the very first link on this blog which references something taken from the wonderful blog operated by Henry Abbott (True Hoop).


A Professional Gambler’s take on the Tim Donaghy Scandal
If you are able to correctly ascertain which collection of players (a team) is better than another team and by precisely what margin, then you are certainly qualified to make decisions as to what players are worth.

Some of my most successful bets were the result of trades or acquisitions. More often than not I am able to accurately forecast how these changes would impact the teams involved.

Take the Shaquille O’Neal for Shawn Marion trade from this season as one example. I immediately knew this trade would not work out and backed it up with a very large bet (several really) that involved Phoenix not advancing in the playoffs and not winning the Western Conference.

A sports bettor and a GM are both faced with the task of making tough decisions. We arrive at our conclusions (or at least should) in a very similar manner, both the bettor and GM are taking significant risk in that if our suppositions fail be correct, we suffer. Any distinctions between what I do in my NBA betting, and what a GM does in assessing the merits of a certain trade or move are purely superficial.

At least that’s how I feel. Whether or not anyone agrees with me is another matter altogether.


Co-sign … to each & every word.

If you read nothing else about understanding the NBA, and the people who work in this business, do yourself an enormous favour and devour this entire article/interview … concerning a most interesting character by the name of Haralabos Voulgaris.

Worth more than twice its weight in gold … and, simply, mandatory reading for anyone who loves this game.

PS. Kudos to you, Henry! … for being first with this side to the story.

NBA referee scandal

Wednesday, June 11th, 2008

This piece of youtube magic is passed along courtesy of The Sports Page, Conspiracy… or saving his own skin

To think that Tim Donaghy was/is somehow the lone NBA referee to be intricately involved with wagering on NBA games … which is exactly what David Stern (NBA Commissioner) would have everyone believe … is patently ridiculous and extremely naive.