The problem with most officiating conspiracy theories in pro sports is that the accusers have zero proof. “This game is fixed” always sounds like the desperate cry of the frustrated fanboy, and lasts just moments before dissipating into the ether.
But that was before it was proven that some games actually were fixed. On July 29, 2008, 13-year veteran NBA official Tim Donaghy was sentenced to 15 months in federal prison for making calls to affect the point spread in games he officiated. It was then that we got the smoking gun — and now everything is suspect.
Donaghy is now the classic Man With Nothing to Lose, so when he says that the 2017 NBA Finals are being fixed by the league, people are going to sit up and take notice.
Former NBA ref Tim Donaghy says the NBA will instruct the Refs to call another rough game. pic.twitter.com/YjfeABc1SE
— Basketball Forever (@Bballforeverfb) June 12, 2017
Former NBA referee Tim Donaghy joined 1050’s The Audible on Monday morning, where he expressed thoughts that the league is hoping for a Game 6 because of the massive revenue it would bring.
“I’ve been in the situation before, I’ve been in these meetings, I’ve been in these sessions. I’ve walked out of them with my crew and kind of laughed thinking to ourselves, ‘Wow, they really want the Lakers,’ or ‘They want the Spurs, or the Cleveland Cavaliers to win tonight.’
“Dick Bavetta came out on occasions and said he was put on Game 6’s to make sure Game 7’s occurred. It’s a form of entertainment, and if you’re going to advance as an NBA referee and make that $75 to $100,000 a year refereeing in the playoffs, you’re going to give the league what they want because they’re grading you, they’re advancing you and they’re paying you.”
When Stephen A. Smith or some other talking head says this, you figure that he’s just sucking oxygen from the room as always. But when a former NBA ref says it, you take notice.
So if Donaghy is right, expect another rough-and-tumble night, and Draymond in early foul trouble.
— NBA Finals Polls (@NBAFinalsPolls) June 10, 2017