July 21, 2007

Tim Donaghy: Rogue Referee

The NBA has new credibility issue courtesy of Tim Donaghy, the referee the FBI is investigating for affecting the result of NBA games. While it has still yet to be publicly released if Donaghy's actions affected the winners or losers of a game, this is a monumental problem the league and David Stern have to iron out.

From the ESPN article:
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Donaghy officiated 68 games in the 2005-06 season and 63 games in 2006-07. He also worked 20 playoff games, including five last season -- Pistons-Magic on April 23; Warriors-Mavs on April 27; Suns-Lakers on April 29; Nets-Raptors on May 4; and Spurs-Suns on May 12.
I know referee's are only human but this should be alarming in so many levels. This scandal has put the NBA and the WWE on the same light for some people. As a fan, I can't help but ask how may games have Tim Donaghy robbed, especially in the Playoffs?

While I have no doubt the league will be able to resolve this matter with the FBI with urgency, restoring the NBA's credibility will be an arduous task. Having better background checks of officials, banning gambling completely and regularly monitoring officials' activities may be some steps the NBA can pursue, but clearly, the damage has been done. Thanks to Tim Donaghy.

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