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Rob Kardashian Says NBA Rigged Maybe not Off Mark

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by copythis

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In The News

Rob Kardashian--brother in law to Los Angeles Lakers’ Lamar Odom--says the NBA is rigged “The NBA is so rigged, are you kidding me … it was gonna go to (Game) 7 from like the beginning of the year … it’s all about money,” said Kardashian.
Kardashian may not be that off the mark: The NBA being rigged does make sense after all: First there's that money rolling in from the Finals tickets and seats themselves. Every game equals big bucks--every game not played equals a lost opportunity for major cash. Even aside from the ticket revenue, associate parking fees are no drop in the bucket.
Second, and possibly equal or more of a motivation for games to be extended: advertising. Advertising at the stadium--and all of that prime commercial space.
Imprisoned and former NBA referee Tim Donaghy claims he made a bundle off betting using his knowledge of other Ref biases and David Stern's directives. Donaghy claims he didn't fix NBA Basketball games he bet on himself. Ref Donaghy started making NBA bets four years ago--including games he wagered on while an acting ref in the league.
Donaghy was allegedly speaking in code on telephone calls, tipping off high-stakes gamblers with insider infor--and recommending which NBA teams to bet on. When his NBA team picks hit, Donaghy was paid $5,000 a pop. The disgraced and crooked former NBA referee pleaded guilty--to two felony charges in an NBA scandal that rocked the league and tarnished the integrity of professional basketball. "By having this nonpublic information, I was in a unique position to predict the outcome of NBA games," Referee Donaghy, standing ramrod-straight with his hands clasped in front of him, conveyed to a judge in a Brooklyn (NY) Court.
Referee Donaghy was released on $250,000 bond, and faced a maximum of 25 years in prison--charged with conspiracy to engage in wire fraud and transmitting betting information through interstate commerce. The ref got lucky: though he had to pay a $500,000 fine and at least $30,000 in restitution to the government, Donaghy only got 15 months in prison--shaving off more than 23 years in prison that the referee could have received.
Commissioner David Stern said the NBA would "continue with our ongoing and thorough review of the league's officiating ]referee] program to ensure that the best possible policies and procedures are in place to protect the integrity of our [basketball] game." Two specific dates are mentioned in the Donaghy indictment as days when Tim Donaghy called his co-conspirators with information on "who to bet on."
One is Dec. 13. That night, Donaghy officiated a Boston-Philadelphia game in Philadelphia. The second is Dec. 26. That night, Donaghy refereed a Memphis-Washington game in Washington D.C. In the Dec. 13 game, Boston was a 3½-point favorite and won by 20. A total of 49 fouls were called (25 fouls against the visiting 76ers) and 68 free throws were shot (34 by each NBA team). The over-under line was 194 points; 182 points were scored (Boston won 101-81). In the Dec. 26 game, Washington was an 8-point favorite and won by 15. A total of 48 fouls were called (25 against the host Wizards) and 61 free throws were shot. The over-under line was 207 points; 217 points were scored (Washington won 116-101).
"Tim [Donaghy ]deeply regrets his involvement in this matter [of rigged NBA games]and especially the pain it has caused his family, friends and co-workers," Lauro said. The Donaghy plea deal had been widely expected, but court documents released Wednesday revealed new details about the depth of the scandal. Court documents say that the 40-year-old Referee, Donaghy, began placing bets on NBA games in 2003.
Starting December, Donaghy began giving gambling associates sensitive information--like which referee crews would officiate games and how the various officials refs and players interacted. Donaghy's actions "compromised his objectivity as a referee because of his personal financial interest in the outcome of NBA games," the government said.
It paid off well for Donaghy. While in Toronto, Phoenix and Washington, D.C., to referee games earlier this year, Donaghy received thousands of dollars in cash payoffs from the gamblers. It wasn't given away as to which specific games that Donaghy officiated and personally placed bets on the NBA pro games also--nor was info released to say if Donaghy made calls during the NBA game to help a team cover the spread. In one exchange, according to court papers, Donaghy provided a tip about an NBA game on Dec. 13, 2006.
That same day, he worked a 76ers game in Philadelphia against the Boston Celtics. The next day, Donaghy met with gamblers in Pennsylvania and received a cash payment--the payment was for a successful tip on the 76ers-Celtics basketball game. The point spread moved two points before the game went off the board -- a fairly significant swing -- with Boston going from a 1½-point favorite to a 3½-point choice. Boston Celtics won by 20. Two alleged co-conspirators to Donaghy, identified by prosecutors as James Battista, a professional gambler with the nicknames "Baba" and "Sheep," and Thomas Martino. They were ordered released on $250,000 bond after their arraignment on charges of conspiracy to defraud the NBA.
Donaghy had some bad luck in being found in his rigged NBA schemes: the pro basketball betting scheme and the crooked Referee's betting were uncovered during an investigation into the Gambino crime family in Brooklyn, New York. None of the defendants in this case was charged with organized crime affiliation. Stern said last month that the FBI contacted the NBA basketball league on June 20 to talk about a referee alleged to be gambling on games--Ref Donaghy resigned only weeks later on July 9, after 13 years as an official. Stern said he would have fired him sooner but was told it might affect the investigation.
Stern blamed a "rogue, isolated criminal" for a scandal in rigged games that threatened the credibility of every referee in the NBA. NBA referees aren't even allowed to enter a casino. Donaghy, who earned $260,000 that year, was rated in the top tier of NBA Referee officials, and there was nothing suspicious about the frequency of his foul calls, Stern said. The referee was assigned to work in the second round of the NBA Playoffs, with his last NBA game coming during the Phoenix-San Antonio Western Conference semifinal.

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