A rogue referee, Tim Donagly, has exposed the world's top basketball league for rigging key games to boost ticket sales and television ratings.
Tim Donaghy advised fans that he had refereed games where he was isntructed by top NBA brass to make sure that the series went the entire 7 games.. The allegationscame out hours before Tuesday's game three of the NBA finals between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Boston Celtics.
“If the NBA wanted a team to succeed, league officials would inform referees to let opposing players get away with violations,” Mr Donaghy's lawyer wrote to the court. “Referees were also instructed to call fouls on certain players where no such fouls existed, in order to fill statistical foul quotas and assure victory for a predetermined team."
Donaghy's informed fans that officials frequently manipulate the NBA playoffs, the elimination phase of the annual competition. He alleged that referees are known to be “company men” rig playoffs to ensure that the best-of-seven series ran for all seven games, thus boosting ratings and ticket sales.
But, that's not all. Donaghy's information and claims have been backed up by additional details from both players and coaching staff who wish to remain anonymous. According to one assistant coach for a top NBA team: "We all understand that our pay is based on ratings. And, we have secret discussions with each player outside of the lockerrooms and practice to review our strategy for making the series stretch out the full seven games if we are well in the lead. Why would we want to win 4 games in a row and cause the owner to miss out on several more home games which could net the team several milliion dollars?"
Ricardovitz: Investigative Sports Reporter