PDA

View Full Version : NBA Referee Betting



greybeard
07-20-2007, 09:48 AM
Heard on my local sports talk radio that the NBA is cooperating with an FBI investigation of an unnamed NBA ref for betting on NBA games. Doc Walker made a good point: you are not likely to get much penetrating reporting of this if you use ESPN as your major sports news talk.

So, all those times you was screaming at the refs for those at the end calls/no calls, . . . .

jma4life
07-20-2007, 01:33 PM
Wow. David Stern has got to be sick to his stomach right now. This is certainly not the type of news you want to receive in the offseason.

It's definitely been a tough off season for a couple of sports. With the NFL, the Vick incident is certainly disappointing and now, the NBA has to deal with the possibility that a referee bet on games he officiated.

Honestly, this does not surprise me at all. It is so easy to call a hand check or some cheap foul in the last minutes of a game to ensure that the spread is met. I would be highly surprised if any referee was stupid enough to bet on high profile or playoff games but in matchups that no one is watching towards the end of the year, it should be easy for a referee to swing the outcome of the spread. I mean, whose going to notice if the Hawks get a lucky call to only lose to the Celtics by 8 instead of 10 in the 75th game of the season.

Regardless, this is certainly devastating news for the NBA- in my opinion much worse than the brawl assuming that the investigation does conclude that a ref truly did bet on games he called.

mapei
07-20-2007, 03:04 PM
Doc Walker made a good point: you are not likely to get much penetrating reporting of this if you use ESPN as your major sports news talk.

The record should show that Doc Walker is on a station in direct competition in the DC market with an espn station.

cspan37421
07-20-2007, 04:41 PM
I don't think it is actually devastating for the NBA, at least, not from what we know now. If it is just one referee, then they get labeled a "bad egg" and life goes on as before.

To me it was much more of a concern when, many years ago (but post-Shaq) some referee(s) said, in an unguarded moment, that the NBA had trained them to call games in such a way as to not harm the entertainment value of their product - i.e., as a rule, try to not foul out the superstars. That was quickly quashed and I heard nothing after that.

Schwarz
07-20-2007, 04:42 PM
Betting on regular season NBA games is like betting on a horse race. Most of the players and horses don't really care who wins.

DevilAlumna
07-20-2007, 05:18 PM
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/19868741/


authorities are examining whether the referee made calls to affect the point spread in games on which he or associates had wagered.



The FBI probe, which began recently, also involves allegations that the referee had connections to organized crime associates....

The referee had a gambling problem, according to the official, and was approached by low-level mob associates through an acquaintance.

mapei
07-21-2007, 02:24 PM
If the mob is involved, that ref was in a very tough position. And he may be in an even tougher one now. Scary.

wilko
07-21-2007, 02:44 PM
I wish I could say Im surprised. Wonder if Mark Cuban has said "See, I told ya.."

DevilAlumna
07-23-2007, 12:49 AM
http://www.blogmaverick.com/2007/07/20/calamity-as-catalyst/


The NBA took a hit today. Behind that hit is a catalyst and opportunity for significant change that could make the NBA stronger than it ever has been. Its a chance to proactively put in place people, processes and transparency that will forever silence those who will question the NBA's integrity.

I have complete confidence that David Stern and Adam Silver will do just that and the NBA and our officiating will be all the stronger for it.


I wonder what he says in private.... :cool:

cspan37421
07-23-2007, 05:17 AM
Last night at a restaurant with ESPN on, a story update said that the official who was named is "cooperating" and will name others involved. Not sure if others meant other officials or bookies, other bettors (sp?) etc. If other officials, then obviously the "one bad egg" theory goes out the window, and the NBA takes a huge black eye.

And yeah, if he's naming names, he'd better get in the witness protection program, and quick.

4decadedukie
07-23-2007, 09:54 AM
I have a visceral feeling – with nothing more than ESPN and the Washington Post for information – that this may become a lot bigger and a lot worse for the NBA. Any organized crime influence, obviously, would be bad, but will other refs, players, coaches, NBA staffers, etc. become implicated? If so, will the public’s confidence in the NBA – especially given the terrible/criminal conduct of some of its more-visible players – be fundamentally undermined?

Cameron
07-23-2007, 11:02 AM
Honestly, after watching the NBA over the last six or seven years, I have thought to myself on more than one ocassion that some of its games seemed to be "pre-determined," at least on some level. A buddy of mine has been convinced of this as well.

Obviously I am just blowing smoke here, and have no real evidence or solid information to prove this. But, after watching the 2002 Western Conference Finals unfold, especially the infamous Vlade Divac tip-out to Robert Horry, I have my notions.

Then again, I have no idea. What I do know, however (and this is completely solid information), is that the NBA is losing ground fast as a reputable League. Pro football is heads and shoulders above it in terms of pure quality and competition. The NBA has certainly lost the luster it once had in terms of fan following and that true, unbridled, almost college-like atmosphere that it used to portray.

Patrick Yates
07-23-2007, 11:34 AM
I have long felt that games, at all levels beyond high school, may be predetermined.

Approximately 10 years ago, illegal gambling was a 5 billion dollar a year industry. With online, off-shore, gambling sites, as well as legal sports books in Vegas and other gambling meccas, the total number is probably closer to 20-50 billion dollars annually.

If you were a person of power in the gambling world, would you allow a 20-50 billion dollar industry to be determined by which group of young men (cause even the older pros, at roughly 35-38 years of age, are still young men) played harder? On who happened to be shooting well that night? No, you wouldn't. In business you have to try to control as many variables as possible. With gambling, the human performance is the only variable. With billions at stake, much of which the IRS cannot prove, let alone tax, you would take steps to insure that the games, by and large, broke your way.

Remeber when CDu made that pointless shot in the FF against Ucon? Instead of losing by 4 we lost by 3. It reportedly cost gamblers $100 when CDu "beat" the spread.

It sucks, but there it is. My thoughts are, and I know this is horrible, is that even if SOMEONE knows who is going to win, I don't. So I kind of drift along in ignorance, pretending/hoping that the game is being played and called straight up.

Even if it is not gambling influence, others have been influencing games for years. Superstars are held to a lower level regarding fouls and turnovers on court. It is obvious that networks and leagues have team and matchup favorites that they would love to see advance to later rounds (as well as upsets that attract viewers and swing big money to gamblers).

Sadly, sports is a business on all levels. It is only a game to poor schlubs like us who wish we were that good. We realized, probably by Jr. HS or HS that we had no real chance to be pro athletes, so we just enjoyed the game. But if it became your career, well, it is a short step from playing the game for money to playing badly, on purpose, for money.

Patrick Yates

mgtr
07-23-2007, 11:54 AM
You may be right, particularly when there is that kind of money at stake. But I have no clue how you root it out, other than to get lucky, which I gather is what happened in this case.

Tom B.
07-23-2007, 12:08 PM
Regardless, this is certainly devastating news for the NBA- in my opinion much worse than the brawl assuming that the investigation does conclude that a ref truly did bet on games he called.

I assume that by "the brawl," you mean the 2004 melee between the Pacers and Pistons. (I guess that incident has achieved such iconic status that people don't need to say anything more than "the brawl" to describe it -- kind of like "The Catch" and "The Drive.")

Interestingly enough, the ref under investigation (Tim Donaghy) was also one of the refs for the "brawl" game.

cspan37421
07-23-2007, 02:00 PM
I've seen several clips of players called for fouls by Tim D doing the "what the heck???!!" kind of look. Either they're great actors or they weren't in on the fix. My guess is that whoever else might be involved, it can't be that many people, because secrets like that are just too hard for every single member of a large group to keep. Someone gets drunk and blurts it out, eventually.

I didn't quite get the business on the DBR front page about other involved persons in "validating" calls on the court, in the stands unobtrusively. Are they saying they were giving sign-language instructions to Tim D? Or just being there to make sure Tim D "managed" the game correctly.

Worst thing that could happen now: Tim D gets rubbed out before he can tell his story. It will be most interesting to see what comes of this. I've had mixed feelings about the NBA for a long time. Not suspecting cheating so much, but a general lax attitude toward the written rule - such as with traveling, palming, contact/fouls, and so forth. That outcomes are managed so carefully? I somewhat doubt it. San Antonio and Detroit are not huge cities. And Jordan still needs to hit the shot over Ehlo, or Russell. But maybe he's not in that position to hit the game winner without some help along the way. I dunno.

A-Tex Devil
07-23-2007, 04:15 PM
Did anyone see that Donaghy was one of 4 officials (including Joey Crawford) who graduated from the same high school in (I believe) suburban Philadelphia?

That was an eye opener.

Still, I have my doubts that this is a wider operation within the NBA, but I'll wait and see. Love that people all over the net are coming up with their own Zapruder films of Donaghy calls to try and show how their respective teams got screwed (especially Suns fans re: game 3 with the Spurs this past year).

Fact is, unless he admits the exact game(s), no one will really ever know, and even if he doesn't mention certain games, fans will always be suspicious. That loss of any legitamacy to any of Donaghy's past games whatsoever is the real tragedy.

wilko
07-23-2007, 05:02 PM
I wonder if the best way to actually strengthen the college game is to totally deflate the Pro game... I didnt see that coming. Not at all.

Hope it works! I dont watch NBA ball. So I guess Im mising out.
But Im not upset by this scandal to hit the NBA. Not in the least.

Hope it purges some of the negative vibe thats eaten away at it like a cancer. Maybe THIS will keep some guys in school by virtue of having nowhere else to go... Dare I hope that much?

cspan37421
07-24-2007, 08:42 AM
I seldom care much for Sally Jenkins' musings for the Washington Post, but I thought today's column was outstanding.

When the Fix Is In, You Can't Believe It (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/07/23/AR2007072301724.html)

cspan37421
07-24-2007, 01:37 PM
Today brings interesting news from ESPN radio. First, that David Stern is firmly holding to the "one bad apple" theory, while in contrast, it is reported that Donaghy's attorney says he's working on a plea deal (implying that others will be implicated). Either the latter party is fishing, or Stern is confident nothing will be proven against other officials, or both. I'm suprised Stern can be so confident, so quickly, when presumably what Donaghy may still do (or claim) remains unknown. Stern's credibility is really on the line now, and AFAIK, it didn't have to be, not so quickly.

Personally I don't cry for the NBA; it is nowhere near as exciting as college basketball. Too many regular season games are meaningless, there are too many teams that make the playoffs, and playoff series have too many games. one might even argue that the games are too long. With the college game, less is more.

mgtr
07-24-2007, 02:54 PM
I agree totally. I haven't bothered to watch an NBA game for years EXCEPT for 6-8 Orlando Magic games this past year to see JJ play. And, I didn't get to see much of him playing.
The game has seemed to be reduced to a bunch of 20 year-old incredibly well-developed children who are in a contest to see who can jump the highest.
Now, I know there are a few passing guards and outside shooters who put the lie to the above statement, but not very many. Where are the Jerry Wests, Bill Russells, Larry Birds, and Oscar Robertsons? You know Oscar Robertson AVERAGED triple doubles. Nobody comes even close to that now.
Some (like John Wooden) have argued that the dunk should be eliminated. I didn't use to like that idea, but maybe that is necessary to put the emphasis back on basketball and off of high-jumping and theatrics.

Indoor66
07-24-2007, 03:02 PM
I agree totally. I haven't bothered to watch an NBA game for years EXCEPT for 6-8 Orlando Magic games this past year to see JJ play. And, I didn't get to see much of him playing.
The game has seemed to be reduced to a bunch of 20 year-old incredibly well-developed children who are in a contest to see who can jump the highest.
Now, I know there are a few passing guards and outside shooters who put the lie to the above statement, but not very many. Where are the Jerry Wests, Bill Russells, Larry Birds, and Oscar Robertsons? You know Oscar Robertson AVERAGED triple doubles. Nobody comes even close to that now.
Some (like John Wooden) have argued that the dunk should be eliminated. I didn't use to like that idea, but maybe that is necessary to put the emphasis back on basketball and off of high-jumping and theatrics.

I said that about the dunk in another thread and was castigated. I agree with Wooden (aren't I smart? :) ) that getting rid of the Dunk pushes emphasis on fundamentals. A bunch of jumping jacks running up and down and seeking style points doesn't hack it for me - either in the NBA or in the NCAA.

kexman
07-24-2007, 03:16 PM
Someone who does real betting can correct me, but I don't think the gambling industry would be happy about the corruption. They want the public to think that the games are completely legit so that they bet. My understanding of the point spread is that they use the line to balance the bets so that they make their 5% regardless of who wins. They are NOT betting they don't care who wins. I assume there are some scenarios that if they have to move the point spread they could lose money if the game falls just right.

On the other hand...people betting on the games would LOVE a ref in their pocket!!!

cspan37421
07-24-2007, 05:34 PM
yes, it seems to me the mob and the legit gambling industry are different animals. The industry does want to balance bets. The mob wants to get a windfall by fixing the match. Classic example would be 1919 Cincinnati Reds, who had long odds to beat the White Sox. Buy off some key Sox players and bet heavily on Reds, make lots of money.

Legit books don't want 20 to 1 odds winning a third of the time. They'd go broke and not enough people would vote on favorites.

Not that I know much about gambling. But I do know some math.

Clipsfan
07-24-2007, 06:00 PM
The lines are carefully set so as to attempt to equalize the amounts on either side of the line. There have been times when the casinos in Vegas (as an example of legal gambling) have been hurt, but for the most part they are happy with taking 5% of all the money bet with minimal to no risk. I remember that there was a famous instance where the line on a football game (might have been a Superbowl) was initially set poorly, at something like 3.5. Everyone was taking the points so they reduced the line to 2.5 at which point a ton of money came in on the favorite. The worst case scenario happened for the casinos, as the final score was a 3 point win and they had to pay off almost everyone.

mapei
07-24-2007, 06:43 PM
I don't mind the high-jumping, and in fact find it entertaining. (Weren't we all gushing about Dahntay's "pushups" dunk a week or two ago?) But I hate the way the pro game is officiated and find too many of the players are thugs and whiners on the court. And there are way too many games. What little interest the league held for me was lost this year in the Suns/Spurs series. This news doesn't exactly help.

I have a feeling it is the tip of the iceberg. Stern wasn't so much confident today as hopeful, IMO.

mgtr
07-24-2007, 07:55 PM
I have a hunch, based on no evidence at all, that there is a whole lot more behind the NBA referee scandal. But, maybe I am just hopeful.

DankeShane
07-25-2007, 11:55 AM
I'm surprised no one has made the connection to the annual barrage of "ACC pro-Duke Ref Conspiracy" talk that we have to put up with around here. Usually, the response is always "yea right... like the refs would conspire against other ACC teams :rolleyes:."

All I'm sayin', is that if it actually is proven that there are crooked ref(s), it will make the Duke-Ref B.S. even more vocal, despite the fact that this happened in the NBA vs. the NCAA. It's just more ammo for the haters, unfortunately. In other words, prepare yourself for comparisons between Coach K's influence over the refs to that of the mob. You've been warned.

cspan37421
07-25-2007, 12:45 PM
Having a sound-byte retort at the ready is good for such a contingency. Mine is this: Anyone who thinks the refs are biased toward Duke obviously didn't watch the 1999 Final vs. Connecticut.

wilko
07-25-2007, 03:08 PM
On one half of the daily work drive... (I forget WHICH half... it kinda blends) I had heard that the ACC commish had requested more in depth investigations on their officals as a response to the NBA deal.

Glad to know they are covering their bases and being proactive as as to NOT be looking like David Stern.

As for the haters... to heck with them they will always be there.

I think it stems from this simple truth:
Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example.
- Mark Twains' - Pudd'nhead Wilson

GO DUKE!

Clipsfan
07-26-2007, 11:25 AM
Not only that, but they're making it very clear that they started serious background checks on the ACC refs starting last year.

mgtr
07-26-2007, 12:59 PM
I wonder what the level of betting is on ACC games vs. NBA games. I would guess on the order of 10%, but I have no info at all.

mapei
07-26-2007, 10:27 PM
Having a sound-byte retort at the ready is good for such a contingency. Mine is this: Anyone who thinks the refs are biased toward Duke obviously didn't watch the 1999 Final vs. Connecticut.

True, but the problem with that argument is that it was over eight years ago. If we have to reach that far back, we practically prove their case. Plus, the 99 game also predated the surge of "Duke bias" hatred that reached a crescendo in the 2000-2001 season.

darthur
07-27-2007, 12:46 AM
Glad to know they are covering their bases and being proactive as as to NOT be looking like David Stern.

Yes... but it sounds like the NBA had also taken pretty stringent steps. For example, they had previously hired a private investigator to look into Tim Donaghy's gambling, including checking with every single casino in Atlantic City after he allegedly placed a bet there.

I know a lot of people here don't like the NBA, but the lesson from this is not that the NBA sucks. As the ACC commissioner has apparently realized, this kind of thing could have happened to anyone. The NBA was unlucky, and the NCAA was lucky.