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News » Donaghy's botched book deal could help NBA

Donaghy's botched book deal could help NBA

Donaghy's botched book deal could help NBA

Really? Did the league want Bavetta to wave off a Pete Maravich basket and erroneously whistle him for an offensive foul in the fourth quarter of his 68-point game in 1977? Of course not. The point is Bavetta has been a lousy official for 33 years.

So it's easy to point to Bavetta's work — especially in Game 6 of the 2002 Western Conference Finals — and say a crime was being committed there. That Bavetta was cheating. But if you're going to make that allegation you better have more evidence than your alleged memories of conversations with the guy. (The idea that Bavetta would crow cavalierly about how the league could count on him for the result they wanted seems particularly preposterous.)

And if the league could count on its officials to create the results it wanted why haven't almost all series gone seven games?

Reading these excerpts you realize that Triumph Books wasn't worried about the possibility of a lawsuit. They were bracing for the certainty of multiple lawsuits. Not only would the league invariably sue, but every official accused of being an accomplice — and Donaghy nails a bunch — would have to sue too.

Donaghy has a sordid tale to tell. It's just unclear which shelf it belongs on, fiction or non-fiction. Maybe he should have just changed the names and called it a novel. ("Everyone knew ref Jeve Stavie hated superstar Illen Averson ... ")

For over two years now Tim Donaghy has been David Stern's worst nightmare. But now that Donaghy's claims strain credulity, the disgraced ref might be a useful part of the league's reputation rehabilitation.

In naming names — lots and lots of names — Donaghy sought to drag others down into the muck with him. But all he's succeeded in doing is further isolating himself and making the league and his former colleagues look good in comparison.

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Author: Fox Sports
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Added: October 30, 2009


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