Tim Donaghy: NBA Still Manipulates Games

Donaghy dropped by CBS Sports Radio to discuss "Inside Game," which chronicles the NBA's gambling scandal

Laurence Holmes
October 21, 2019 - 1:37 pm
Adam Silver NBA

USA Today Images


Tim Donaghy dropped by CBS Sports Radio this past weekend to discuss Inside Game, which chronicles the NBA’s gambling scandal. The film debuts Nov. 1.

Donaghy, 52, was an NBA referee from 1994 to 2007 and played a key role in the NBA’s gambling scandal in the mid-2000s.

“Poor choices,” Donaghy said on The John Kincade Show, referring to his spiral into gambling. “I had a great job, living a great lifestyle . . . and just started doing the wrong things, getting a little bit cocky.”

Donaghy not only had a gambling problem, but also was in prime position to influence the outcome of games – or at least the point spreads.

“On the golf course, playing cards, running to the casinos, betting on college and pro football, it keeps spilling over to the next step, the next step, the next step,” Donaghy said. “I basically started giving people information that I was receiving in the locker room, injury reports. . . . I loved the action.”

Donaghy said that the NBA still manipulates games.

“I believe that they’re manipulated by the league for certain reasons,” he said. “They sit there and program and train the referees before the games to concentrate on certain things, and it always goes in the favor of those teams that are down in the series to advance it to a five, six or even a seventh game. I think that they probably do that in the NFL, too, with telling the referees what to concentrate on on plays that were missed in other games for teams in the NFL. I think it’s definitely manipulated for the monopoly of the leagues and the bigger markets to make sure that there’s more money put in the pockets of the NFL or NBA.”

Donaghy initially wasn’t on board with Inside Game, but he’s happy the film was made.

“I think there’s a great message in the movie about choices and how those choices not only affect ourselves, but affect the people that we love the most – and that’s our family,” he said. “I think they do an absolute great job in portraying that. . . . It’s tough for me to sit through because it’s about me. But when people continue to come up to you and tell you that there’s a great message in the movie, I’m glad I’m involved in it.”