I have been (and, at least for the near future, remain) consumed with my responsibilities as the academic year comes to an end, and thus haven’t been available to humor each and every media request related to Gaming the Game: The Story Behind the NBA Betting Scandal and the Gambler Who Made It Happen (Barricade, 2011). In particular, I haven’t taken the time to explicitly examine or discuss former NBA referee Tim Donaghy’s public comments about the book (he has also contacted me privately a few times, and his statements are essentially the same as those available online). I’ll try to address this briefly here, and will no doubt get into this in more detail later as time becomes more available.
- “A meeting was set up between Martino, [Battista] and Donaghy at a restaurant at the Marriott Hotel in Philadelphia” on December 12, 2006 (i.e., Donaghy was aware of the Martino/Battista conference to address Donaghy’s betting concerns and thus wasn’t surprised or shocked – much less chilled or shaken – to meet with Martino and Battista, as Donaghy claims);
- During the December 12, 2006 meeting, Donaghy “complained [to Martino] that [Donaghy’s golfing and gambling buddy Jack] Concannon was not giving him any money so he wanted to start giving [his NBA betting] picks to [Battista]” (i.e., the conspiracy didn’t begin as a mob extortion attempt of Donaghy, as Donaghy claims);
- Martino paid Donaghy approximately $120,000 from December 2006 through April 2007 (i.e., Donaghy was paid roughly $100,000 more than Donaghy claims he received);
- Martino provided Donaghy with prescription pills and the two “smoked pot together…on some occasions,” and the longtime pals “used the services of prostitutes” on more than one occasion when they met for betting payments during the scandal. Indeed, Martino detailed for the FBI the dates, cities, and the online service used to procure the women for himself and Donaghy (i.e., Donaghy was not in fear of “mobster” Martino, accounting for Donaghy’s betting during the ’06-07 season, as Donaghy claims);
- When pro gambler Jimmy Battista entered drug rehab on March 18, 2007 to treat an addiction to prescription pills, the Donaghy/Martino scheme continued, but now with pro gambler Pete Ruggieri receiving the picks instead of Battista (i.e., Donaghy’s betting did not end on 3/18/07, as Donaghy claims); and
- “After Ruggieri decided to shut the scheme down, Donaghy pushed Martino to take one more game” (i.e., Donaghy was not being forced to bet on his games by Battista and Martino throughout the ’06-07 portion of the scandal, nor was Donaghy relieved the betting was over, as Donaghy claims).
[As mentioned above, I’ll have likely have more to say about Tim Donaghy’s recent comments and activities in the near future as time becomes available.]