NBA Commissioner David Stern’s comments re: Gaming the Game

In case you missed it, NBA Commissioner David Stern was asked to comment on Gaming the Game yesterday during the league’s All-Star weekend festivities in L.A., which elicited the following reply:

I have not read the new book or seen it yet, although I’m happy with each All Star Weekend or Finals to present an opportunity for a convicted felon to issue yet another tome on his misdeeds.

So we’ll see if there’s anything new suggested, Mr. Pedowitz will be asked to continue to review it as we have with each one that has been published, because we want to make sure that we get to the bottom of it all.

But right now, I don’t have any more information other than I know you always confirm your sources; so I commend you to confirming the convicted felon’s sources.

Of course, we have no idea what question was posed to Commissioner Stern which resulted in the above reply [see below for 2/24/11 update].  As I have taken pains to point out explicitly in Gaming the Game, and others have already been quick to note (see, e.g., here), my new book would have been completed in the Spring of 2008 if the research simply entailed interviewing pro gambler Jimmy Battista (as my wife and kids will attest!).  Thus, I am glad Stern at least noted that he had not seen the book, because anyone who reads GTG will easily understand this project absolutely consumed me for almost 3 years such that little of the book rests solely on Battista’s words.

Readers may wish to know that although Larry Pedowitz was gracious enough to humor my inquiries, the NBA and the National Basketball Referees Association (NBRA) each refused to entertain my correspondence on several occasions.  Given the correspondence and how much I was doing in this area of inquiry, it is difficult for me to believe the Commissioner didn’t at least have a rough idea of what I had discovered in the course of interviewing federal law enforcement officials, pro gamblers (beyond Battista) and others, in addition to reviewing confidential FBI files, court documents, betting records and other objective betting data.

2/24/11 UPDATE: Thanks to Silver Screen and Roll (an L.A. Lakers blog hosted by SB Nation), we have the question that was posed to Commissioner Stern about Gaming the Game

I don’t know if you’ve seen this new book about the Donaghy scandal, but having read it myself, three of the four conspirators have said something on the record to somebody, and they are unanimous – the fourth, by the way, is Donaghy himself – and they are unanimous that he was really good at winning bets on games he officiated, really bad at winning bets on any other games, and he was gambling on games since 2003 until he left the league and the report that he looked at 16 games. How confident can we be that there are not fixed games in the NBA?

This was a pretty good question, and Stern’s reply is thus more curious than I had first thought. 

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