The Official Website of Best-Selling Author Sean Patrick Griffin

Donaghy on Huffington Post

Former NBA referee Tim Donaghy was recently (3/2/10) afforded the opportunity to promote his book in a post on the Huffington Post.*

Among Donaghy’s comments are these (emphasis added):

(1) “…few can argue with the numerous first-hand stories of favoritism, preferential treatment, bias and discrimination that I detailed in the book. More amazing is that many of the common practices I described still occur on a daily basis and clearly impact the outcome of games. One only needs to know the content of my book and then apply the analysis to many games in the current NBA season to realize that the practices and tactics used in the past are commonplace.”

There is a logical problem with Donaghy’s assertions, as I and others have addressed previously (see, for example, here, here, and here).  To recap: Donaghy argues he bet on NBA games that he didn’t officiate and won close to 80% of the time because he possessed “inside information”, yet he now argues all of these “common practices” of “favoritism, preferential treatment, bias and discrimination” “still occur on a daily basis”.

Let me repeat my earlier sarcastic suggestion:  If the “inside information” Donaghy proclaimed to possess consisted of little more than studying the “favoritism, preferential treatment, bias and discrimination” of referees, Donaghy should operate a “1-900” tout service, charge a fee for betting insights (“sure winners!”) and capitalize on his deep knowledge of these relationships since he says they persist.

Of course, if this is the “inside information” to which Donaghy repeatedly refers – and it was and is, plenty of “outsiders” like professional gamblers and their research teams would have been able to capitalize on these overt referee tendencies long ago – which they did and do.

(2) “Those with a critical eye toward the NBA repeatedly state, ‘Donaghy is credible.'”  This is self-serving and absurd.  Please count me among those “with a critical eye toward the NBA” who think Donaghy is quite plainly not credible (in advance of more damning analysis and evidence from me, please see here, here, here, and here.)

(3) “The FBI went on record to state that ‘Donaghy Told the Truth.'”  I have discussed this briefly elsewhere, and will get further into this soon.  In the meantime, pay close attention to the choice of words used by federal authorities in court filings and proceedings when it comes to Donaghy’s assistance.

Lastly, though this has little to do with my research it does offer insights into Donaghy:

(4) “The real game being played by the NBA is…the invisible sport called control — of the players, the networks, the referees, the matchups, the damage, and ultimately, the outcomes. Full control is tantamount to a dictatorship. And we all know that challenging a dictatorship leaves a long trail of frustration, insensitivity, and defeat.”  Whoa.

*This curiosity is likely explained by his business relationship with Shawna Vercher, founder of “VTi-Web, a web marketing and social media firm,” and publisher of Donaghy’s book.  Vercher’s HuffPo bio says she “played a vital role on the Obama Presidential Campaign in Florida.”

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