As I type in late February 2020, this VICE Sports piece featuring former pro gambler Jimmy Battista (of NBA betting scandal infamy) has been viewed 1,592,424 times on YouTube since it was posted in late November 2018. I was aware of this project before and during its development. There are reasons I wasn’t involved and why I haven’t commented on it since it aired more than a year ago. Since it now has more than 1.5 million views on YouTube, and especially because I keep getting asked about it, here are a few quick points:
* Needless to say, quite literally every aspect of this piece is examined in far greater detail and with supporting evidence in my Gaming the Game: The Story Behind the NBA Betting Scandal and the Gambler Who Made It Happen (Barricade, 2011).
* I am sympathetic to the producers who attempted to do a complicated story in such an incredibly abbreviated format (12 mins)
* Seeing PI Flagg state Tim Donaghy has a “photographic memory” is rich – Donaghy has repeatedly said (starting with his sessions with the feds in 2007) he doesn’t even know what games he bet on during the scandal
* The editing, especially re Battista’s regrets, is poorly done and misleadingspg