I think. I could be wrong about that title, but I’m pretty sure that’s one of the claims disgraced ex-NBA official and gambling addict Tim Donaghy made in his new book, “Personal Foul.” I’m not sure if you have to beat the spread when picking mistresses, but… boy, I need to delicately extricate myself from this sentence. Boogers! There. That works every time.
The tell-all confession of an NBA referee with a gambling addiction is under very close scrutiny right now. Henry Abbott & Kevin Arnovitz at ESPN’s Truehoop already did a great job debunking quite a few of Donaghy’s claims about the supposedly biased trends of specific NBA officials, trends that he posits were reliable to turn the point spread of an NBA game. The long and short is: Donaghy’s book tries to prove that he did not need to fix the games he officiated in order to rake in the money betting on games, because he knew the predispositions of other referees toward certain players and coaches, predispositions that could be counted on to sway games in one predictable direction or another.
Some of the findings so far –
- The refs that Donaghy suspected of being biased weren’t.
- Even if an official wanted to steer a game in favor of one team, he’d have a difficult time manipulating an entire game and basically could not guarantee one team would win without being horribly blatant (like when the Lakers beat the Kings in 2002).
- The way a ref could impact a game most would be in how much physicality he allowed, like an umpire officiating a pitcher’s game or a hitter’s game by giving wider or narrower strike zones.
- Of course there’s always blowing a call at the very end of a game like when you let Derrik Fisher land directly on top of Brent Barry on the Spurs’ last possession of a playoff game. That might have an impact.
So if you double down on Tiger’s mistresses…