Tim Donaghy Gives His Thoughts On the NBA Playoffs

The NBA Playoffs is an exciting time to be a basketball fan.  This is the time of year where you get to watch your favorite team or favorite player(s) lay it all out on the line battling each other out on the court in high pressure situations, but this is also the time of year it seems as though NBA officiating is at its worse.Earlier this month, Phil Jackson was fined on two occasions for comments made about the officials treating Kevin Durant like a superstar and for calling out a referee, Bennett Salvatore, for turning against them.  As of this week, both Dwight Howard and Erick Dampier have been fined by the NBA for criticizing game officials.

NBA officiating is awful and it has been for years now. There is a reason so many sports fans think NBA games are fixed.  It is not because the games are actually rigged.  It is more so the number of irrelevant fouls that are being called due to the relationships between the players, coaches and owners with the referees that affect the outcome of games.  Stern’s belief that NBA officials don’t have any biases toward players and coaches is ludicrous.  Sadly, most of us fans accept that crappy refereeing is just part of the NBA experience, like inflated contracts and stupid halftime shows.  There is not a better person to give his thoughts on NBA officiating than

Tim Donaghy.

Tim Donaghy joined ESPN Radio in Dallas to talk about whether who is refereeing the games has an impact on the result of the game, whether the Dallas Mavericks’ record of 2-16 in playoff games when Danny Crawford referees a game is a coincidence, and hypothetically speaking, what he would do as the NBA’s Head of Officiating to change things in the NBA.

Whether who is refereeing the games has an impact on the result of the game:

“I don’t think that there is a doubt in my mind that it certainly does make a difference who is refereeing the game.  It makes a difference based upon those relationships that exist between referees and players and coaches and most importantly in this situation, owners.”
On the meetings that took place after games watching video with

NBA officials and how would the NBA officials convey that they wanted one team to win:

“What they would do is they would sit the three referees and show videotape of the previous games and point out certain calls that went against certain teams in the series and nine times out of ten they would point out that hurt the team that is down in the series and, in this case, would be Dallas.  What that does is programs and trains the referees to look for certain things that are going to put a certain team that at an advantage and look for things that are going to put a team at a disadvantage, in this case would be San Antonio.”
Whether the Dallas Mavericks’ record of  in playoff games when

Danny Crawford referees a game is a coincidence:

“I write about this a lot in the book ‘Personal Foul’ that Danny was pretty much proud of the fact that what his record was while refereeing Dallas Mavericks playoff games so I don’t know that it is a streak that he wants to keep alive or what the story is with that, but I just think that it is almost humanly impossible a referee could have that record with one team during playoff games alone.”

Whether he still thinks the “Cuban Factor” still exists with the veteran officials in the NBA:

“I don’t think that there is any doubt that it still sticks with them.  I think that it probably got a little worse when Marc made some positive comments about my book that recently came out in December and I think that it is very irritated to them that, basically, the cat is out of the bag and what he has been saying for years is basically have some evidence behind it and he has basically been right.Hypothetically speaking, what he would do as the NBA’s Head

Of Officiating to change things in the NBA:

“I think what you have to do is allow the referees to enforce the rules based upon what is in the rule book and not with an eye on personalities and star treatment and own the bottom line.  You have to allow them to enforce those rules no matter who is the player on the floor and call an honest and fair game night in and night out and support them in what they do on the floor.”

Whether he thinks that the Oklahoma City Thunder could knock off the Los Angeles Lakers if there is anything besides basketball involved:

“No, I don’t think that there is any possible way that the Thunder will knock out the Lakers in the first round series.  I am not a betting man anymore, in fact, I am professionally working for a gambling treatment center down in New Jersey called ‘First Step’ and I can assure you that back in the day when I was betting I would bet that the Lakers would prevail in that series.”
Tim Donaghy on the officiating in the NBA Playoffs on ESPN Radio Dallas with Galloway and Company


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