According to the document, he told FBI agents, “League officials would tell referees they should withhold calling technical fouls on certain star players because doing so hurt ticket sales and television ratings.”
Donaghy claims he was told two refs who were “company men” acting in the interest of the NBA conspired to extend a playoff series in 2002 to a seventh game.
The referees allegedly ignored flagrant fouls committed by one team and “made up fouls” against the other team, which led to two of its players fouling out. The team favored by the refs won that game and the next to win the series.
So naturally the next question is… Which two teams were they? Well the document doesn’t officially name any teams, however, there was only one series that year that went to seven games.
The Kings and the Lakers. Uh-oh. According to the document, the ref favored team won (Lakers) and they went on to win game 7 as well to win the series. If this is true, I’m really angry because I was cheering for the Kings. During that game 6, the Kings were whistled for 31 fouls and the Lakers had 24. The Lakers outscored the Kings 34-18 at the line. Not huge numbers but it’s enough to have an effect on the outcome.
I want to know if this is true. I imagine that the NBA will probably conduct some sort of investigation.