The NBA released a response to ESPN's recent story on former NBA referee Tim Donaghy.

By Kaelen Jones
February 22, 2019

The NBA issued a response to a recently-published ESPN story titled "How Former Ref Tim Donaghy Conspired to Fix NBA Games."

The article detailed a timeline of former NBA referee Tim Donaghy, who conspired to fix NBA games beginning in 1998 before pleading guilty to federal authorities in 2007. While the NBA acknowledged that Donaghy was convicted for criminal acts, the league ignores some facts.

"The ESPN Article attempts to revive this old story," the statement said. "Unfortunately, it is replete with errors, beginning with its statement that the Pedowitz Report 'concluded that Donaghy, in fact, did not fix games.'  The Pedowitz Report made no such conclusion. Rather, the investigation found no basis to disagree with the finding of the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s Office that '[t]here is no evidence that Donaghy ever intentionally made a particular ruling during a game in order to increase the likelihood that his gambling pick would be correct.' ESPN ignores this important distinction."

"The new material that ESPN has assembled to support its own conclusion that Donaghy manipulated games is not strong and adds little to the existing record."

The NBA directly challenged the story for its usage of quoted individuals who gave conflicting statements, statistical analysis of Donaghy's officiating and betting line movements, as well as anecdotal evidence from games. 

"We recognize there is strong interest in the subject of expanded sports betting and the measures sports organizations should undertake to protect integrity," the NBA said. "However, the ESPN Article does not add anything material to the record of what happened over a decade ago."

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