Friday, July 20, 2007

This will shake up the world of professional basketball

This story of an NBA referee reportedly taking bribes to throw games from the past two seasons could be a potential bombshell that will explode in the world of sports.
THE FBI is investigating an NBA referee who allegedly was betting on basketball games - including ones he was officiating during the past two seasons - as part of an organized-crime probe in the Big Apple, The Post has learned.

The investigation, which began more than a year ago, is zeroing in on blockbuster allegations that the referee was making calls that affected the point spread to guarantee that he - and the hoods who had their hooks in him - cashed in on large bets.

Federal agents are set to arrest the referee and a cadre of mobsters and their associates who lined their pockets, sources said.

"These are dangerous people [the referee] was involved with," a source said.

One source close to the probe counted the number of games on which the ref and his wiseguy buddies scored windfalls in the "double digits."

NBA Commissioner David Stern is aware of the investigation and has a report about the referee on his desk, another source said.

The official, whose name was withheld, allegedly wagered on games during the 2005-06 and 2006-07 NBA seasons.
If true, what a shame. It will just be one more area of our culture that has been totally corrupted. We're not longer an innocent world where it is totally unbelievable that someone connected with the world of sports has been taking money to throw games. But it is a disappointment. And fans who think that this referee's dishonesty slanted a game away from their team will have something to complain about to Kingdom come. From now on, any time a call goes against our team, we'll start accusing the ref of throwing the game. And now there will be some evidence that this actually has been going on.