Blog Entry

Karl: NBA should fight back against Donaghy

Posted on: December 7, 2009 2:41 pm
Edited on: December 7, 2009 4:04 pm
PHILADELPHIA -- Nuggets coach George Karl sat on the scorer's table at the Wachovia Center Monday morning, perusing the box score I'd printed out and handed to him after his team's shootaround. The game in question -- the Jan. 6, 2007 game between Karl's Nuggets and the Utah Jazz -- didn't evoke any particular memories about the officiating.

"My belief has always been that refereeing in the NBA is an impossible job," Karl said. "You’re never happy."

In light of former ref Tim Donaghy's assertion Sunday night on 60 Minutes that he had conspired with two fellow crew members to officiate then-Denver star Allen Iverson unfairly in a game Donaghy had wagered on, Karl couldn't recall whether the whistle went against his team that night. But the Denver coach has very strong feelings about what the NBA and coaching community should do to combat Donaghy's allegations, which are only beginning to come to light.

The NBA, Karl said, should start fighting back.

"There’s circumstances in life that a lot of people don’t want to go into the battle, the Heat of the kitchen," Karl said. "But maybe it’s necessary right now to go in there."

Karl suggested a town-hall meeting where coaches, general managers, and league officials could address en masse Donaghy's continuing efforts to further undermine the NBA's integrity, which he damaged by betting on games -- many of which he officiated -- and passing information to gamblers. Donaghy pleaded guilty to federal conspiracy charges and was released from prison last month after serving nearly all of his 15-month sentence. The 60 Minutes interview was his first, with more national appearances to come with the release of his book detailing the scandal, "Personal Foul."

"It’s a tough place for me to comment and the league to comment," Karl said. "They should have a town hall meeting, and that one day we can say whatever we want to say and get it over with. Because if it has to linger around for the next six weeks, when the book comes out and when he’s on TV all the time, then we’re going to be responding to questions that the league probably doesn’t want us to respond to. But in this same sense, maybe there should be a forum. Let’s address this one time or two times and then let it go. For me that’s the way I would like it.

"Put 10 guys in the league or 20 guys -- two coaches, two GMs, a couple of guys from the league office, a couple of referees," Karl said. "Sit them down and have some forum of discussion on all the details and subjects so you have enough information so you can write whatever you want to write, rather than every day he tells another story or the book comes out and we’re responding to this over six weeks or eight weeks. I think it’ll become very tedious."

In the 60 Minutes interview, Donaghy said he bet on the Jazz that night because he had conspired with the other two officials -- Bernie Fryer and Gary Zielinski -- to punish Iverson with their whistles. A day earlier, Iverson had been fined $25,000 by the league for criticizing referee Steve Javie, a punishment Donaghy said the referees felt was too lenient. reviewed the play-by-play and video clips of key plays Iverson was involved in and found that the Nuggets' star didn't get an unfavorable whistle. Iverson committed two fouls and drew nine in the game, attempting more free throws than any other player that night; he made 11 of 12. Also, on Iverson's 12 drives to the basket, he made two driving layups, missed four, lost the ball once, and drew five fouls.

While Karl didn't remember the officiating nuances in the game, he did point out several factors that might've compelled even the most casual gambler to pick the Jazz: Denver played without Carmelo Anthony (suspended) and Marcus Camby (hand injury). J.R. Smith also didn't play, though that was a coaching decision and wouldn't have been known prior to the game.

"There seemed to have been a lot of things that were not good for us in that game," Karl said.

The NBA has declined to make Fryer, Zielinski, or any other league official available for an interview to address Donaghy's latest allegations. Stern issued a statement after the 60 Minutes program aired dismissing Donaghy's assertions and saying that any allegations about officiating improprieties would be forwarded to former federal prosecutor Lawrence Pedowitz for review.

Since: Oct 3, 2006
Posted on: December 8, 2009 5:05 pm

Karl: NBA should fight back against Donaghy

I love this.  I personally like George Karl, but he knows he makes millions thanks to this piece of crap game the NBA puts on the floor.  He's a celebrity thanks to the criminal NBA.  1 of 2 things has been the truth since I started watching pro hoops back in 1976-1977 when my mom's new boyfriend had season tix for the Sonics.  Either the officiating is biased and fixing games or they just plain suck.  After watching game 7 of the 1993 West Finals, Phoenix vs. Seattle, and Barkley had 22 free throw attempts, Kevin Johnson had 16, and Phoenix won the series 4-3.  For the whole playoffs that season, Barkley had 168 free throws and 32 more than Jordan, whose Bulls won the title - of course.  The NBA wanted a Barkley - Jordan final so bad, they made sure the Suns got there.  Watching the game was unreal as it seemed the whistle never stopped blowing.  Since that day, I began to hate the NBA and even when the Supes got back in 1996, against Jordan of course, I knew they would lose.  I continued to be a Supes fan, but then David Stern ushered a deal between Starbucks douche Howie Stern, the former Supes owner, and an equally crooked man from OKC, Clay Bennett, and together they extorted a 41-year old franchise and moved them to an armpit of America, OKC.  Witnessing the corruption and extortion throughout that process, coupled with the Donaghy story, has left me with a true hatred for this crap league and the bigots that run it. 

Truth is, games are fixed, to an extent, and certain players get the love.  You can justify it however you'd like, but the fact is it's crooked.  It makes Pete Rose look like a Sunday School Teacher.  David Stern is a puke.  He is a liar.  He is a cheater.  I have no doubt in my mind Timmy's book will contain truth and personally, although I find it to be impossible, I hope it sinks the NBA ship.  You mess with fire, you will get burned.  ..l.. David Stern and all of your crooked peeps.  You and your league are garbage and I would love nothing to more than to see a catastrophic end to your career.

Since: Oct 31, 2009
Posted on: December 8, 2009 3:24 pm

Karl: NBA should fight back against Donaghy

"Great point."? No, not a great point! Whoever rated this needs to slow down and absorb what's being said. Cobrajock11 was referencing the next to last sentence written by ThuggetsFan: "If you are going to say the NBA is rigged, you gotta bring up the fifty different types of strike zones you see in baseball and the crackhead way that NFL refs call every defensive interference as well." Why? This is not an article about any other sport but basketball. I am one who understands without doubt that every sport has a crooked element, be that with the officials, players, coaches, or owners. I have written ad nauseum about this (ref. my 12/5 message on my profile page). I have been telling my friends about it for over 30 years. No one wants to believe at first, but once I showed them with money, i.e. how to win their bets; to a man they eventually accepted what I had discovered years earlier.

I was a stockbroker for 21 years. When you see scam after scam perpetrated on the trusting you tend to view things "money" with a jaundiced eye. I had a friend at the gym tell me that life must be miserable for me thinking everything 'money' is crooked. My response was "no, why would knowing the truth make me miserable? It's the suckers that refuse to believe that most people view money as a way of keeping score in life, and that many will stop at nothing to win; it's these saps I feel sorry for. "A fool and his money are..." I want the truth! If I crave fantasy, I'll take my kids to see Alice in Wonderland."

Toward the end of my first paragraph you'll notice I started to "speak" in the past tense. I gave up gambling a couple of years ago when I was born again. Money has very little meaning to me now. A few years ago I saw Jim Rome interviewing Michael Franzese on Rome Is Burning . I suggested that we get the ex-mobster to speak at our church. I was privileged to be able to escort Michael and his agent. One of the first things I asked him was if they, the mob, got involved in fixing games. His response "We were always trying to influence the outcome of sporting events." That's a big part of what he does now. He talks to pro and college players warning them not to get involved with those of his prior ilk.

Believe me that the answers Donaghy gave in his interview were "run past" his mob connections. Some were outright lies, but not the one referencing that his picks helprf 'them' set point spreads. Translation: We know this game is fixed so we will set the number where it will entice action on the predetermined losing side. In other words they bait the bettors into biting on the loser.

The Berger article was about basketball, not about sports in general. Neither he nor Carl suggested a comparison be made between this nefarious side of various sports. All have a gambling "problem." I put quotes around that word because if the truth be known the "leagues" like the interest gambling creates. The whole issue with Carl and other coaches is that they feel they need to meet to get their stories straight.

Since: May 19, 2007
Posted on: December 8, 2009 2:30 pm
This comment has been removed.

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Since: Sep 2, 2008
Posted on: December 8, 2009 2:09 pm

Karl: NBA should fight back against Donaghy

Donaghy is a piece of crap and has no credibilty.  But ... you are clearly mistaken if you think that the relationships between the players, refs and the NBA don't make a difference.  It's called human nature.  If a ref and a player get into it you cannot tell me that the ref is not watching them more and more and eventually calling more fouls against them.  This statement has nothing to do with Donaghy and is just another chance for him to spout off.  I think there are some truths to some of his statements but it's hard to decide what is truth and what is fiction from a snake like him.  

Since: Dec 9, 2008
Posted on: December 8, 2009 12:47 pm

Karl: NBA should fight back against Donaghy

I don't know if you noticed but wherever there is money involved there is corruption. To say that a particular sport is not involved in some scheme is to say you don't want to know. You don't want people bursting your bubble, your happy bubble, where everyone gets along and is honest. Thats not the way of this world , look around. Just like every law in this country, if you don't get caught you didn't do it. plain as that. Now you can bring God and charma into this but that doesn't stop the trend. Humans are weak pathetic creatures who have impulses and desires which lead us to do things good and bad. There is nothing you can do to stop this. We know there is corruption in everything , just deal with it as it comes about. Alot of things in this country were started by corruption, good things bad things. You see if we all followed the laws nothing would get done. The government makes laws so that it looks like they are trying m when in fact they continue to do whatever it takes to accomplish their objectives. This whole world is corrupt, why does everyone try and ignore this fact? he made a hundred grand off gambling, big deal. The FBI watched the games and found there was no evidence that he called games in his favor. So there ya go. But since the world is corrupt who do you believe? who can you trust and why? to stick up for a particular entity without absolute knowledge is vanity and pointless. Nobody knows what a person is thinking, until that day trust none and admit to nothing. OUT.

Akron Buckeye
Since: Nov 19, 2006
Posted on: December 8, 2009 10:17 am
This comment has been removed.

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Since: Mar 11, 2008
Posted on: December 8, 2009 10:15 am

Karl: NBA should fight back against Donaghy

It seems like every sport has its own unique black eye: baseball has steroids, football its concussions, and basketball this.  Stern can't keep sweeping this under the rug and hoping this goes away on its own because, like in other sports, it never will.

The best thing for the NBA is present evidence to dispute Donaghy's claims (as there was for this Nuggets-Jazz game) and let others call into question his credibility.  If someone read through Donaghy's book and released a point-by-point rebuttal, it would do more to close this chapter than a million brusque "no comment"s from Stern.

Since: May 18, 2008
Posted on: December 8, 2009 8:37 am

Karl: NBA should fight back against Donaghy

Multiple convicted felons? Who?

Since: Nov 9, 2008
Posted on: December 8, 2009 5:22 am

Karl: NBA should fight back against Donaghy

... the way MLB and the MLB Players' Union should fight back against Jose Canseco...Ooops, Canseco was actually vindicated after being trashed as an out-and-out liar. Guess that's a moot point. Get on a treadmill and lose some of that whale blubber Coach Karl - clearly having constant diarrhea of the mouth isn't keeping your weight in check.

Since: Dec 4, 2009
Posted on: December 8, 2009 3:39 am

Karl: NBA should fight back against Donaghy

I watch the game for the amazing plays these athletes execute. Stop complaining about the refs. They do control some of the game, but you still have to make shots and play with intesity. It is sad to see the game to all this publicity about the refs, court probelms, and conspiracies. We should be talking about the game, and in this era people are too focused on what celebrities do and say instead of what the game means to them. If you love the game and bring it day in and day out the refs should not dictate the outcome as much. If they are calling it a teams way adjust and play as hard as you can. Im tired of the business and media aspect of the game. I understand that is what it is, but enjoy loving the game. It is just a game when it all comes down to it.

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