[url="http://msn.foxsports.com/nba/story/8231176/Reportonaghy-says-refs-fixed-playoff-series"]http://msn.foxsports.com/nba/story/8231 ... off-series[/url]
The Tim Donaghy scandal just got more serious.
The disgraced former NBA referee told authorities in a four-page letter released Tuesday that two officials conspired to fix the outcome of a 2002 playoff series among other games.
The fix is in?Tim Donaghy did not specifically mention which series in 2002 was fixed, but the Lakers-Kings Western Conference finals was the only series that fits his allegations.
Game 6 officials: Dick Bavetta, Ted Bernhardt, Bob Delaney
Court documents filed by Donaghy's lawyer detailed the "inner-workings" of a plot in which top league executives used referees to manipulate the games. Donaghy claims two referees were "company men" whose job was to extend a playoff series in 2002 to a seventh game.
The documents did not name the series, but the Lakers-Kings Western Conference finals was the only series in 2002 that went to a seventh game, with the Lakers winning Game 6, 106-102.
The report said the referees allegedly ignored flagrant fouls committed by the team that needed to win and called phantom fouls against the other team which led to two of their players fouling out. The team supposedly favored by the refs won Games 6 and 7 to win the series, according to the allegations.
"Our big guys get 20 fouls tonight and Shaq gets four? You tell me how the game went," Kings coach Rick Adelman said after Game 6 of that series. "It's just the way it is. Obviously, they got the game called the way they wanted to get it called."
The letter doesn't name anyone involved. Donaghy's attorney and prosecutors have declined to comment. The league has denied the scandal goes beyond Donaghy and two co-defendants.
According to the document, Donaghy also said "league officials would tell referees that they should withhold calling technical fouls on certain star players because doing so hurt ticket sales and television ratings."
Donaghy also said refs broke league rules by routinely fraternizing with players, coaches and team management and that the resulting inappropriate relationships may have influenced the outcomes of games. He claims one general manager in 2004 made a game-day phone call to referees to encourage them to call more personal fouls against an opponent.
Donaghy claims referees have accepted autographs, merchandise and meals from team representatives. He said one official used a team's facility to exercise and another played tennis with an NBA coach.
The veteran referee pleaded guilty last year to felony charges alleging he took cash payoffs from gamblers and bet on games. He faces up to 33 months in prison.
John Lauro, Donaghy's lawyer, filed the letter to a federal judge because none of the information was included in the government's letter to the judge seeking leniency for Donaghy when he is sentenced, according to the New York Daily News.
The report said Lauro withheld the names of those involved because the feds might investigate the situation.