Personal Foul: A First-Person Account of the Scandal that Rocked the NBA Info

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“The book the NBA doesn’t want you to
read.”―Deadspin.com

Tim Donaghy loved basketball. In many ways,
his zest for the game came from his father, who officiated high school
and college games for over thirty years. After graduating from
Villanova, Donaghy was unsatisfied with his career until he followed his
heart and became a basketball referee, first in the CBA and then the
NBA, where he officiated for thirteen seasons―772 regular season games
and twenty playoff games.

He loved his job, his family, his life. He
felt like he had everything. And then, suddenly, he had nothing. He
succumbed to a gambling addiction as well as to intimidation from
well-connected criminals and began using inside information to win bets
for them. Following an FBI investigation, Donaghy pled guilty to two
federal charges, and on August 15, 2007, he was sentenced to fifteen
months in prison. He was released on November 4, 2009, after serving his
sentence.

You hold in your hands his story, which provides a
stunningly candid admission of his mistakes as well as his insider’s
account of the world of professional basketball. With a foreword by the
FBI Special Agent who worked the Gambino case, Personal Foul reveals how
the fast life of professional sports can tempt and trap the unwary and
unwise. Donaghy has written an unforgettable page-turner, one of the
most controversial sports books ever published. It will confirm your
suspicions about the influence of the front offices of major league
sports while examining the corrosive power of money, fame, and
power.

The book also includes a foreword by Phil Scala, the FBI
Special Agent who worked the Gambino case.

From the
Introduction:

I’m guilty. For 13 years I was a referee in
the National Basketball Association, living a glamorous life on and off
the court, rubbing elbows with superstar players and celebrity
A-listers. I suppose many would say that I had it all―a great job,
money, a wonderful family―but it was all an illusion. You see, during my
last four years in the NBA, I led a secret life that would ultimately
cost me everything: my integrity, my reputation, my career, my
livelihood, my marriage, my family, and my freedom.


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Reviews for Personal Foul: A First-Person Account of the Scandal that Rocked the NBA:

1

Dec 26, 2009

This review was reprinted from my website Secure Immaturity. Please check out the site and comment on this review and others.

The first thought that went through my head as I picked up Personal Foul, an insultingly cheesy title for a book, was, man, Tim Donaghy is a dickface, but I said it with a meh quality. As I read the text and realized Donaghy is indeed a dickface (as well as an untalented, unfunny, ridiculously boring-redundant author), I said, with more energy, man, Tim Donaghy is a This review was reprinted from my website Secure Immaturity. Please check out the site and comment on this review and others.

The first thought that went through my head as I picked up Personal Foul, an insultingly cheesy title for a book, was, ‘man, Tim Donaghy is a dickface’, but I said it with a ‘meh’ quality. As I read the text and realized Donaghy is indeed a dickface (as well as an untalented, unfunny, ridiculously boring-redundant author), I said, with more energy, ‘man, Tim Donaghy is a fucking dickface’. When I put the book down, after reading his ideas on how to fix the NBA (which was the only thing that actually made me laugh in the book), I threw the book against the wall and proclaimed, with all the truth and majesty my voice could muster, ‘I WISH YOU WERE DEAD YOU MOTHERFUCKING DICKFACE!’ I’m sorry, but reading (and looking at) Tim Donaghy makes me want to use foul (no pun intended) language. . .because nothing good can come out of reading this man’s work.

But I had too. I wanted too even. And excruciating word after excruciating word, I kept reading. Because I wanted to find something worth reading. . .something that makes the money I spent on the book and the research I did on the rat fink be worth anything. But alas, all that is offered is a ‘poignant’ (hey, that’s what the back cover said) life story of a disgraced but morally sound (that’s what he wants us to think anyways) ex-referee who wants to tell you the truth. Mr. Ratfink, instead of inspirational thoughts and clean confessions, offers nothing more then half-truths, myriad excuses, and endlessly insulting attempts at humor. The only thing Ratfink is consistent with is his ability to confuse his own moral code which makes the final chapter, ‘Fixing the NBA’ (a play on words, I assume), immensely laughable.

But we’ll get to that later. Let’s focus on the main points Ratfink brings up in his book. In a somewhat chronological fashion, Ratfink brings up how he came to be addicted to gambling, how he bet on the games (and how), how games of importance have been effected (all except the what games were effected part), and what life in prison was like and how referees everywhere are scumbags! Um. . .yeah. . .you were one. . .you pile of dick and you are the poster boy of that stereotype (of one) you claim exists. In fact, the book’s subtitle should have been changed from A First-Person Account of the Scandal That ROCKED the NBA to A Psychological Study in Denial: The Scorched Earth Policy.


See Donaghy spends most of his time assuring us he didn’t fix any games. No, he only told people to make bets on certain teams based on his intricate guessing system which, naturally, is based on the deceit and evil of other refs. Of course, Donaghy is officiating many games he has placed bets on but maintains he had 100% complete objectivity. Donaghy is VERY adamant about this. He maintains that despite emotional conflict, a gambling addiction, and large amounts of money on the line, later with mob members, he kept a clear head and called the games fairly and without subjectivity. Hmmm. . .I’m going to have to call bullshit on this one.

Proving his own claims wrong is, ironically, his own book. Though Donaghy takes no personal blame for anything except his quasi-illegal betting picks (he didn’t really do anything wrong. . .sort of. . .well according to his lying ratfink dick face) he explains how ALL of the referees in the NBA have personal biases that swing games. One ref hates Allen Iverson so Iverson will always have a bad night with that ref and his team will pretty much always lose because that ref will throw the entire game into chaos because of his hatred for the man! Donaghy never seems to stake his claim on being biased too often (he tries to look like the perfect referee just watching other supposed screwballs punish others for their prejudices) but does manage to admit, when humor is apparently readily available, that he and his ref buddies had a great, hooting time, punishing other players and coaches for shits and giggles.

Of course, the NBA itself was responsible for this: not Donaghy or the refs. But wait. . .didn’t you just say the refs do influence the games based on personal preference? Wait, no, he’s saying the league dictates the prejudice by issuing commands to follow one rule or the other. I see. . .wait. . .that doesn’t make sense. The refs are defying the NBA’s fairness by acting alone but with the NBA’s directives to defy the rules. Man, this is making my head explode. . .as I’m sure it did Donaghy who is just trying to make everyone look as bad as himself all at the same time. The entire book is filled with false apologies followed by how bad other guys are too. The problem Ratfink? No one backs up your claims, no has been convicted of anything as bad as you have (though Donaghy tries to tie a taxing scandal with refs to his fraud activities. . .unconvincingly), and everyone knows you are a filthy lying turd face.

If you think I’m going on the guy too hard. . .the only person who would do the introduction for the travesty of his book was the FBI agent who was interrogating him. HAHAHAHAHA. . .really? Do you have any friends at all Ratfink? And the introduction upends all of Donaghy’s claims. The FBI agent basically says, in the most political way possible, that Donaghy exaggerates and, while forthcoming to the investigation (I’ll give Donaghy that. . .except for the ‘let me fuck everyone else on the planet while I’m here’), was a corrupt official who, though he can hang his head up high now (supposedly), did bad, bad, things.

The poor introduction to Donaghy’s character (did Donaghy read that thing?) isn’t helped by Donaghy’s poor story telling. He claims to be a moral man who never did anything wrong until he got addicted to gambling in Atlantic City as a high roller and rubbing elbows with celebrities (who don’t fucking like you douche. . .you’re a fucking ref not Ray Liotta in Goodfellas! (though he does say he was living like Ray Liotta in Goodfellas at one point. . .and I’m not kidding)). But then he’ll drop in. . .’oh yeah, I had someone take my SATs once to get into college. But besides THAT I was great before the whole gambling fraud thingy. Oh and I had a secret relationship with a woman friend in Arizona that I hid from my wife. But it wasn’t anything serious. . .I love my wife! So yeah, I’m pretty much perfect. Well, I would use my children to play pranks on the paparazzi camped in my drive way and have a good laugh. . .but yeah. . .I am a good Christian Philadelphia boy. . .I am. . .seriously. . .no more revelations. . .’

I won’t get too batshit crazy about Donaghy’s writing style since he isn’t a professional writer or anything. . .but it is awful. Anytime you end a paragraph with a tired, cliched sentence capped with an exclamation point, it spells trouble. Example (verbatim, made up, or from how I interpreted the crap text): ‘We would go to Atlantic City and drive our BMWs looking like Danny Ocean. I would drop $10,000 easy and have a nice steak dinner. We had some laughs and got along real well. Money on my mind and my mind on my money!’ or ‘Dick Bavetta hated Allen Iverson so much he would have sexual fantasies about owning him as a slave in the South. The Sixers lost big that night and I covered the spread. Relationships, baby, relationships!’ Shoot me. And his use of movie/gangster ‘terminology’ was driving me crazy. Having that doofus ratfink say goomba and wiseguy was bad enough but he decides, at one point, to stop calling money ‘dollars’ or even the cheesy ‘big ones’ and just call them apples. Trust me. . .after you here Ratfink say ‘apples’ sixteen times in a row you’ll want to find Donaghy and impale his ratfink face with the book he wrote.

I suppose the only intriguing aspect of the book was the short chapter on Donaghy in prison but other then that, his inability to admit the truth just makes the book a giant faux-apology with tiny tidbits of NBA life in there. I suppose that is interesting to some but can it be believed? The guy spends his time talking about how coaches and players were his buddies and shared laughs with him and, after explaining how great some of the refs are and how meaningful they are to him, throws them under the bus. . .what can be believed?

And if your surprised that there really aren’t ANY inside things going on in the book, then you have been fooled by this doofus from the start. Donaghy doesn’t hesitate to talk about the modern NBA’s three most ‘discussed’ conspiracy theories (Kings-Laker 2002, Mavs-Heat 2006 Finals, and Spurs-Suns 2007) but he offers nothing substantial and can only provide speculation that is highly doubtful. For instance, Donaghy goes on and on about how all refs hate Mark Cuban (the Mavs owner) and the dude who owns the Heat. Based on his continued theories he says that the Mavs and Heat suffered from ref hatred. A)wouldn’t they go fucking 0-82 every fucking year and B)how the hell did they BOTH reach the NBA Finals with this immense bias out there for both owners and C)how did the refs pick who they hated MORE when the Finals rolled around? If they hated Cuban AND the Heat owner so bad, why did they organize a thrilling Heat comeback from 0-2 down? Are you kidding me Ratfink????

I guess you can ascertain that I think Donaghy is a liar. I was hoping I’d get a full apology and an understanding of what was committed during Ratfink’s tenure as a ref. Instead, he explains how what he did was sort of wrong and how there are other douches like him who do worse but aren’t punished for it. Wah. Go home and cry to momma. Donaghy fails to understand that his story is isolated. . .he did bad, stupid things and no one is buying his bullshit: not even the public. How did the NBA suffer from any of this? It had a few bad press days but moved on. Donaghy hates how he was a ‘rouge’ referee and makes sure to destroy everyone else’s names so they can join him on his level and even asks at the end of the book, ‘will anyone listen’? Um, no. You’re a ratfink and in your pathetic attempts to warm our souls with your confessions, you have only created more doubt. Go to hell Tim ‘Ratfink’ Donaghy and take your shit book with you.
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2

Jun 29, 2013

Wow, i had no idea donaghy was such a pathological liar, degenerate gambler and overall scumbag. yet he writes a book and tries to act as if he is a nice guy. interesting insight into the mind and bias nature of the nba though.
2

Jan 28, 2020

I was disappointed in this review of the authors actions. I dont know what I expected, but not this
I was disappointed in this review of the authors actions. I don’t know what I expected, but not this
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4

Feb 04, 2017

I've recently been very interested in the NBA; watching as many games as possible, watching videos on YouTube about anything related to the game, checking scores nightly, etc. So naturally I'm going to have interest in a book with explosive details of one of the biggest scandals to ever hit the league.
This first person account was incredibly eye opening. So much of the book is giving an inside look at how the game works behind the scenes, as part of the employees' everyday lives. And honestly I've recently been very interested in the NBA; watching as many games as possible, watching videos on YouTube about anything related to the game, checking scores nightly, etc. So naturally I'm going to have interest in a book with explosive details of one of the biggest scandals to ever hit the league.
This first person account was incredibly eye opening. So much of the book is giving an inside look at how the game works behind the scenes, as part of the employees' everyday lives. And honestly it's shocking. The level of corruption among referees, coaches, and also higher-ups within the NBA is astounding! Refs manipulate games nightly! They'll bet on who will call the first foul, and then try to hold out so they don't lose the bet. They'll give favors to coaches and players they have good relationships with, and alternatively they'll target coaches and players they have grudges against. They'll ignore blatant fouls or turnovers committed by big name stars because "people don't pay to watch stars sit on the bench". Some will make calls for the express purpose of lessening the extent of a blowout, some will deliberately change the outcome of a game to extend a playoff series. And what's most upsetting is that sometimes the NBA front office will tell them to do these things.
I realize the NBA is about making money just like the other professional sports leagues, but it seems that they're hardly even pretending that they want fair games as their product. There are just too many examples of games that were manipulated by referees and/or the front office, particularly in playoff scenarios (2002 WCF, 2006 Finals, the list continues).
Maybe I'm a purist, but I kind of want the game to be a game, and not a scripted show. It's disheartening as a fan to watch a close contest and know that I might not be seeing impartial calls deciding the games I'm paying to watch. If it gets to the point that Ralph Nader writes a letter to the NBA commissioner asserting that people see enough corruption and lies in politics and don't need to see more in the sports they watch, you might have a problem.
If anyone is interested, I would definitely recommend this book, or I'm always willing to rant about it myself too.
TL;DR: the NBA is rigged and it makes me mad. ...more
4

Mar 02, 2019

Highly recommended for fans of basketball and the NBA, especially if youre interested in Sacramentos game 6 of the 2002 playoff series with the Lakers.
Bottom line:
Whether you are someone who pays big bucks for a seat in the arena or watching from the comfort of home, are you watching to see a game or a show?
They call it making it to the show for a reason. Highly recommended for fans of basketball and the NBA, especially if you’re interested in Sacramento’s game 6 of the 2002 playoff series with the Lakers.
Bottom line:
Whether you are someone who pays big bucks for a seat in the arena or watching from the comfort of home, are you watching to see a game or a show?
They call it “making it to the show” for a reason. ...more
3

Feb 11, 2017

Just OK

The author spends too much time pointing out the flaws of others and making allegations. Seems to want to blame everyone but himself.
5

Dec 21, 2017

Was as salacious as I expected, and I loved it! Not deep, but eye opening.
2

Feb 09, 2019

Interesting read if you're a basketball fan, I just don't know how much truth is in Tim's allegations.
2

Jan 24, 2020

It was important to me to read this book so I could hear both sides of the story. If youre a gambler and NBA fan like me then its worth a read. I wouldnt recommend it to the average fan or casual reader. It was important to me to read this book so I could hear both sides of the story. If you’re a gambler and NBA fan like me then it’s worth a read. I wouldn’t recommend it to the average fan or casual reader. ...more
4

Dec 05, 2015

It was a scandal that rocked the sports world and made tabloids write some interesting headlines. When NBA referee Tim Donaghy was questioned by the FBI and later sent to prison for his involvement with organized crime while gambling on basketball games, it left the league scrambling to defend its reputation. Donaghy decided to write about his actions and how it led to his downfall after a successful career as an NBA referee. His book makes for some eye-opening reading.

What is most striking It was a scandal that rocked the sports world and made tabloids write some interesting headlines. When NBA referee Tim Donaghy was questioned by the FBI and later sent to prison for his involvement with organized crime while gambling on basketball games, it left the league scrambling to defend its reputation. Donaghy decided to write about his actions and how it led to his downfall after a successful career as an NBA referee. His book makes for some eye-opening reading.

What is most striking about Donaghy’s information that he passed to members of crime families is how simple it was to obtain. Donaghy didn’t pour over advanced statistics or even analyze player matchups between the teams. He simply looked at who were the referees working a particular game and knowing that one of these officials may have a grudge against one of the coaches or players, he knew that one team might have a significant advantage

It was also interesting to read about one common perception coming true. Many basketball fans, reporters, players and coaches have believed that superstar players usually receive favorable treatment and calls. Donaghy, through his years as an NBA referee, provides insight and information that confirms this belief through his interactions with players and fellow referees. He also speaks of the league directing its officials to help ensure that a playoff series goes longer and that the larger markets advance in the playoffs. As an example of the latter item, he uses the sixth game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Sacramento Kings in 2002 to show how the way a game is officiated can affect a lot more than just the final score.

The mood of the book is not one of anger nor pity for Donaghy’s situation. He realizes his mistakes and knows that he has to pay the price through a prison term and in personal life. He doesn’t make excuses nor does he show much anger toward anyone else. While he did commit crimes, I found this memoir very interesting for the inside look at the world of basketball referees and just how much influence they have on the game. It is a book that all basketball fans will enjoy reading

http://sportsbookguy.blogspot.com/201...
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4

Feb 19, 2010

I found this an intersting read... There was an unedited quality to this book - and by that I don't know that he actually had an editor or even know what company actually touched this hot potato to put it out there. That being said, it was kind of diary-esque... and not very high on the list of grammatically correct/coherent writings (but who am I to judge - lol).

I was vaguely aware of this scandal - can't say that I remember it when it actually happened, but as a fan of the game and having I found this an intersting read... There was an unedited quality to this book - and by that I don't know that he actually had an editor or even know what company actually touched this hot potato to put it out there. That being said, it was kind of diary-esque... and not very high on the list of grammatically correct/coherent writings (but who am I to judge - lol).

I was vaguely aware of this scandal - can't say that I remember it when it actually happened, but as a fan of the game and having read some other insiders accounts on the player side recently, I thought this would be an interesting contrast.

As anyone who doesn't have their head in the sand will attest to - the NBA is a business. And being a business, there are a lot of things that aren't quite right about it. I believe much of what he reports about preferntial treatment and series manipulation. What I don't necessarily care about is his need to confess his sins - which is a big part of what this book it about. However, since the NBA tossed him out in the cold this was probably one of the only ways he could keep his head above water financially as there is a market for this type of book.

There were other scandals that were handled differently - the individuals were reprimanded but ultimately "forgiven" by the establishment. Tim was unquestionably and unceremoniously ostracized. Not all that surprizing... hard to come back from a federal indictment and jail sentence...

He's right about cleaning up the refereeing... maybe not with how he suggests it - but it is necessary. There are refs that have never even played the game... no credibility... no understanding... just good "do what they are told" type refs. The ref pecking order is as much a popularity contest and like any other company... promotions based on who likes who instead of who works teh hardest and does the best job.

I am not bitter about it - I am a realist... nothing happens over night and nothing happens if upper management doesn't want it to... That being said... I take this book for what it is... his side... the truth as they say is somewhere in the middle... ...more
4

Feb 19, 2016

Personal Foul by Tim Donaghy is a action novel about a young referee coming out of Philadelphia and making a impact on players, coaches, and other referee's in the NBA. Just getting to the NBA he was the gambling type and calls this "the kiss of death". This gives me the idea that stage of your life you can actually be comfortable with losing money that couldn't even take a hit on your bank account. Anyway, This character loved the game of basketball so much. He showed this by shooting hoops, Personal Foul by Tim Donaghy is a action novel about a young referee coming out of Philadelphia and making a impact on players, coaches, and other referee's in the NBA. Just getting to the NBA he was the gambling type and calls this "the kiss of death". This gives me the idea that stage of your life you can actually be comfortable with losing money that couldn't even take a hit on your bank account. Anyway, This character loved the game of basketball so much. He showed this by shooting hoops, perfecting his dribble, and working on his jump shot. His dream was to play in the NBA, so everything he did in his life would benefit his dream.


There are numerous things I like about this book. The book is very cool. Mostly because it entertains readers that relate to basketball. This book also explains what happens inside the NBA. For instance, the referee explains what goes on around the court. Including the langauge, tone, and emotion of plaers. If it wasn't for this book I would'nt have a better understanding of what goes on in the NBA. Another thing I like about this book is that the referee is very familar with Philadelphia. Which shows me he went through a lot of struggles. Although the book is very good. There is still flaws along the way. One thing I don't like about the book is that the referee does'nt have a name. This is something I never came across, and I hope I don't see this again in any other books. Another thing I dislike in the book is the time period it was made in. I would have liked it more if it were the players of today. That way I could understand there life situations on the court, rathering then seeing it from the stands or on television.


Even though the book had some dislikes, I think people that like basketball or that can relate to this should definetley read this book. I think this will benefit readers because it emphasizes the main focus point in a young person's life. I realize you have to sacrifice a lot of things to get where you want to go. I learned that through expirence and I hope reading this book will get others to do the same. ...more
4

Feb 20, 2017

Unfortunate insights of how the NBA, is a capitalist corporation, trying to optimize their bottom line. Although, Tim is a little shady trying to save face from his wrongdoing, there are many incorrect decisions being made on all levels. However, still had Fun stories of NBA stars, referees and coaches. I would recommend reading it.
5

Oct 22, 2011


Donaghy's chronicle of his journey from ref to riches and then all the way down to the jailhouse is the best story I've read in years - and it's a non-fictional one! Sure, he was once a crooked refereree, but after going to jail, he goes through the obligatory transformation to remorseful informant. But what makes this book great is everything that happens along the way. His dealings with the mob, the corrupt old boy network of NBA referees, federal agents, his rich cronies and his cellmates in
Donaghy's chronicle of his journey from ref to riches and then all the way down to the jailhouse is the best story I've read in years - and it's a non-fictional one! Sure, he was once a crooked refereree, but after going to jail, he goes through the obligatory transformation to remorseful informant. But what makes this book great is everything that happens along the way. His dealings with the mob, the corrupt old boy network of NBA referees, federal agents, his rich cronies and his cellmates in prison, make every chapter of this book a page-turner. Unsurprisingly, Donaghy becomes a sympathetic character. You can't help but pull for him as he shows moxie while contending with gang-members in prison. "Personal Foul" is also something of a guilty pleasure, giving you insight on something you weren't really ever meant to see - the corruption inside the NBA. While Donaghy insists he never altered an NBA game's outcome, he admits his abusive transgressions and details how he carried them out. More importantly,
Donaghy disusses the rampant abuses that take place routinely in the world of NBA refereeing. There's never a dull moment in Donaghy's long strange trip.
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5

Feb 20, 2012

An amazing confirmation of the influence referees have on NBA games. Tim Donaghy writes about games and referees that as a long-time NBA fan I recognize to be true. The Western Conf finals stolen from the Kings; how Jake O'Donnell hated Clyde Drexler; how David Stern tries to hide it all. Sure Donaghy gambled and screwed up, but it took someone who had nothing to lose to tell the stories we all knew were there.

Offending referees still call the games today. Some have their own felony convictions, An amazing confirmation of the influence referees have on NBA games. Tim Donaghy writes about games and referees that as a long-time NBA fan I recognize to be true. The Western Conf finals stolen from the Kings; how Jake O'Donnell hated Clyde Drexler; how David Stern tries to hide it all. Sure Donaghy gambled and screwed up, but it took someone who had nothing to lose to tell the stories we all knew were there.

Offending referees still call the games today. Some have their own felony convictions, as you may recall the airline ticket cash-in scheme. Those referees were convicted of tax crimes as they stole from their employer.

It's a shame the game I love more than any other sport is ran by greedy, rich 1%-ers trying to milk it for every penny they can. The referees are just a reflection of their leaders. ...more
3

Jul 04, 2013

Certainly a fascinating tale, marred only by the fact that it would have worked better as a Vanity Fair article (that's a compliment, since VF is probably my favorite magazine of all time) rather than a full length book. Additionally, since it was self-published, Mr. Donaghy could have used an editor. Or at least a firm grip on the subjunctive. That said, the tale of moving from NBA ref to degenerate gambler to mob connection was interesting. Also, I loved the stories about the refs and the Certainly a fascinating tale, marred only by the fact that it would have worked better as a Vanity Fair article (that's a compliment, since VF is probably my favorite magazine of all time) rather than a full length book. Additionally, since it was self-published, Mr. Donaghy could have used an editor. Or at least a firm grip on the subjunctive. That said, the tale of moving from NBA ref to degenerate gambler to mob connection was interesting. Also, I loved the stories about the refs and the players. I'm well aware that Kevin Garnett is a master of the obscenity, but to hear a first person account of it was quite hilarious.

Totally recommend the read if you're into the NBA and all of that shit. Easy to rip through. ...more
0

Jun 02, 2013

Wow this book created some tension because he may have changed the outcome of some basketball games that were very important. Just knowing that some games were rigged scares me because now there will be speculations when NbA games are played and if one team is called for more fouls, we will automatically think the game is rigged. this is a terrible issue because now we think everything is rigged and we don't believe anything now. I think he was a selfish person and he ruined the game for Wow this book created some tension because he may have changed the outcome of some basketball games that were very important. Just knowing that some games were rigged scares me because now there will be speculations when NbA games are played and if one team is called for more fouls, we will automatically think the game is rigged. this is a terrible issue because now we think everything is rigged and we don't believe anything now. I think he was a selfish person and he ruined the game for everyone. ...more
5

Jul 07, 2012

AMAZING story. Every sports fan should read this. This applies to the NBA, so no one is saying that every professional sport has this problem, but this explains how games are in fact manipulated as to outcome. Kind of scary stuff. No question this ref was the fall guy, because the crime that was committed here, the conspiracy was so much bigger than he was. He went to jail for betting on an NBA game, but in truth, his part was minimal. Don't take my word for it, you need to read this one(or pass AMAZING story. Every sports fan should read this. This applies to the NBA, so no one is saying that every professional sport has this problem, but this explains how games are in fact manipulated as to outcome. Kind of scary stuff. No question this ref was the fall guy, because the crime that was committed here, the conspiracy was so much bigger than he was. He went to jail for betting on an NBA game, but in truth, his part was minimal. Don't take my word for it, you need to read this one(or pass it on to a sports fan.) ...more
3

Dec 20, 2010

I'm not sure how much to believe about this book, as Donaghy comes off as having a huge ego, to say the least. He constantly stresses that while he bet on games, he never "fixed" them and that there is a difference. While much of the book can be believed and is disheartening to NBA fans, the overall measure of what to believe is unknown.

What sticks out is the info on the often debated Game 6 of the 2002 Western Conference finals, where everyone knows the Kings got hosed by the refs.

Worth a read I'm not sure how much to believe about this book, as Donaghy comes off as having a huge ego, to say the least. He constantly stresses that while he bet on games, he never "fixed" them and that there is a difference. While much of the book can be believed and is disheartening to NBA fans, the overall measure of what to believe is unknown.

What sticks out is the info on the often debated Game 6 of the 2002 Western Conference finals, where everyone knows the Kings got hosed by the refs.

Worth a read if you are a conspiracy-theory hound, or big time NBA fan.

themixtapemonster.com ...more
0

Jan 16, 2016

If you are an NBA fan or even a casual fan this is a very good first account book written by a disgraced ref. I applaud Tim Donaghy's willingness to write the book and own up to what he did wrong. I have often said that the NBA is fixed and in need of repair so I was not really surprised at some of the things I read in this book. As long as the NBA is a player's league and the players control everything it will never have a lot of integrity.
5

May 31, 2010

Walked into the library, saw this book in the new nonfiction section, checked it and read it in two days.

I had no clue as to the favoritism, vendettas, special treatment and dishonesty that is the NBA culture. Congratulations to former NBA referee and convicted felon, Tim Donaghy, for coming clean, paying this debt to society and rebuilding his life. It took a lot of courage.
2

Jul 04, 2016

Badly written as you'd expect - though with a rule of no more than three cliches per sentence - the book also fails to visit upon the NBA all the scorn it richly deserves for thirty years of rigging games. No more than a day should be spent on it.
5

May 15, 2013

A great read for anyone who watches or works in the NBA. I believe Donaghy is a better person for having this experience and has done a service to all by writing the book. I believe it often takes a good dose of humility to become a better person.
2

Aug 29, 2019

Bias- Im a lifelong Sacramento Kings fan, and was a child during the 2002 NBA Western Conference Finals. A lot of fans in Sacramento are still bitter in how that series turned out.

TD: I didnt fix games, I made bets on insider info I knew based kn personal/professional relationships with players, refs, and coaches around the league.
Me: You partook in fixed bets, then.


Im unsure if this book was a part of a plea-deal. He practically ratted out the entire league, the profession of reffing in the NBA Bias- I’m a lifelong Sacramento Kings fan, and was a child during the 2002 NBA Western Conference Finals. A lot of fans in Sacramento are still bitter in how that series turned out.

TD: I didn’t fix games, I made bets on insider info I knew based kn personal/professional relationships with players, refs, and coaches around the league.
Me: You partook in fixed bets, then.


I’m unsure if this book was a part of a plea-deal. He practically ratted out the entire league, the profession of reffing in the NBA and the bias the business side has.
Half of the book is TD processing (and perhaps he still is) his role in the cluster fuck, and the other half is him ratting out.

As much as I dislike TD- I do give him credit in owning ip to it, and choosing to write about it. Best of wishes to this guy and getting his life back on his feet. ...more
4

Jul 10, 2017

Growing up, I loved watching the NBA. I still turn on the game from time to time and watch my Pacers play. When I heard about Donaghy I was completely shocked. I never thought such things could happen. His book opened my eyes to things right in front of me. I read the book with a grain of salt, however. I can't believe it's ALL true but I do believe his story has stem from some form of truth. Overall, his account off what goes on in the NBA is interesting to read.

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