|Game 5 refs: Scott Foster, Bill Spooner, Ron Garretson||05.11.11 at 9:56 am ET|
The officials for Wednesday night’s Celtics-Heat Game 5 in Miami are Scott Foster, Bill Spooner and Ron Garretson.
All three will be overseeing a Celtics game for the first time this postseason. All three officiated one game of the Heat’s first-round playoff series vs. the 76ers.
Foster has recovered from his friendship with disgraced former official Tim Donaghy and has received key assignments from the NBA. He was part of the officiating crew for last year’s Game 7 of the NBA finals, which the Celtics lost to the Lakers.
Spooner is the referee who filed suit against Associated Press reporter Jon Krawczynski after an incident in a Jan. 24 game between the Timberwolves and Rockets. Krawczynski reported that Spooner told Timberwolves coach Kurt Rambis he would “get it back” after making a bad call and then made “an even worse call on the Rockets.” Spooner sued for $75,000 and a retraction.
Garretson, the son of former longtime referee Darell Garretson, and Spooner are both Southern California natives who have officiated in the NBA for more than two decades.
|Game 4 officials: Monty McCutchen, Tony Brothers, Derrick Stafford||05.09.11 at 11:58 am ET|
The NBA announced the referee crew for Game 4 of the Celtics‘ playoff series with the Heat, and it consists of Monty McCutchen, Tony Brothers and Derrick Stafford. Rodney Mott is the alternate.
McCutchen was on the TD Garden court for the Celtics’ 87-85 comeback victory over the Knicks in Game 1 of the first round on April 17. That game featured a couple a couple of controversial calls that went the Celtics’ way. McCutchen called Carmelo Anthony for an offensive foul for pushing off Paul Pierce while trying to get room to receive the ball with 21 seconds left and the Knicks holding a one-point lead. Then, when Knicks guard Toney Douglas tripped over Kevin Garnett‘s leg on a screen while Ray Allen hit the game-winning shot, no foul was called.
In the last three playoff games McCutchen has officiated this postseason (Mavericks-Trail Blazers on April 28, Hawks-Bulls on May 2, Mavericks-Lakers on May 4), the visiting team has won.
Brothers has refereed four games this postseason, all wins by the home team. He officiated the Heat in the first round, a 97-91 victory over the 76ers on April 27 that ended that series in five games.
Stafford will be officiating a Celtics game for the first time this postseason. According to former referee Tim Donaghy, Stafford has had some issues with the Heat in past years. Donaghy wrote in his book about his gambling problems that Stafford “despised Heat coach Pat Riley” in reference to a 2007 game between the Heat and Knicks, although Donaghy’s assertion that Stafford was biased in that game was debunked by reporters’ analysis. Riley now is Miami’s team president.
|Irish Coffee: NBA conspiracy theories||10.13.10 at 10:28 am ET|
Wake up with the Celtics and your daily dose of Irish Coffee …
It’s time for a conspiracy theory. I’m sure you’ve all heard about Game 6 of the 2002 Western Conference finals between the Kings and Lakers — one of several games former NBA ref Tim Donaghy accused the NBA of rigging in order to squeeze an extra game out of the series. Well, after yesterday’s unrelated arrest of one of the Lakers-Kings Game referees, let’s take a look at the aftermath … again.
- On July 20, 2007, New York Post columnist Murray Weiss reported an FBI investigation into Donaghy for betting on NBA games he officiated.
- On Feb. 11, 2008, one Kings-Lakers Game 6 referee, Bob Delaney, spoke with ESPN about his upcoming book, “Covert: My Years Infiltrating the Mob.” The former New Jersey State Police trooper admitted to these criminal activities during his investigation: “stolen property, loan sharking, gambling, purchasing of guns.”
- On June 11, 2008, The New York Times cited court documents in which Donaghy called out NBA executives and referees for manipulating games, including the 2002 series in question. Keep in mind, Donaghy had already pleaded guilty to conspiring with gamblers at this point.
- On June 13, 2008, we learned from ESPN’s Chris Sheridan that the FBI questioned at least two former NBA referees about another Lakers-Kings Game 6 ref, Dick Bavetta, more than they did Donaghy. In that report, the game’s third ref, Tim Bernhardt, said: “I stand by my calls in that game. I was right on. I believe in Dick Bavetta, and I believe in Bob Delaney, and I believe in the NBA for that matter.”
- On Dec. 8, 2009, in an interview with Dennis & Callahan, Donaghy said, “I had many conversations with Dick Bavetta and he claimed that he was the NBA’s go-to guy and he was put on certain games to make sure a certain team win.”
- On Oct. 12, 2010, according to WFIE.com, Bernhardt was arrested in Indiana for violating a restraining order taken out against him by his ex-girlfriend and allegedly burglarizing her residence.
So, to recap the facts, in the last three years the refereeing trio of Kings-Lakers Game 6 has: a) admitted to gambling with the mob, albeit during an investigation as a New Jersey State Police officer (Delaney); b) been the subject of the FBI’s questioning during their investigation into NBA referees (Bavetta); and c) been arrested and charged with burglary and violating a restraining order (Bernhardt).
While none of those incidents implicates any of the three officials or directly relates to the outcome of any NBA game, including Kings-Lakers Game 6, I give you this — in Delaney’s own words — from an interview with ESPN’s Bob Ley: “I have dealt with criminals and informants, and I know full well they are capable of doing and saying anything.”
Now, I know there are more holes in this story than there were in Sonny Corleone‘s car, but that’s why it’s called a conspiracy theory, right?
|Donaghy on D&C: Refs will be aggressive||06.08.10 at 11:11 am ET|
Donaghy was asked what we should expect from Dan Crawford, Bill Kennedy and Bennett Salvatore in Tuesday night’s Game 3. “I think it brings some aggressive refereeing to get some of these illegal screens and some of this matchup trouble cleaned up with some aggressive whistles,” he said. “I think you’re going to see a lot of illegal screens called, where Ray Allen was getting free in Los Angeles a lot, some of the the big guys setting some moving picks, I think you’re going to see those cleaned up early. And I also think you’re going to see a lot of fouls on Allen and [Derek] Fisher to get that matchup cleaned up early.”
Donaghy said Kobe Bryant’s prediction that he won’t get five fouls again is an accurate one. “I don’t think you’re going to see him in foul trouble again for a long, long time,” Donaghy said.
Asked whether the league wants to make sure there are no fights in this series, Donaghy said that’s clearly the officials’ strategy. “Absolutely,” he said. “Any time you’re involved in a fight in an NBA game, it causes an enormous amount of controvery and trouble. On the global stage of the NBA finals, you certainly don’t want players going at it. I think that’s why you’ve seen so many fouls recently and trying to get rid of the physical play to avoid that as much as possible.”
Donaghy did not offer a prediction on Tuesday’s game, but he said it’s obvious the NBA would prefer that the series does not end in Boston. “What’s good for the league is that this gets back to Los Angeles,” he said. “With that said, if Los Angeles can win one game out of these three, I think that’s what good for the league.
|Take that Tim Donaghy||12.08.09 at 7:56 pm ET|
Rivers was asked for his reaction to Donaghy’s claims on Dennis & Callahan on Tuesday that Rivers tried to intimidate younger NBA officials.
“I’ve been trying to get on younger players for a long time to persuade them to do things as well so I don’t know,” Rivers joked at first, before adding, “I’m so sick of that guy right now, I really am, for our league. I love our league and I hate what’s going on, that we’re giving a guy like that credibility.”
Donaghy ejected Rivers from a game back in April 2005. Rivers then lodged a complaint with the league, accusing Donaghy with personal bias against the Celtics coach.
|Tim Donaghy on D&C, 12/8||at 11:02 am ET|
Disgraced former NBA referee Tim Donaghy was a guest on the Dennis & Callahan show Tuesday morning and talked to the hosts about his method of betting NBA games, whether he thinks NBA players gamble on games (he does), why Rasheed Wallace is so hated by NBA refs and his problems with Doc Rivers.
This book seems like a story about a referee gone bad as much as it is an indictment on the lack of neutrality, integrity and fair competition in the NBA. Is that fair to say?
I think it’s fair to say that there are biases that took place and relationships that allowed me to place winning bets on NBA games.
We’ll get into that, but before we do that, you knew what you were doing was wrong. Your former partner James Battista described you as someone who couldn’t bet successfully on college and pro football, but could on the NBA based on your inside knowledge. Was there a moment where you decided that you would step over the line and bet on games that you were officiating?
Obviously, first of all, I didn’t get into betting on NBA games because I was in a big hole that I needed to climb out. I think it was a situation where over the years I realized that over the years these things were predictable and it was easy for me to place these bets on games knowing that I was going to have a high success rate placing winning bets.
Do you remember the night that you placed your first bet? There had to be a jumping off point where you thought, ‘I know this is wrong. I know I can get into a lot of trouble.’ Do you remember that moment in time?
Yeah I do. It was a situation where I was sitting at a country club with a friend. He had a Philadelphia Daily News and he made a comment to me that, basically, do you know who’s going to win these games? I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to say yes. I knew who was refereeing one particular game that night. There was a large point spread and I knew the habits of one particular referee and I told him to bet this game.
That was Dick Bavetta right?
When you say you know the habits of referees, whether it’s Dick Bavetta specifically or others, tell us what it is you know that allowed you to predict the outcome before the game is tossed in the air?
It wasn’t every night and every game that we bet. But there were relationships that existed, both positive and negative, and I used those relationships to make up my own line on NBA games. I would compare that line to what was in the newspaper and if there was a difference of four or five points I would tell them to bet the game.
What players were on the [negative] list?
There was Allen Iverson, Rasheed Wallace. Sometimes it had to with an owner. Maybe Mark Cuban [Dallas] or Robert Sarver [Phoenix]. There were situations where I knew personal biases would come into play. Read the rest of this entry »
|NBA ref scandal re-opened||11.25.09 at 7:51 pm ET|
The NBA referee gambling scandal was rekindled on Wednesday night when a source indicated that 13 NBA officials had contact with a reputed gambler, according to a report by WHDH-TV.
Former NBA official Tim Donaghy served 15 months in federal prison for admitting he worked with gamblers to provide tips on NBA games. The source told 7News on Wednesday that gambler Jimmy ‘The Sheep’ Battista implicated 13 other officials.
The first game Battista and Donaghy bet on together was the Celtics-76ers game in Dec. 2006 — a game Donaghy officiated and one the Celtics covered with ease. The source says Battista is making these claims as he works to finalize a tell-all book deal.