How former ref Tim Donaghy conspired to fix NBA games

James”Jimmy””Bah-Bah””The Sheep” Battista was a stressed-out, overweight, Oxy-addicted 41-year-old, at the hole to some underground gamblers for amounts he had kind of lost track of, when he settled in to watch an NBA game he thought he’d just put in the correct. It was January 2007. A month or so back, long before Christmas, he had done something adventuresome: He’d sat down and cut a deal with an NBA referee. He feared that the scheme had become overly obvious.
“You want get compensated?” Battista had stated to the ref. “Then you have ta cover the f–ing spread” The bribe was two dimes, $2,000 per game — an outrageous bargain. In case the pick won, the ref got his two dimes. If the pick missed, then the ref owed nothing; Battista would consume the loss. A”free roll,” as they call it. But this referee did not lose much. His picks were winning at an 88 percent clip, entirely unheard of in sports gambling for any sustained period of time. They’re now entering the sixth week of this plot — what you could call a sustained period of time.
Battista had known the ref, Timmy Donaghy, for 25 decades. They had gone to the same parochial high school in the working-class Catholic areas of Delaware County, just outside Philadelphia — Delco, since it’s sometimes called — in which the sports bars are plentiful, where a particular easy familiarity with forms of gambling prevails, where men have bookies like they’ve got dentists.
Battista was a monster of that world. He was what is called a mover. Strictly speaking, movers are neither gamblers nor bookmakers. They’re a species of agent that supplies services to sports bettors, putting down wagers in their clients’ behalf with bookmakers of various types around the world, legal and not. Battista was set well enough in that world that, without Donaghy’s understanding but predicated on Donaghy’s picks, he’d helped put up a kind of loose, disorderly hedge fund. Several individuals from the sports-betting underworld had, in effect, staked Battista a bankroll — a fund he was now having to bet on games officiated by this one NBA referee. One member of the group called it”the ticket” and”the corporation.”

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