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Tim Donaghy Explains NBA Finals Foul Calls for Fun and Profit

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Tim Donaghy has to make a living and he is promoting himself and his book in every way possible, especially during his former employer's biggest event of the year, the NBA finals.

The disgraced former NBA ref is two years past the revelations about his criminal behavior that sent him to prison.

Having appeared on the Dan Patrick radio program during early rounds of the playoffs, he has moved to an Internet platform for the Celts vs. Lakers series, Deadspin.com.

Donaghy provides the site with a quarter-by-quarter breakdown of many of the fouls called on the floor.

He is not shy about declaring the calls legit or bogus but the most interesting part of his analysis entails giving reasons why a foul was or was not called.

That, of course is what fans will hang their hats on to claim referee bias towards or against their team. It is also fodder for more conversation about whether the league is systematically making subjective decisions based on factors other than the rules.

Not doing that is humanly impossible, especially if the refs believe as many others do that a foul might be committed 90% of the time in the course of a game.

To keep the games from running 4-5 hours and fouling every one out, judgment is exercised by the refs. By its very nature that presumes subjectivity.

Yet, there are non-calls that Donaghy flat out says are purposeful and have more to do with making amends for other calls in the game or trying to be fair to both teams.

Donaghy's analysis is interesting and could be more so if he had more space to to fill. But at Deadspin, there is a limit to the words you can scribble on any particular subject.

While on the radio program with Dan Patrick he listed nefarious reasons for making calls that we have all heard before. Extending a series is one, being certain the ugly step-child team won't make it to the finals is another.

What Donaghy has stopped doing is making the case that former colleagues are still engaging in the same behavior that got him thrown in the slam.

That seems to be a tease for his book, Personal Foul: A First Person Account of the Scandal that Rocked the NBA. But nothing is ever easy in the life of Tim Donaghy.

He has split with the publisher of his book and there are nasty things being thrown around by both sides about it all. Donaghy says he wasn't getting the straight story about his sales results and royalties earned. The publisher says Donaghy threatened them, resorting to mentioning his former ties with underworld figures.

In the meantime, check out his Deadspin columns and see how often you agree or disagree with Donaghy's calls as he watches on TV just like the rest of us.

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