Are you surprised? I'm not. Ever since excerpts from my tell-all book on the internal improprieties of the NBA began to circulate in early November, the NBA's front office has pretended that the depictions detailed in my book, Personal Foul, are nothing more than the sour grape rumblings of a disgruntled and disgraced former employee. My days as an NBA referee were cut short and ended permanently by federal prison. The NBA wrote me off as a "rogue" referee as a public relations strategy hatched in their front office. But, if you've read my book and applied the content to the current, well-known NBA antics, witnessed by thousands each basketball season, you most certainly know better.
While my decision to engage in gambling on NBA games, by using internal NBA information as my guideline, was ill-advised, few can argue with the numerous first-hand stories of favoritism, preferential treatment, bias and discrimination that I detailed in the book. More amazing is that many of the common practices I described still occur on a daily basis and clearly impact the outcome of games. One only needs to know the content of my book and then apply the analysis to many games in the current NBA season to realize that the practices and tactics used in the past are commonplace. The NBA does not intend to change, and its smug attitude of being impervious and invulnerable to outside influence continues to be the mantra by which it moves forward. Rather, it has attempted to trample over, if not completely snuff out insiders like me who are not just speculating on what occurs in the NBA inner circle, but who have actual first-hand experience of the overwhelming forces that control every aspect of professional basketball.
So why would the NBA choose to ignore these glaring problems? Simple. Acknowledgment of these issues would open up a pipeline of criticism toward the current NBA structure and administration. Why allow that to occur? Why subject this authoritative organization to criticism that could tarnish the integrity of its own unique adaptation of the game? The fear of raised questions, lost sponsors, an eroding fan base and internal discontent, has paralyzed the NBA from making changes. The threat of lower ratings and less revenue, resulting in a discontent internal circle and an inability to pay astronomical salaries, has proven too much for the NBA to tackle.
The real game being played by the NBA is not the nightly administration of traveling violations, double dribbles, fouls, and scoring on the court. Rather, it is the invisible sport called control -- of the players, the networks, the referees, the matchups, the damage, and ultimately, the outcomes. Full control is tantamount to a dictatorship. And we all know that challenging a dictatorship leaves a long trail of frustration, insensitivity, and defeat. To silence the criticism and the subordinates, enables the "rogue" dictator, or organization, to stay in tact, and allows its own mis-deeds to continue.
The NBA allocates millions of dollars toward its effort to manage and control its daily operations and image. In contrast, I spent a few hundred dollars to hire Executive Prison Consultants, a top-drawer firm dedicated to helping those facing federal criminal charges, indictment, and imprisonment. The difference? The NBA will continue to squash the negative waves that crash its way regardless of the cost. On the other hand, I will pay the price for my indiscretion for the remainder of my life. My effort to reveal the lack of integrity and honesty that the NBA practices, will be swallowed up into the huge sports entertainment machine and eventually fade away -- at least until the next "rogue" employee has the courage to step out of the shadows and confront the unchallengeable dictator. So, before the message is completely squeezed out of the public eye, take a look at what I've said in Personal Foul. Those with a critical eye toward the NBA repeatedly state, "Donaghy is credible." The FBI went on record to state that "Donaghy Told the Truth." And those who have read it say "you will never watch an NBA game the same way again!" Are you surprised? I'm not!
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