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How former ref Tim Donaghy conspired to fix NBA games

James”Jimmy””Bah-Bah””The Sheep” Battista was a stressed-out, obese, Oxy-addicted 41-year-old, in the pit to some underground gamblers for sums he’d kind of lost track of, even when he settled in to watch an NBA game he thought he would just put in the fix. It was January 2007. A month or so ago, long before Christmas, he’d done something adventuresome: He had sat down and cut a deal with an NBA referee. He feared the scheme had become overly obvious.
“You want get compensated?” Battista had said to the ref. “Then you gotta pay 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 reduction. A”free roster,” as they call it. But this referee did not lose much. His picks were winning at an 88 percent clip, entirely unheard of sports betting for any sustained period of time. They’re now entering the first week of this scheme — what you could call a sustained time period.
Battista had understood the ref, Timmy Donaghy, for 25 decades. They’d gone to the same parochial high school in the working-class Catholic neighborhoods of Delaware County, just outside Philadelphia — Delco, since it’s sometimes called — in which the sports bars are abundant, where a particular easy familiarity with all forms of gambling prevails, where guys have bookies like they’ve got dentists.
Battista was a creature of that world. He was what is known as a mover. Strictly speaking, movers are neither gamblers nor bookmakers. They are a species of broker that provides services to sports bettors, putting down wagers on their clients’ behalf with bookmakers of various types around the world, lawful and not. Battista was set well enough in that world which, without Donaghy’s understanding but predicated on Donaghy’s selections, he had helped put up a kind of loose, disorderly hedge fund. Several individuals from the sports-betting underworld had, in effect, staked Battista a basketball — a fund that he was now having to bet games officiated by this one NBA referee. One member of the team called it”the ticket” and”the company.”

Read more: statesmannews.com