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 a underground gamblers for sums he’d kind of lost track of, even when he settled in to watch an NBA game for which he thought he would just put in the correct. It was January 2007. A month or so ago, long before Christmas, he had done something audacious: He had sat down and cut a deal with an NBA referee. He feared that the scheme had become too obvious.
„You want get compensated?“ Battista had said to the ref. „Then you have ta cover the f–ing spread“ The bribe was only two dimes, $2,000 per game — an outrageous deal. In case the choice won, the ref got his two dimes. In case the pick missed, the ref owed nothing; Battista would consume the loss. A“free roll,“ as they call it. However, this referee didn’t lose much. His selections were winning at an 88 percent clip, totally unheard of sports betting for any sustained time period. They’re now entering the first week of this plot — what you might call a sustained period of time.
Battista had understood the ref, Timmy Donaghy, for 25 years. They’d gone to the same parochial high school in the suburban neighborhoods of Delaware County, just outside Philadelphia — Delco, as it’s sometimes called — in which the sports bars are plentiful, where a certain easy familiarity with all forms of betting prevails, where guys have bookies like they have got dentists.
Battista was a creature of the world. He was what’s known as a mover. Strictly speaking, movers are neither gamblers nor bookmakers. They’re a species of broker that provides solutions to sports bettors, laying down wagers on their customers‘ benefit with bookmakers of various sorts around the Earth, legal and not. Battista was positioned well enough in that world that, without Donaghy’s understanding but based on Donaghy’s picks, he’d helped put up a kind of loose, disorderly hedge fund. Several people from the sports-betting underworld had, in consequence, staked Battista a basketball — a finance he was currently using to bet games officiated with this one NBA referee. One member of this group called it“the ticket“ and“the corporation.“

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