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 had sort of lost track of, when he settled in to watch an NBA game he thought he’d simply put in the fix. It was January 2007. A month or so back, not long before Christmas, he had done something adventuresome: He’d sat down and cut a deal with an NBA referee. Now he feared 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 deal. If the pick won, the ref got his two dimes. If the choice missed, the ref owed nothing; Battista would eat the loss. A”free roll,” as they call it. However, this referee did not lose much. His selections were winning at an 88 percent clip, totally unheard of in sports gambling for any sustained period of time. They were now entering the first week of this scheme — what you might call a sustained time period.
Battista had understood the ref, Timmy Donaghy, for 25 years. They’d gone to the exact same parochial high school in the working-class Catholic neighborhoods of Delaware County, just outside Philadelphia — Delco, since it’s sometimes called — where the sports bars are abundant, where a certain easy familiarity with forms of betting prevails, where guys have bookies like they have got dentists.
Battista was a monster of the world. He was what is known as a mover. Strictly speaking, movers are neither gamblers nor bookmakers. They are a species of agent that provides services to sports bettors, putting down wagers on their customers’ behalf with bookmakers of various sorts around the Earth, legal and not. Battista was set well enough in that world that, without Donaghy’s knowledge but based on Donaghy’s picks, he’d helped set up a sort of loose, disorderly hedge fund. Several individuals from the sports-betting underworld had, in consequence, staked Battista a basketball — a finance that he was now using to bet games officiated by this one NBA referee. One member of the group called it”the ticket” and”the company.”

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