This Day in History: Tim Donaghy Pleads Guilty in Illegal Gambling Case

Former NBA referee Tim Donaghy pleads guilty to felony gambling
On August 15, 2007, Tim Donaghy plead guilty to two felonies for betting on NBA games - some of which, he refereed - and secretly advising professional gamblers.

Donaghy later announced he was receiving help for gambling addiction, which his lawyer said is what led to his criminal actions.

NBA conspiracy theorists have long believed Donaghy's claims that games in the early- and mid-2000s were fixed by referees, with the encouragement of the NBA's league office.

These theories garner the most attention in the playoffs, when teams shoot significantly more free throws than their opponents - see the game 6 of the 2002 Western Conference Finals, or the Mavs' 2006 finals appearance.

Despite these conspiracy, nothing of merit has ever shown the NBA to be influencing games.

More skeptical observers believe, if NBA referees were involved in illegal gambling operations, they would be more concerned with the over/under than the winner.

The NBA has vehemently denied any and all allegations of this being a widespread issue.

Donaghy, who was an NBA referee for over a decade, was released from prison in 2009.

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