Former NBA official Tim Donaghy joined me on the radio show to talk about officiating, star treatment and how the Warriors are officiated. Oh, also, his thoughts on punching out Joey Crawford during a spat in a New Jersey hotel lobby in 2001. “He smacked me across the face,” Donaghy said. “When he did that I immediately turned around and punched him with a left hook… I did drop him, but to his credit and I will give him credit, his head was like hitting a rock. He jumped right back up and we were ready to go right there in the lobby. There was a wedding going on. People were screaming. People grabbed him and people grabbed me. I got knocked out of the second-round of the playoffs for that. Cost me $15,000… there was a lot of people who thought Crawford got away with a lot and wanted to smack some manners on him.”
Tim Donaghy Rumors
On how the Warriors are officiated: “The crew knows that Golden State is kind of the golden child right now. They have the stars. They have the worldwide attention, global attention at this point, being the former champions. It definitely weighs on the referees.” On the NBA releasing a public evaluation of the last two minutes of games: “The (officials) can’t stand it. Because basically, it’s an embarrassment. It’s calling them out. It’s saying to the public that they made a mistake. It’s an embarrassment. They don’t like it at all.”
He joined Colin Cowherd Wednesday afternoon, and had a fascinating answer when asked what percentage of NBA referees gamble, not necessarily on basketball games, but just in general: “One-hundred percent,” Donaghy said without hesitation. When Cowherd repeated the number, Donaghy didn’t hesitate. “Absolutely (it’s 100 percent). When I was there, (and) David Stern did his investigation, he said ‘Legal gambling will cost you your job, illegal gambling will cost you your freedom. Then they did an investigation and found out that 58 out of the 60 referees gambled in some way, shape or form. And they changed the rules. Now basically they’re allowed to gamble.”
Donaghy spent 15 months in prison after pleading guilty to two charges in the case, but out free now, there are few people who can provide more insight into the state of NBA refereeing than Donaghy can, after a wild ending to Game 2 of the Western Conference semis between the Thunder and Spurs. He joined Colin Cowherd Wednesday afternoon, and had a fascinating answer when asked what percentage of NBA referees gamble, not necessarily on basketball games, but just in general: “One-hundred percent,” Donaghy said without hesitation.
Ex-NBA ref Tim Donaghy tells TMZ Sports he owes his life to the leader of a white prison gang … saying he would’ve been murdered behind bars if not for their protection. Donaghy was infamously sentenced to 15 months of hard time back in ’08 for his role in an NBA gambling scandal. While locked up, the ex-ref says he was brutally attacked by a fellow inmate. “I was a target. There was a guy who took a paint roller extension pole and blasted me in the knee a few times,” Donaghy tells TMZ Sports. “I had to have surgery to relieve the pain when I got out of prison.”
Donaghy says the white gang wanted to initiate him with a prison tattoo — involving a pin and ink from a pen — but he managed to talk the guys into “option #2” … a shaved head. “It was a matter of me surviving, and getting the f**k outta there” … Donaghy says. T.D. says he owes his life to one of the leaders … a guy nicknamed “St. Pete” … “Thank God I teamed up with him. He saved my life. There’s no doubt about it, I never would’ve survived if it weren’t for St. Pete.”
Out of jail and in the sports gambling business, Donaghy says he would stand to profit if Silver gets his wish and sports gambling is made permissible in all states. “Things will get that much better for my type of business if that happens,” Donaghy said in a phone interview with the Daily News on Friday. “It will get more people involved in gambling knowing that it’s legal and they don’t have to hide what they do.”