Hey, what's going on, everybody? Spielberg, it's time for another wonderful episode of the Bell Pod cast.
What's going on? How are you, Burt? I'm doing good. I'm having a clean today, Bill. Every time I clean, I think of you because I know you like cleaning. I don't like cleaning, I just don't like a dirty house. I'd rather live in misery and squalor and be happy. I can be happy as a as an hoarder. As a hoarder, yeah, I could I could be happy. All right, well, that's good.
Do you follow the NBA? Bill? I used to follow the NBA, I somewhere along the line once it was like all the stars became friends, then they all pile on one team and then beat the shit out of the other 30. I just there was something just weird about it. Like, I sort of maintain.
If you watch Jordan, the last dance, one of the best parts was when he couldn't get past the Pistons, so he dug down deeper, he got tougher, mentally lifted weights. All these guys today, so many of them at that point in that documentary is like you couldn't get past the Milwaukee Bucks. So what did you do? Oh, I just signed with them the next year. It'd be like Bird becoming a Laker magic, becoming a sellout.
The whole thing is weird, but speaking. Yeah. Introduce our guest of the NBA.
We have a guy who wrote a book about some interesting things that are going on in the NBA, Tim Livingston, everybody who is welcome to the podcast. Thank you.
Thank you, Ben. We so there was a computer Internet. We're talking about that offline. We did a podcast on the NBA, not wrote a book, so. Oh, I thought it was a book. Yeah, he's got a podcast. He's got a podcast called Whistle Blower who fixed the NBA. This is the biggest scandal in sports history that I got to be honest with you. I got Whisper's up, but it wasn't it wasn't laid on me like the way it was the Black Sox scandal, you know, like and I know that it's as big, if not bigger than that.
It got swept under the rug, I feel like a little bit. Am I going to be honest? I won't start here because I don't want to get right into it. But I'm curious. I stopped watching the NBA when when I got older than the players. For some reason, I no longer could enjoy it. When I was a kid and I looked up to them, I was there. I was like Magic Bird, Jordan, Isaiah, Dominique Wilkins.
I was really into basketball. And then all of a sudden when I got old, like Sean Kemps, the last player, I was like, I love that dude. And then all of a sudden I became their age and I was like, how did you how do you feel about that time?
Well, it's this year's draft. All the kids were born in two thousand and two thousand one, which is truly bizarre, you know. Right. But, yeah, I grew up a huge basketball fan. I grew up in Los Angeles. I was a Lakers fan and kind of became disillusioned with the NBA and similar ways that you guys did as I got a little bit older. But the big thing for me, and this is what the story is about, is that this is the disillusionment really came from basketball being way too close to professional wrestling.
And that's what we dive into in this podcast, is how how close was it, the fine line between entertainment and a true athletic competition? Did they deviate along that line? And that's that's kind of what this story is about.
Well, I got to tell you, I felt like in the 2000s, people used to think I was a conspiracy theorist. I was watching games that I'm going these games are fixed. And people said, you're out of your mind. I remember clearly. Remember, I went to a Utah jazz game. The Celtics were in town. I was doing a gig or something. I went to the game. And, you know, if the refs call to close that call in a close of that, let them play.
They let them play. But this was like civil. They were doing both for, like chunks of the game. Seven minutes, they let them play another seven minutes. They call in everything. And I was just like this. This is like switching off officiating things. And I also felt overall that that Celtics Lakers thing that happened organically, that then led us into the Bulls, made that that league pass everybody. And then they have tried to finesse, I wouldn't say autum like fix, but they did everything they could because those were basically two super teams through the drafts.
And a couple of shrewd trades like Robert Parrish was a shrewd trade. And like I feel like ever since then they have been looking for the the Celtics Lakers thing. Again, to the point, I think they look the other way with the Kevin Garnett trade. Well, we got them for nothing. And Kevin McHale was in the front office. And then all of a sudden the Celtics went from nothing to being in the two years in a row with the Lakers in the finals.
The final, whatever you call it, we win in 08 or something like that, and then in 09 like that was like a grudge match with the refs and Rasheed Wallace and they were calling like reputation fouls in a Game seven. They would let Beyonce say diva bullshit with this guy get in the way of the two franchises, which are the NBA. And I watched the Lakers beat the Celtics, taking unguarded free throws shots like something like thirty five to like fifteen and.
I don't know. I don't know, I just I just felt like it's sort so it just became like, let's see. And then LeBron going to the Heat and how much they hated that. But everybody watched because they want him to lose. Then it became like the villain in wrestling. So then it's like, hey, let's let Durant go to the to the to the Warriors, which that season was just like a bad summertime movie. You knew what was going to happen from the very beginning.
So that's that's kind of what happened with me. But no. And you're right.
You're right. Because Bill, the big the big word and it's not a what I say is after our investigation, if you listen all 10 episodes, whistleblower conspiracy theory, you can drop the word theory. There was a conspiracy here and it went up to during the Donaghy scandal. It went up to the highest levels of government that made this thing go away, because in 2007, 2008, there was an FBI investigation where they were going to wire up Tim Donaghy and he was going to call every referee in the NBA and say, hey, when Dick better referees a game six or a game seven, does he have a motive?
Does he want a certain team to win? And does the NBA want a certain team to win? And if you look at the thousand two Western Conference finals between the Lakers and the Sacramento Kings Game six, that was the most egregious officiating in the history of the NBA. I mean, Ralph Nader wrote a letter to David Stern afterwards. Michael Wilbon and every basketball pundit out there said said as much, but there was no proof, right, until Donahue came out and laid it all out.
However, the NBA was able to say, well, Tim Donaghy is a criminal, which he was. He committed the cardinal sin. He was fixing games himself. But that's why this is such a fascinating scandal. If you have two eyes and you understand basketball, you understand that something was happening here. And what the NBA has tried to do, Bill, you're right, is create storylines. Who's going to sell more tickets in 2002, Chris Webber and blotted back or Kobe Bryant and Shaq.
And that's that's really what this comes down to, is over the last 20, 30 years, over the David Stern era, how many of these games were rigged? And according to our investigation, if you really look at the stats and you talk to the players who play in the game, we interviewed Rasheed Wallace. We interviewed Bonzi Wells and Nate Robinson and George Carlin, a bunch of other NBA figures. And look, the NBA is always going to have plausible deniability.
Refereeing in general is not subjective art form. And in the world, anything can be a foul or nothing can be a foul. You can let them play or call everything. But at the end of the day, you know, were these games rigged? Was there a conspiracy or or is it all conjecture? Is it all theory? In my opinion, there was a conspiracy here.
I'm not seeing Kevin Garnett. I think he might have been playing with the Brooklyn Nets or something like that or whatever it was he was he was he he was with Brooklyn at the time talking about when he was playing with the Celtics and he played somebody I forget who. But he goes, we were not part of the NBA script. That year was the closest I ever heard. I mean, it was like boxing. It's I actually, you know, I think it's like painfully obvious that.
How they were almost bankrupt and the Lakers Celtics rivalry, rivalry, save them that that then became their business model once Jordan all of a sudden retires in two thousand eight. What are we going to do? And they had the Spurs, but they lacked the star power sort of thing. People said that they were boring or whatever. And like I mean, I think that this just sort of an unwritten rule. That the Lakers have to be good at that, like they just got to sit, they just funnel.
This is pipeline of free agents that just goes there. It doesn't make any sense to me that, like, Anthony Davis doesn't stay with New Orleans and then they get Zion and then their fans get to enjoy a run like this whole thing where it's just like. That they have one of their main cornerstones is the Lakers, yet they also abandoned New York Knicks. I don't know, it's a weird run league, but I do think just as far it's a shit league for a fan, unless you live in, like, certain markets.
I mean, is it me? They're basically telling Pelicans fans to go fuck themselves that you're essentially a professional farm team? Yeah, and that's. Can I can I jump in for one second? I'm super lost. I, I can. We started at page one and kind of tell me because I heard Bill say that about the Lakers and the Celtics and that does make sense. So what you're saying is. So you say, I'd love to hear it.
I'm happy. Let's let's go back to the beginning. So, I mean, Bill is right. The NBA was almost to the point of insolvency in the 80s when David Stern took over. He was blessed in 1994 with Michael Jordan being drafted and the Celtics and Lakers creating this fantastic rivalry. And from there, we saw the Pistons and in the late 80s and obviously Jordan's bulls after that, there was this great NBA storyline. There was great drama.
But if you look at specific games, I'm not saying every NBA game was rigged throughout the course of history in the NBA. That's that's ridiculous. That's not true. However, the NBA, I think David Stern, particularly as a businessman, realized, Bill, to your point, I mean, Stern was asked by Dan Patrick, what is your ideal NBA finals matchup? You guys know? And he said, what? The Lakers was Lakers. So there is there there's been this and just saying that if you're an NBA referee and you hear that and the Lakers are playing the jazz in the Western Conference finals and it's game seven and there's a 50 50 block charged call tie game, fourth quarter with Kobe Bryant driving the basket.
Does that not is there not going to influence the guys? Of course it is. Right. So going back, there's David Stern. Just think of him as a puppeteer and think of the referees. As you know, I guess we're going from puppeteering to chess, but they were essentially his pants and making sure that certain teams advanced to the NBA finals in nineteen ninety three. This was a game that wasn't even on my radar. Lifelong NBA fan.
I went on this crazy journey with Tim Donaghy and became friends with Tim Donaghy. And that's how I got all this information, which we can get into. But in 1993, I'm interviewing George Karl and the game seven of the two of the 1993 Western Conference Finals, it was Sons with Charles Barkley versus your boy Shawn Camp and the Sonics. You know how many I I forget it's 60 for the sun shot. Sixty four free throws in game seven.
And it was the most people on Twitter after we came out of this podcast of, you know, hit me up and said, you know, you were probably too young for that game that was most ridiculously fucking officiated game in the history of basketball. And it was atrocious. And George Carlin, game seven of the Western Conference finals, said he almost got thrown out in the first quarter and just kind of had to sit down and and and watch knowing that this game was going to be rigged.
And so in the early 2000s, it got really bad because the Lakers were were the team and in 2000 against the Trailblazers, Shaq and Kobe have been together at that point for several years. They obviously had chemistry issues and the Lakers had an amazing comeback from fifteen points down in the fourth quarter. And look, Portland missed a bunch of shots in that game, but, man, there were some really bad calls. And the Lakers ended up winning that title and they won in 2001.
And then in 2002, they were the second best team in the league, the Sacramento Kings, and won that title behind, again, the worst, most corrupt officiating in any sport that I've ever seen. And I think most sports fans would agree with that. So it's this whole journey of what is basketball is a wrestling. Why should we care as fans? At Bill's point, it's a really tough business.
It's a business and they need their stars. I think Kobe was Jordan's replacement and he needed rings. He needed to be Jason. This you saw what happened to golf when Tiger Woods, you know, when his body broke down and then when he comes back, you know, the ratings go through the roof. So it is like a star driven thing.
And and and basketball is the easiest game to fix because it's the only when you can't in football, you can't put you know, you can't put Russell Wilson on the sidelines, NBA. You can literally take guys out of the game. You just give them two quick fouls, you know, and then they got him on the bench. You give him another one. Now they got three. Then you won't see him until the second half to give him that quick one.
It's just or at the very least, they're going to be playing. More timid, it's it's so then how how did how did how did this how did David Stern affect the officials? Did it? Was it. I'm curious. That's a great question. So according to Tim Donaghy and really, according this what we did, we went back and we read about the Donaghy scandal, the NBA commissioner report, same as the Wells report or any other league sanctioned report.
It's all bullshit, right? They hire a law firm. It's a law firm conducting an independent investigation when they're getting paid by the league itself. But now it's called the Pedowitz Report. And there's some really interesting stuff in there. And a big referee at the center of all this was a guy named Dick Bavetta. And Dick Rivera was a guy that Tim Donaghy said was the top referee.
Bill knows who he is because Lagi Bhavana let me. And it's like Italians always get pissed that those stereotypes and here we are again, you know what I mean?
We interviewed Michael Franz's, who was a former capo in the Colombo family known as the Yuppie Don, really brilliant mobster. And he said you're a bookmaking operation where he said he had two NBA referees on his payroll and the night in the 80s and 90s. And neither one of them was Tim Donaghy. So there's only fifty seven guys in the league. He's based out in New York. I don't you know, he's he's Italian, just San Diego. Bebetter, though, is a really interesting character in all this, because he was if you look at all the controversial games and Bill Simmons has written about this and countless other NBA writers and journalists have talked about it, but to Bill's point that you can't really talk about it if you're an NBA beat writer, because then you're never going to be allowed in the locker room, you're going to be blackballed from from the league.
So this thing, it's always been this unknown are this known thing that people just don't talk about. Players talk about it behind closed doors. Rasheed Wallace would look at a box score and be like it depending on the three reps. You'd be like, oh, we're going to we're going to lose today. And we get to fouls in the first quarter and we sit on the bench and they want the Lakers to win this game, clearly because it's Dick Bavetta, Joey Crawford and Steve Jobs are roughing this game.
So it said that he also did he didn't do himself any service the way he treated the refs, because I think that happens in baseball, too. If you show up a home plate umpire, I mean, if you don't make good on that like the rest of your at bats, you're going to have a tough night. Every time that guy is calling your game, they're humans.
Right. And because they're humans, you know, is it impossible to manipulate a referee? And the answer is no. And so, Bird, just go back to your question with Dick Bavetta. What Donahue said is that there was company men, referees in the NBA who are very open about being assigned to certain games to procure certain outcomes, produce certain outcomes. So that's what Donaghy said when he said it. I heard it as a young journalist. I was like, that makes sense.
And that's where this all started. I wrote an article where I said, hey, it's been five years after the scandal. But all I said was, hey, I kind of believe what Tim Donahue is saying about the NBA. It adds up. And that's where Tim Donaghy reached out to me because I was the first person ever say anything publicly about this guy that wasn't he's a crook and a scoundrel. And he and I formed this very bizarre friendship.
And he's told me stories which I haven't been able to to I can't say a lot of it on the record, but there's a referee during the Bulls era who whose mistress was in Chicago. And so he used to referee games, win or lose. This wasn't Donnis, another referee, win or lose, to get back to Chicago so he could have intercourse with his mistress like that was so NBA games were getting manipulated so a guy could get laid.
It was the what was it was a complete shit show. And the NBA knew it and they didn't care. Guys had drinking problems, drug problems. And David Stern didn't care because it got to a point where he needed these referees to produce certain outcomes because Michael Jordan was retired and the Lakers and Celtics weren't the Lakers and Celtics. And so if you look at the NBA in the early 2000s, in the mid 2000s, there were some games that were really bad.
Well, here's a question I have, because the referees make way, way, way, way, way less money than these players. I watch them. So now you're trying to get them to what you say. But how much is a referee make it so junior referees, it's it's tiered anywhere between now, probably one hundred and fifty thousand dollars to the top guys may close to a million dollars and they make a huge amount of money based on their playoff and finals bonus checks.
So basically, the more games you you can double your pay day as a senior referee by working a ton of playoff and finals games. And so this goes back to the problem. How do you work making fans worth a lot of sense?
So that's how they pay him? Because I was going to say, you know, if they're making shit money and then they're sitting on this big thing that the NBA. What's stopping them from being like, I just go to TMZ, get one big fat check and leave? So what they do is they give them a long career. You're a company guy. How do you how do you stop them from going Jose Canseco after they retire and go? He was doing it and he was still on it.
This is so this is what the NBA does, that the NBA keeps them on the payroll forever. So the NBA, if you look at all the guys out there, analyst Sunny is Steve Jobs is an analyst on ESPN, Monty McCutchen, Joey Crawford, all these guys are are now the G league supervisor of officials that look, if if referees the only thing on your resume, what are you going to do when you retire? Right. Nothing like your that's your job.
That's the only thing that, you know, it's your only experience in the workforce. So you can't go unless you're Donaghy and you get blackballed. That's all you can do. So you've reached the pinnacle with the NBA. You do that for a long time and. Yeah, and if you want to go right, you're exposed. David Stern was smart and he said, no, we're going to keep we're going to keep paying you what we're paying you until you die.
And so that's why none of these guys have ever come forward. They're all still on the team. They're all still getting paid.
This is like that their pay girlfriends, like the NBA guys who are screwing around, they got their wife and then they got their pay girlfriends. They just buy him shit so they'll keep banging them. So the NBA also has paid girlfriends with the officiating, is what you're saying?
Allegedly. So we don't. Allegedly, allegedly. Allegedly. Wow, that's crazy.
Because now this makes this makes like almost genius. Since you go, you go, hey, man, I call the games that the commissioner likes and they're good games and and the big teams win and we help build stars. And he's going to want me to be in the big games with those stars officiating the great game. I mean, it's almost like it's almost like it's problematic. It's like having a bartender that does shots. They sell a bunch of drinks, but they're also getting fucking wasted.
Yeah. And these guys used to just alcohol's as part of this thing, these guys were drinking and gambling casinos. And this is all known. This is part of the refereeing culture. These are blue collar guys who all that we get into. This damn podcast was like 14 referees from Delaware County, Pennsylvania, all blue collar, blue collar Brose. And Donahue was one of them. And this was in America.
You get caught. All of these guys are doing this shit. It was it because he went outside the NBA pay girlfriend thing and he tried to cheat on him with the mob.
So what Donahue did was so again, we've talked to other people. Michael Franz's was the only one who was on the record. Again, former mobster who said he had two NBA referees on his payroll fixing games forever. Right.
So your father started to are this is a bill has a great question. I want to hear that. But I want to know. Tell me a little bit about Tim Donaghy. Let's start with Tim Donaghy. I don't know. I know that he got busted. I'm assuming he's from Delaware County. But tell me about Tim Donaghy.
So Tim Donaghy started refereeing in nineteen ninety four and his tip on his father was a college referee. His uncle was an NBA referee. Obviously, all hail from that same area around Philadelphia called Delaware County, Pennsylvania. So Tim Donaghy, a twenty seven years old, I believe God has got his foot in the door as a referee in the NBA and was a really good referee. According to most people, he was a hothead. Most players and coaches say that from the get go, this guy had had an anger problem and had a temper.
But for his first nine years in the NBA, we have no evidence that said that he was manipulated, manipulating games in any way. He, by all accounts, was just an up and coming referee. And again, referees get fired. If you're not good after nine years, you're going to you're going to get can you start in more playoff games? You know, he was he was working his way up. And then in twenty three, he again, this is as we get into the podcast, you can only believe what Tim Donaghy says.
I got to take everything with a grain of salt. That being said, there's a lot that's public. There's a lot in the FBI files. There's a lot that when you do your research, you can corroborate and and is true. So he started he started gambling on games that he refereed and allegedly fixing them in two thousand and three. So four from 2003 to 2007. That's a long time. Tim Donaghy was betting on games that he refereed.
So that's two hundred and sixty games during that period that this one referee had money on. So that's two hundred sixty NBA games that, you know, whether whether you want to say the word fixed or not, they were being manipulated against the point spread. So that's that's Tim Donaghy in a nutshell, Tim. He got caught on a Gambino wiretap, and so what happened is towards around twenty six thousand seven, Donna, he thought he was never going to get caught because this was so easy.
This was not difficult. It's not difficult for an NBA referee if the Pistons are favored by five points over the Hawks to make sure that the Pistons win by seven instead of four. That's not hard. That's a really easy thing to manipulate. And he was winning, according to him, 80, but according to another, his coconspirator, 90. So let's say like 90 percent of his bets. Right. So that's not you're not betting. You're just printing money.
So he was doing this for you book.
He keeps take who what kind of book? He is going to take a bet from a guy who's refereeing the game unless they're in on it.
So that's so that was they were saying, hey, make sure the Pistons win by more than five tonight and we'll let you put. He's not even betting. They're just paying him to do it. One hundred percent. So he was getting paid again. He was. I think the big question with Donaghy is how many people was he giving tips to and getting money from? So it wasn't Donaghy. Again, this is pre Internet gambling being where it is today.
So there was guys in New York and Philadelphia who caught wind of the scheme and we're kicking Donaghy back money. But Donaghy was involved with a really big bookmaker named Jimmy Batiste. And Batiste moved. He was really a money mover. He wasn't a better, but he moved money for some of the biggest sports betters in the world and he caught one in the scheme and approached Donaghy. And so basically it happened. Long story short, Judy Batiste had a pill problem and and cocaine problem, got caught up with the wrong guys guns gone to some serious seven figure dead and started yapping that that.
Hey, don't worry. I'm going to pay you back. I got a referee in my hip pocket, FBI. I heard that FBI put two and two together, realized that ref was Tim Donaghy and the rest is history. But Donaghy didn't realize that the games that he was betting on when the scheme got big in twenty six, the games that Donaghy was betting on, professional bookmakers were betting millions, millions of dollars per game in international markets in Europe and in the US.
So when Donahue referee referee the game winner, we speculate that it was close to a billion dollars during the course of his scheme. That move just on this one guy's games. So he had no idea how how big this got. And when he got caught, when the FBI got involved, he didn't know. He thought it was still reasonably small. I thought he would be making an extra God knows how much money every year for his entire career in the NBA.
And this is a guy who is going to be refereeing if he was to referee today, his peer is going to be Scott Foster. And I'm Bill. None of that rings a bell. Scott Foster is the top NBA official today. Scott Foster and Tim Donaghy were best friends. They exchanged one hundred and thirty four phone calls at the peak of the scheme and on the phone that the FBI says Donahue was using for gambling. And Scott Foster's, the top NBA official today, never had to answer any questions about this.
The FBI came out. This all came out. And this is the guy that we're trusting today to referee the most important games in the league.
I mean, when that came out and they just put it on him, I'm like, what about the rest of the guys that were doing the game with them? It's like, how long can I shave points first on a game before you kind of like Vilsack. Is he having an aneurysm? Like what is he doing over there? Like you'd know what was going on. They always go, they always get it to the lone crazed gunman. Whenever there's, like, this level stuff that is involved, I.
I'm so glad that you're. I mean, my partner, I was just called paranoid, a conspiracy theorist, like I just got totally disenfranchised with the whole thing. It just looked just so manipulated, even like the whole creation of the super teams and like I mean, I don't know, like I don't know, how will you watch a game seven and you call thirty something fouls on one team and the other team only in the teens, unless the other team is just hacking the shit out of you.
But if it's just pedestrian shit. So I would think that then ESPN everybody, because they're all making money off of it and making so much money off of it that everybody just sort of shuts up. Except maybe at the Christmas party, when somebody has a few and they just they everybody just buys the myth and sells the myth that this one guy, this one guy like. So here's the switch, which I'm not saying that that couldn't happen, but he would get busted really quick.
But so, yeah, he was branded as David Stern. David Stern came out and just said repeatedly, rogue, isolated, criminal, rogue, criminal, rogue, rogue, rogue. I was the word that was branded. And again, this is the NBA was brilliant. But here's what bring up ESPN. I'm happy you did, because I don't want to give away to your audience too much of what happens to the podcast. But one interesting thing that happened.
So the NBA's entire business and this goes back to everything we're saying, a majority of the NBA's revenue comes from its TV contracts. Right. It's an entertainment company. They're trying to create the best possible TV product and usually that entails the Los Angeles Lakers. That's why David Stern said his dream finals is Lakers. Lakers, that's the most brilliant. Lakers are the highest rated team consistently when the NBA play the finals games. That's all. David Stern.
So their business model Thuc New Orleans, because no one cares. We're not going to take the time to try and build this thing up. Right. Let's fucking say I'm not playing in Charlotte and Stickum in L.A. and then we'll let Shaq go there and Phil Jackson will let the Celtics build up and get Kevin Garnett for nothing. I mean, I was just watching it go on like this looks like. This looks like they're trying to make Ocean's Eleven, that's what like so.
So what happened during the scandal is fascinating is ESPN and Turner signed a seven point four billion dollar deal with the NBA in two thousand seven five days before the scandal came out. So, David Stern, learn about the scandal and realize that the biggest scandal in the league's history, one that could jeopardize his legacy as commissioner, one that could jeopardize the integrity of the league to the point where, again, conspiracy theorists and paranoid like those those things wouldn't be those were just those would be commonplace, right.
Everybody would feel exactly as as you felt and as I felt during that era. So he signed a seven point four billion dollar deal with the leagues and didn't tell the leagues that this was about to happen. He knew that the scandal, the FBI informed Stern that the scandal was coming down the pike. Stern was like, OK, we'll do whatever we can to help in your investigation. Then he calls Turner and ESPN says, hey, we're good to go on this deal.
Right. OK, we'll sign Boehme. And then five days later, the scandal gets leaked. And again, what's what's brilliant about the NBA PR strategy? Guess who leaked the scandal? I don't know who the NBA.
So we proved pretty definitively that the NBA knew that Donaghy was going to wire up, that he was going to go around the league and get all these officials to talk, not knowing that they're being recorded about things that are that happened, that these referees were resprout.
So in the NBA, the NBA was like, fuck Donaghy telling my narrative, I will tell my own narrative, will leak the story. You're not going to fucking rat out all our fucking rats. Shut the fuck up. Yeah. All right, everybody, we got Blue Nile, Blue Nile, Blue Nile baby, not the red one, Blue Nile, that Blue Nile dotcom, you can celebrate all of life's special moments from creating the customer engagement ring of her dreams to gifting a once in a lifetime piece all at prices.
You won't find it a traditional Jehova. Are you looking for a gift that sparkles this holiday dress while you're in control? Bird at Blue Nile Dotcom. Is it time to mark a special occasion?
But it is.
Oh, from engagement's to anniversaries and birthdays, you need a trusted no pressure online jeweler to help you craft the perfect piece to create build the build the engagement ring of her dreams.
Not your dreams, certainly not your wallets dreams, but her dreams never settle a Blue Nile dotcom. Choose one. Choose from more than one hundred thousand ethically sourced bird. No blood diamonds, no blood diamonds. These are free range diamond pickers. Jia Jia graded diamonds in every shape and size with an endless selection of settings to help you design the ring of her dreams. Her dreams, Blue Nile has simple, simple online tools that let you choose the diamond shape, size and clarity, as well as the setting style Blue Nile's Bench Jewelers will then build your perfect engagement ring.
Each is one of a kind or celebrate life special moments with fine jewelry. Hey, hey, Burt. You got a birthday coming up. How about a nice pinkie ring from Blue Nile? Blue Nile is now offering.
We got an anniversary coming up. Oh, you do?
December 27. Well, maybe you should go to Blue Nile Dotcom, because right now they are offering exclusive selection of Lightbox lab grown diamond fashion jewelry. Oh, this is this thing. We've got to get a lightbox Birte start making jewels. This premium product line was released just in time for the holidays and makes a memorable gift. Blue Nile's Lightbox lab grown collection includes new and exclusive styles of earrings, pendants, bracelets and rings, excessively priced and set in 14 karat gold.
Give them the give the gift of premium LaBron Diamond Fashion Jewelry Lightbox, LaBron Diamond Fashion Jewelry is priced it at just eight hundred dollars per carat. That's roughly one fifth the cost of a natural diamond jubilee at the same quality. Oh I love it. That's beautiful. She'll she'll never know everybody. So celebrate your love and life. Special moments with jewelry from Blue Dotcom and bill listeners get fifty to five hundred dollars off the podcast. Exclusive is only good through December and includes engagement uses code use code bellbird.
That's Bellbird, Beilby, VRT plus every other.
Every order is insured, ships free and arrives in a discreet package that won't give away what's inside.
Shop stress free and find your forever place. Go to Blue Nile Dotcom today. Nice landscape. Andrew. Manscape some more for the Bellbird podcast comes from Manscape, who is the best in men's grooming below the belt, Manscape offers precision engineered tools through your family jewels. Jingle balls to the walls, fella. Listen up untrimmed. Pubes are a thing of the past. It's time to gear up and get yourself the gift of shaving this holiday season. And I'm talking about Manscape the perfect package.
Three point out that's why this revolutionary company Manscape has redesigned the. Electric trimmer, their their lawnmower 3.0 has a proprietary advanced Kinsale technology, so this trimmer cuts on your nuts. Yup, it's also waterproof, so you can use it to shower the Lawnmower 3.0 comes inside their brand new perfect package 3.0, which makes a perfect gift that I just read. It's the Lawnmower 3.0 comes inside their brand new perfect package, three point out with three point OS, a lot of three pointers for the perfect gift this holiday season.
It's literally everything you need to keep trimmed and cut free. And the smell nice down there. You can and you don't.
And you smell nice, but you got one paragraph left and you don't use the same trimmer on your face as you do on your balls. That's just nasty. The Manscape Perfect Package 3.0 also includes Cropper's. That's an anti chipping body, odorant and moisturizer. You already put deodorant on your armpits, don't you? Why are you not putting deodorant on the smelliest part of your body? And yes, your balls stink. Speaking of sweaty and sticky balls, I'm thankful for their crop reviver.
This product, along with the crop reserva keeps your balls from sweating, smelling and sticking it. And these products smells so good they're manly. Scent is attractive. Would help set the mood for if you know what I mean. The perfect package will also come with a pair of manscape boxers that'll keep your junk from fresh feeling fresh all day. It's time to upgrade from those over used pair of boxers to manscape high performance ante shaving boxers. Tis the season to get manscape.
So get yourself, your dad, your brother and your best friends. All the gifts of the best of the manscape perfect package. Three point to get 20 percent off plus free shipping by going to manscape dotcom slash Bellbird. Your balls will. Thank you. Remember, get 20 percent off, plus free shipping and manscape dotcom class Gilberte, that's 20 percent off with shipping a manscape dotcom manscape dotcom class Bellbird, clean up your nuts and make Santa proud this year.
So it's nuts. And again, this except kept it keeps going up. And if you look at there were some very odd dealings in the court that that make it made it seem, in my opinion, that David Stern off his big New York lawyer friends, the district attorney's office included, really wanted this thing hushed up. One of these guys to take their plea deals, go go away for a little while and for this thing to go away.
So it kept it keeps going up and that's what we break down. A whistleblower is, holy shit, this wasn't just a couple of basketball games. This was a systematic problem within the NBA.
They're going to get away with it. I mean, it feels like they did. And I went on a sports show yesterday or a couple of days ago, and it was basically an NBA one. And all they were talking about was the draft. And, you know, during the off season, does this big piece move to here and does this go over there? And I just I was just joking, Sammy. The NBA stinks. And I just I mean, I didn't talk about it being fixed because I didn't realize it was what you were what you're saying.
Let's watch you guys. So we released this podcast. Our final episode came out at the end of October. So it's still a pretty new podcast. And at this point where our downloads are into the seven figures, I've been on a bunch of Dan Patrick and Dan Levitan and a lot of shows and a lot of people listen to this. I know at the ringer at ESPN at all. Right, so people know what we found and no know what the investigation.
You know, they know what everything I'm telling you guys in the podcast. So and this is everything I'll tell you guys just these are small pieces of a huge conspiracy. So I reached out to the NBA for comment. They've remained mum. And I'm just sitting here like, yeah, I'm like I'm sitting here like, what do I have to talk to Bill and Bert for four fucking people to realize that this happened? This was a conspiracy. The NBA has been rigging games for years for it's for the entire Davis career.
You have to look at every and not every. You have to look at a lot of NBA finals with a huge asterisk. And it's a shame because as sports fans, billiards watching Pager's game for you came in. What if what if we told you that as a Patriots fan, as part of the best example, but my.
Oh, are you going with that again? I love how we're talking about an entire league that cheats and everybody. I'm not. That is the genius of Jim Ersek. I'm not a drug addict with a dead mistress who hired a guy who wasn't a scientist. Backtrack. I've been I've publicly, I think to gate is the biggest joke ever, I'll just say, because that's why he fucking threw it out.
But the genius, though, is, is it got enough press buy ESPN and all of them that people think it's it's it's like a true thing. And it's it's it's the genius of the pettiness of Jimerson.
Yeah, but but another fascinating element of deflate gate is, was Goodell and the Wells report. I mean, that was the biggest joke. I mean, the entire charade around that. And you have to wonder, was that just the NFL doing what the NBA did want to create a storyline wanting to brand the Patriots as the villain so that the other.
Oh, I think what it was was the fact that the Patriots fought it and beat it in court was this big thing of like, oh, shit, mommy and Daddy just got defeated by one of our kids. We can have that. So what they did was they found a loophole is they went back after the judge was like pissed going, why are you wasting my time with this horseshit? There's nothing here. And then remember, he was fine and then they brought it back again.
They said, isn't their argument was, is the NFL a corporation? The judge said, yes, there's a corporation have the right to suspend an employee. They said yes. They said, well, it's Tom Brady, our employee. Yes, he is. And they said, fine, he's suspended. So what they did was they then went like in-house with it. And they they use that loophole to suspend him. But everybody who Tom Brady, the good looking guy with the model when all the rings hated his fucking guts.
So they went with the first narrative of it.
Yeah, most of them are golfers where Burt will tell you some of the biggest fucking cheaters on the planet with their breakfast balls and all of that Mulligan's shit got of those fucking golf is going to tell me that fucking the Patriots cheat.
OK, but you brought up you brought up Tiger Woods. You know, Tiger Woods. I forget. I think it's in the mid two thousands. But during his physical evolution. Ordered two hundred and fifty thousand dollars worth of something from Anthony Galea, who was the foremost HGH doctor. He's the guy that all the baseball players and all the football players went to for age and that's public that Tiger Woods or a hundred fifty thousand dollars worth of something from Anthony Galea, PRP shots or something that he claimed that, oh, hey, there was another guy who played for another team that no one gave a shit about.
And for some reason, his wife ordered a box of that shit that went to the house. His wife. Yes, she hurt her back, taking the dishes out of the dishwasher and she needs to be steroids.
But for some reason, ESPN just did not find that story interesting.
I know that's a different topic because I think HGH, you know, if you're a professional athlete, you better be doing HGH or else that's a completely different argument about whether it's legal or not.
And if we're talking about cheating, if you're taking a substance like that. But I understand that guy doesn't play for the Patriots, so by all means, defend him.
I don't know what this podcast on my takeaway from this podcast, No More Dudes with glasses on our podcast. This is fucking awesome. I love when people know what they're talking about. This is an interesting man. I don't know.
I don't think you don't I didn't notice how frustrated with you that I just went into my opinions and went to the end of the story that you had to pretend that you were confused because you didn't want to say, Bill, this isn't how you do an interview shot.
You start at the beginning, drill. Well, and bringing up the Patriots. That was that was my bad. But I apologize. No, no, no, no. We'll get back with this back on track. No, no. I have a question. I hope just out of curiosity for like, say, someone that doesn't know a lot about basketball, how how how did he cheat? Did he say, all right, I'm of the spread's five on the Lakers, I'm going to let them play the first.
I'm going to I'm going to let it. Maybe I will cheat. Maybe I will cheat. And then, OK, it's getting bad. I need to get out of the game. Is that how it worked? Yeah. So what's so fascinating about basketball is think about how easy it is if you're a referee to cheat within the rules, everything's a foul. So if you want Kobe Bryant on the bench with two fouls in the first five minutes of the game, that's usually not that hard to do.
Right? If you want to call Allen Iverson for a carry on every possession, you can do that. So there was a lot of tools in his toolbox. So I went into this thinking that we would never find any proof on how Donahue fixed games because NBA refereeing is so subjective, everything's a foul. And we had talked to guys like Franz's who said that this was easy. But what's really interesting is that Donoghue's coconspirator Tommy Martino and again, Bill, you listen to a podcast.
I mean, the name's Martino Batiste.
I love it. I'm already seeing the Scorsese movie. It's a yeah, we'll talk. Maybe you can help me get hold of Marty after after this, because Terence Winter just passed on on writing it, which he was a fan of the podcast. But I was I was bummed about that. So anyways, Tom Martino comes out and says the Donaghy use the out of bounds line that went to when a guy that again, this was thirteen years ago before there's as many cameras and especially random games.
So think about like Hornets first Timberwolves in January. Nobody's watching that game. Nobody cares. But Donoghue's use the out of bounds line if the guy was even close to out of bounds that so they better on a team and that team, the guy stepped out of bounds. Donahue would just, you know, pretend like he didn't see it. The other team, if they got remotely close to out of bounds, Lin, blow the whistle, go the other way.
So it was like, yeah, that's what pissed me off because I was like I was like, damn it, Donaghey, you're you're that brazen. You didn't have to do that. Right. It's just a few fouls. And again, what's interesting for me doesn't the fourth quarter is the worst time to do it. That's when the most eyeballs it's the first quarter in the second quarter that I think it's the easiest time. If you have a bet on a game to manipulate that game, you get the you get the star player the bench, bam, early second quarter, you can call three or four fouls.
The fans are going to boo, but nobody's really going to be thinking about that in the fourth quarter of this game. So Donoghue's tactics, again, it was easy. It's easy for a referee to manipulate a basketball game, which again today in twenty twenty. That's why we still have to watch all these games with that paranoia, with the same attitude of men. Is this is this real? Is this an even playing field? Is this a meritocracy?
Does the best team win every year or are we watching choreographed ballet? Well, I can just say that I think everything is fixed in manipulated. And what if there was a somebody I knew who I really, like, really respected, was trying to say that there is no they. And it's like there's always there's always they. There's always this whole country came about. We conspired to get the British out of here. You know, the whole thing is you go into a a bar when you're a single guy and you want to get laid, you and your buddy, you come up with the game plan, you conspiring to get some pussy.
This just. And I presume my coach Little League, and there was always one dirt bag that had some sort of inside line on the best fifth graders that were coming in even at that level. And I just think I really have to say that, that to find out that these leads. Are manipulated is not surprising, I guess, and I think it's the NBA sold their soul to the super team and got themselves involved in this, where I think the NFL is just a better run league as far as because anybody can win it.
So they don't have, like the Lakers kind of Celtics thing going on there. But I will say, though, that that Saints no call on the pass interference was I mean, it wasn't like it was away from the ball. The ball was going right there. And the guy was like, it's like that missed call at first base between St. Louis and Kansas City was like that big of a margin. So I just think when there's billions of dollars at stake.
There's going to be not only subsets of pieces of shit, then there's going to be the people running it who want to keep it running like like 86, you know, 85, 86. Celltex was our pinnacle. We want to stay there every year. What can we do to manipulate it?
So, yeah, I don't know. I agree. But what you're going to say some are OK. Yeah, I just forgot my question. It said he was. He was, he was at the time he was in the Pacers Pistons brawl.
Yeah. Donoghue's Malson Palliser and got critiqued for not doing enough to calm that down. But he should I mean Tim, I mean Donna, he deserves kudos for that. That was an incredible, incredible moment in sports history.
I know what I was going to ask. I was going to I was going to ask so. Clearly, there's a movie here, there's definitely a fucking movie here. How much money did the judge make, Don? He in restitution so that he can't make any money off this movie? That's a good question. I know Donahue, a big thing for Donahue with with whistleblower with our podcast being out is that he doesn't want to pay restitution anymore. I believe it was in the six figures, not the seven figures, that Donaghy has to pay the NBA back.
But if you look at the rest of what gambling debts and illegal money earned, he has to give no money, probably probably from I would imagine they'd sue him for services that he never rendered. They'd go, hey, we paid you five hundred thousand dollars a year and you did not do your job. We want our money back, right?
Yeah, it's it has to do with his his role and his not performing in his duties as a referee, I believe, but restitution. The NBA really, really stuck it to Tim Donaghy. And again, he it's not like he didn't deserve it. It's not like looking at this scandal. You can look at Donaghy and be like, oh, man, that guy was the scapegoat. He was. But he's a really good guy. Now, Donaghy and again, I still consider myself a friend of Tim's, but Donaghy is a schmuck and he knows it and he's got a lot better.
And he's at this point in his life, his guys, he's got you know, he's a good dad. We're with him in his family in Florida. You know, he's got he's gotten it together. He's like at fifty three years old, a little bit more of an adult and a little bit less of a schmuck. But the NBA, it was so easy to bury this guy. Right. And to Bill's earlier question, we got no other referee is ever going to come out and say, like, hey, you know, by the way, Donna, he's right.
I was fixing games. I'm crazy.
I mean, I can't believe nobody should have had video of him get let out in a ref shirt and handcuffs going also on the patsy doing the doing the Oswald walk, then hit by a t shirt.
God, as he comes out of the arena and Donna, he just referee. So the first thing that is refereed since two thousand seven was a wrestling match a month ago. So he got back into refereeing to do a wrestling match. And that's great. That's just great way in. It's a beautiful thing and it's full circle. And you got to just again, the question is, how close is the NBA to professional wrestling? And I think any basketball fan, anybody just loves sports.
You know, it's way too close for any of us to feel good about watching it all.
I got to two questions. One is, if NBA players talk about this in private, what's to stop them once again from going Jose Canseco when they retire? Is it because they get the pension?
And so we are prominent. I've gone through podcasts that I produce and things that I've written and done. I have this really robust network of NBA guys who played in the late 90s and early 2000s. And so, you know, Andrew and I were talking about a couple of those guys beforehand and we heard a story that was that we couldn't use in the podcast, but might have been the best story we heard about a game or this player played. And then in the fourth quarter of the game, Tim Donaghy was referee in the fourth quarter of the game.
He usually shot about ten free throws a game and he shot one in this game and they were losing to a team that they were better then. And he thought it was because of the referees. And he went up to ten days and he said, why the fuck are you cheating for them? And he told me this amazing story. And I was so excited to use in whistleblower. It was going to be in our pilot episode. It was going to be a big part of us explaining to the audience how fucked up the system was.
And you know what happened? He said, I don't wanna be a snitch. I don't want to I don't want you to use it.
Oh, that's the whole thing. That's a really big thing. With every one of those kids that comes into the NBA to African-American kids, snitching is super frowned upon, whereas it was part of my family.
So, like, it's it's a way out to the NBA is a way out. And if you bring that whole thing down, I mean, everything else is a scam. Bankings legalized loan sharking. So the NBA is is what it is. And I don't want to also, like, demonize the NBA. Like they're the only ones that have had that that whole baseball steroid scandal. Like the owners didn't know what was going on or like I'm the owner of the Astros and I and I'm not standing there going, like, I don't remember authorizing somebody drilling that hole out in the center field while they were one of those young whippersnappers doing out there.
Those two go getters, they're taking it upon themselves to do something here. Like I just know is like a comedian, like, you know, if there's a comic that's like getting a little sideways with some substances and stuff. We all know you hear the. The stories, so you new owners of these teams, they know what I feel like, they know what's going on, but the big owner who knew the big owner, who knew what was going on?
Let me guess. Let me guess. Mark Cuban. Yes. All right. So Mark Cuban came into the league in 2010, bought the Mavericks. And for his first seven years in the league, obviously, he's amass over two million dollars in fines. The guy has been outspoken about refereeing for his entire career as an owner. But after the Donaghy scandal, he was very suspiciously silent. And the Mavericks, we haven't talked about the two thousand six NBA finals, in my opinion, after doing this research and talking earlier, we spoke with.
The 2006 NBA finals, which was the Heat versus the Mavericks, were the Mavericks won the first two games of the series and then Dwayne Wade shot, I believe, eighty four free throws. I don't want get the number wrong. It's like it's around 80 free throws over the last four games. That series in game five was a blowout and wait only shot like thirteen. So Dwayne Wade just started. It was just a procession, the free throw line or Dwyane Wade.
It was like, oh a Dwayne, you drive all right. Yeah. Taito Right. So that was a big I watched that series in college and I had no I don't couldn't care less for either of those teams with the same thing, Bill, where I was watching that game. Like, is anybody going to talk about how the refereeing this is completely slanted.
I mean, Dwayne Wade kept his mouth shut after the scandal, so they gave him his title in 2010 and let the team beat the heat, is what you're saying? Oh, my God, my brains melted over here.
My brain, like Mark Cuban, Mark Cuban bought the Mavs for two hundred eighty five million. And it's all money, right? So Cuban bought the Mavericks for two hundred eighty five million dollars, complained about refereeing, but David Stern kept signing big TV contracts by twenty seven when this came out and they signed a seven point four billion dollar deal, the Mavericks were a billion dollar team. So as Mark Cuban going to come out and say, hey, I was right, the referee, this is all rigged.
It's all bullshit. No, you couldn't. So Mark Cuban is somebody saying it was rigged?
He was just bitching about the officiating was bad. Yes, you're right. He wasn't he wasn't saying it was right. But if you ask him about the twenty six NBA finals, he's going to say that they got screwed.
And if an owner says that his team of guys is not the same thing, but he won't use the word rigged, you know, this is blowing calls and that there's a big difference between, you know, there's I think there's a difference between the officiating sucked to that was a home job to OK, this is a straight up fucking we decided before the game even started. I mean, there is, you know, to play a little bit of a devil's advocate, there is the human element where there are certain players that referees just don't like.
A one hundred percent smart guys are the ones that stay on their good side.
And that's and they're human. And that's a game. But you're really the pass interference in the Rams Saints game, for example. That's one call. That's a spur of the moment, a terrible non call, one of the worst in sports history. But it's one call. If you look at the twenty two Western Conference finals, the two thousand Western Conference finals, the twenty one Eastern Conference finals and the last four games of the twenty six NBA finals, it was call after call after call after call after call.
Right. It wasn't just one spur of the moment bad call. And I think that's what makes these games different. If you watch them and in their entirety, you're just as a fan, like there's something wrong here that allows you to actually.
No. Like the suspicious games and then go back and watch. It must be. So you think, OK, so do you think that they let the Celtics win with the Big Three because the Spurs thing was dying down, Kobe was getting older. Let's get the Celtics Laker. Twenty years later, they're doing it again as a little place holder as LeBron goes to Miami. Or is this one of these things that now I know what happened? I'm just doing the beautiful mind day.
This fits here and I'm just putting it all together with this this this sinister slant to it. I don't. Yeah, the 08 I think Boston, from what I remember and I watch this, there's nothing in 08 that seemed like the the NBA. Boston had a great team.
Kevin Garnett knew that we were in last place the year before. And then all of a sudden we get Kevin Garnett for nothing with Kevin McHale in the front office. Oh, that. Yeah, yeah.
The off season the off season is highly suspicious. Right. Whether Kevin McHale was talking about the Celtics front office saying, like, hey, guys, look, you know, we're Garnette wants out. We're not we're not going to be good for a long time. Like, why don't we just find a way to get Kevin Garnett to you guys? Because I'm still a Celtics fan at heart in the off season was highly suspicious. I don't think there's anything refereeing wise that year that I remember that was particularly egregious.
And I don't think there if you look I think it's like ninety percent of NBA finals victors over the last thirty years, maybe. Eighty two percent were the legitimately were the were the best team in the NBA. It's not every team but man the oh nine that the game seven of that, that was an ugly game where the Lakers beat the Celtics. I remember Kobe's quote.
He's like, I don't know how we won that game. That was. That was. And again, the Lakers you're talking to a guy who grew up a Lakers fan, and the Lakers are so often the beneficiary of controversial officiating, they've never been on the wrong side of it. The heat in twenty six, I mean, they were on the right side. So, by the way, with Cuban. This is what we look at with Cuban in that that that finals Cuban wrote right before the finals in May of 2006, a lengthy blog post, as he often does.
The guy likes likes to let us let his thoughts out there. Cuban wrote a blog post which said that refereeing. I think they got thirty four referees referee in the playoffs, Cuban, and that's how they make all their money. And Cuban said that only the nine or 12 best referees should referee the playoffs, they should referee every game and that basically the referee system needs an overhaul and was telling the referees, I want us to all make less money off these playoff and finals bonus checks.
And so do I think games three through six of the twenty six Western Conference finals. I don't think, you know, this wasn't about getting the Lakers, the big market team or the big stars in the finals. I think the referees conspired to say, fuck you, Mark Cuban.
And it was sending him a message. It was. It was. And it's fascinating because Mark Cuban.
But he said he says he says he felt like he got screwed. And if you watch those games, I I think he did. And then in 2011, again, the Mavs played great. Dirk Nowitzki and Tyson Chandler and the rest of the team played really well. LeBron was his first year with the Heat. They were kind of tight. They weren't really a dominant force yet. So I don't want to say that that was rigged for the Mavericks.
But but the problem is that we can look at every single finals in the history of the NBA and and play that game. And it's a game worth playing, wouldn't you say?
And you're not saying it's one hundred percent of the time, but when the the profit margins are dipping, then the manipulation starts to make sure that they're going to that they're going to have they're going to the TV contract. We're going to justify why you're playing paying assists, because we're we don't have, like a Yankees Mets series where I know the Subway Series and like, nobody gave a shit except people in New York. Like, you can't you can't have a championship series like that, especially.
I would think that the pressure on the NBA with streaming and the Internet and people taping games and blowing through, you know, they needed to make it be must see TV, must see TV. When we got I think that that same way, it's kind of funny, our business, we're like back in the day there was like, if you've got like two or three stars in one movie, that was incredible because everyone was so many different movies being made and now it's just everything.
It's just like these pylon movies because there's so many other options out there and there's so much less money sort of being divvied out now that I think the NBA kind of got swept up in that, too. And when it's a fucking business, what do you mean business?
Yeah, that's it's what what game? I hate to keep going back to the bigger picture of the NBA being involved in this collusion almost is is fascinating. But what but I keep going back to Tim because those are the ones I know. Right. What what big games did I possibly watch that he fixed zero and that's excuse me, in the twelve and the Suns Spurs series in twenty five, I believe, which is a really controversial. That was the first round of playoffs Tim Donaghy was involved in.
What's what's crazy is that all the games that I've referenced over the course of our conversation, we're all refereed by Dick Abeta. Almost every single one was involved in Steve Jobs, Joey Crawford, Bennett Salvator. Just throw another great name out there. Like Don. He didn't referee those games, none of them zero. And that's where if you are a paranoid conspiracy theorist like myself, then you're watching you're listening to Tim Donaghy said you're watching these games and it's really easy to believe Tim Donaghy.
And again, after doing this investigation, I do. I believe what he says because he didn't referee any of those games he was refereeing. His scheme revolved around refereeing the most unremarkable games in the NBA and those games moved millions of dollars. And if you look at so we look at the betting data from those games and you can tell, you know, a lot of money is being bet by professional betters in a game. Vegas, the odds makers react.
Right. They move the line from. And I don't know if you guys want me to do a sports betting explanation, I'm happy to for your listeners.
But if it's like a deep state of sports, that is it is because this is this is so then people in Vegas, what they do in the odds, then they're Westminister for fame and there's a lot of money getting put on this fucking who gets a shit game in and in fucking Seattle tonight, back in the day when the Sonics were there. Then everybody tries to jump on it and then they move the odds. Yeah, and so, like a two point favor becomes a three point favorite.
And that means that there is a lot of money coming in. And and that usually means that there's something going on. Right. Maybe they found out about an injury. Star players a little banged up. They're out in L.A. last night at the club. You know, whatever it is. Right. They all have their tips. And but during the Donaghy scandal, we found out that one of the the books, one of the offshore books where you place the bets, knew about the Donaghy scheme, knew that Donaghy was manipulating games and wouldn't take bets on whatever game Donaghy was was refereeing.
And they, the sportsbook, were betting that other sports books, because they knew the guy was fixing games. So, I mean, we're going to find out which way he was going to do it.
I'm not a big gamble. How could you think, OK, Danny, he's doing this game and I'm watching the line move. It goes from two points to three points. Or then obviously they're trying to get me to take the other team. I should take the points.
So it's a little more complicated than that because they've done it, you know, because they would do head fakes, they would fake they would put a lot of money on the wrong side to make the line move a little bit. And then they put a shit ton of money on the right side, the very end, and force all these books to, you know, to to move the line even more in their favor and make it seem like all the money was there.
So they would take a lot more money on the right side. So it gets a little complicated. But basically, Donaghy was telling so many people and then they were telling so many people and it just spiraled out of control where we yeah, we don't know how many people do a lot where the Poconos, once at a bar and someone someone someone's dad had a line on a horse. And and I swear to God, I mean, 20 people must have gone into this at this one bar and spread this one bar and everyone went to OTB and put money on this fucking horse.
And then I went, yeah, I won. And we put money on him to me and my buddy Eddie. Yeah, if you get a tip, I mean, that's that's what Donaghey and again, Donaghey had a bagman, a middleman, and Tommy Martino, he was giving the tips to Bobbie Battista about a huge Coke problem and was zonked out of his mind on pills. They were all telling people, Don, he was telling people and that's how he got caught.
Right. Just so many people knew about this thing by the end, including the Gambino crime family, the most prominent crime family in New York all the now.
Yeah, yeah. I mean, I don't like a problem here, man. I know that being a big fan of the Gambino now the Gambino is like, I'm sure if any Gambino listened to whistleblower, I mean, we're very complimentary of they didn't do anything wrong. They just they just wanted the scheme. They were betting in legal markets by all by all accounts.
And they heard it in that movie casino that when they kept going up friends in Kansas City, they were actually talking about the Chicago mob, but they didn't want to have any fucking problems. So I what to say. They're in Kansas City.
I don't yeah. I don't want to meet somebody. I got a tip. I got an anonymous tip.
Yeah, I don't want to make any the Gambino, you know, respect across the board for all those. Probably Gambino, sir, listening to.
Can I tell you the is part of the reason that I keep giggling at the most is at the very beginning when Bill goes. So how did you as a referee, how did he get on these games? And I have this visualization of old school like him walking into a bar with a stack of bills and his referee outfit and putting him on the table and go either to Falcons and then like this guy from Foot Locker really knows his basketball.
And he and that's the he was so I mean, he was at least smart enough to have other people place the bets for him and he would just get kickbacks. But like Martino tells a story of, he went to meet up with Donaghy in the Meadowlands with 40 grand a fanny pack to hand it off. It was just cash. Cash is going over. And this guy was making he says he was only making thirty, you say only made thirty thousand dollars the last year.
The scheme. I question whether that to be the the actual number, again, if you're winning 90 percent of your bets, it's not your printing money like that's not. You just keep you keep going back to that well, because it's like you guys doing shows, I mean, it's like, I don't know, you just do a show, you make money when that kind of money, when you start when you run out of places to hide it.
That's the stuff I was reading on, like how the guys in the mob that was smart were always working towards getting on to the legal side of stealing, like being a banker or something like that, because these gangsters are doing the same scams but illegally. So now they got to put their money in the walls. They got to fucking act like they got a smaller house and it just becomes a pain in the ass for the bank or gets to drive down the street with his stolen money.
But he's he's letting all the IRS and everybody wet their beaks on it so he doesn't have to hide it through. That shit is all fascinating, man.
I got to list how many episodes of whistleblowers there. So there's 10 episodes. Each one's around half an hour, 40 minutes long. You can find it wherever you get your podcast. But yeah, I would love to hear your thoughts when she had a chance to listen to it. At some we dive into we dive into Donaghey. We start off with Donaghey and his role in the scandal and him as a person and where he grew up. And it's all fascinating.
And then the second half is where we get into the conspiracy. What did the NBA know where the it was the NBA doing? How do they make this go away? How big was this cover up and how high did it go?
Has anybody you got you got any weird phone calls since you started to try to be the whistleblower on this thing is you're coming out, you notice your laptop being turned on and you're not near it.
You know what's funny is I'm talking to you guys. I've lived in lots a born and raised in Los Angeles, lived there my whole life. And I got out right at the end of this thing. And there weren't there weren't any black Suburbans yet parked outside of my old apartment. But part of me was like, I gotta get the hell out of L.A. I'm too easy for Target right now. And I'm going to go. I go. I'm going to hide out right now.
We're at an undisclosed location. But, you know, again, this is fascinating. This podcast, me talking to you guys, I'm interested know you guys have such an ardent following. If this will be a I've been on several sport big sports shows, but I'm just wondering, especially on Reddit, I kind of Reddit thread where I was like, oh, Bill BRZ as outdated NBA takes and blah, blah, blah. And it just made me laugh because I knew I was going to come on and talk to you guys about this.
So it's interesting is this can I keep thinking where is the straw that broke the camel's back toward the NBA has to address this because what we revealed is incredibly damning about the NBA and they can't hide from it. It's public now. So they've at this point been able, despite the success of our podcast, been able to avoid it. I mean, conveniently for them, the season wrap right before we got to the the big stuff at the end of our podcast, the big interviews that really would have to happen is fans would have to become disillusioned with the game.
And they're not. They're not. I think fans enjoy.
You know, kids and stuff like to them, the NBA is 10 stars on one team, ten stars on the other, and then there's a couple of OK teams and the other twenty six can go fuck themselves is just their their idea of what the NBA is or how a sports league should be run. So I try not to be the grumpy old man, but I also got to say what what I am thinking but. I don't know, so now, OK, you guys want to predict predict who they're going to have, my thing now is that the Lakers tied the Celtics at 17.
They can't just let the Lakers get 18. They got to play the Celtics in the finals. You know who's going to get number 18 first?
Because the NBA has wanted the Clippers to be good for a long time. And now the Clippers obviously were good last year and they blew it against Denver. If you're looking for a team that is a really interesting team to bet on this year, that the NBA, if they're in a Game seven with the Lakers, might want to usurp the Lakers. The Clippers are really interesting team to look at. All right.
I'll tell you what I'm going to do. I'll tell you what I'm going to do. I'm going to I'm going to bet I'm going to bet real low on every single Clippers game. I like it. I mean, clippers, and that is a really I'm going to take a look at how many games of the season. Eighty to eighty two. If I put one hundred dollars, that's eight thousand dollars. Right. If I'm going to take eight thousand dollars and I'm going to bet one hundred dollars on every single Clippers game, I like it, it turn out I probably will break even.
But my my question is, is a golden goose is what from what you're saying is the Lakers, why would they want a competing Bills in film conference?
It's gonna tell you why this might I might take. If a corporate. If a corporation wants to get wants to hire one of us to do their corporate gig, we're big fans of the Bellbird podcast, they go to you, your your price is going to be higher. They come to me and they're like, well, we can get Birte. Maybe we'll see if we can get them to tell some stories about Bill and do the show for half the profits.
I mean, right. Is a cheaper team than the league. And it's still it's still L.A. is such a huge basketball market. So I think they see an opportunity. Again, this is David Stern before he passed, while he was still commissioner. Again, I have sources who have told me that he really wanted the Clippers to ascend to the top and be a rival for the Lakers. So I think, Bill, it's all storylines. It's all you know, you've got to just take it all back.
And Michael, white bathrobe putzing around his little tomato garden that he's retired like like at the end of The Godfather. I mean, he's in around you guys. He is such a fascinating character, so fascinating and an incredible commissioner.
And he, while he was commissioner, conducted, as you're suggesting, one of the great successful businesses. In our time, and it's amazing, but the only thing that I always think about all of this stuff is how could you possibly keep all of these people quiet? Because as much as even if they are a government person all right now or whatever, not a government person as much as they are like Toine, toeing the company line. Somebody is going to do blow, start running their yap, someone's going to be a little too hammered.
Someone's got know trying to get this check that they can't get and they got to fucking talk big about themselves. There's got to be some. How do you keep all of those people? Is the money just shuts everybody up, I think, and they were all complicit, right, all the referees who could really corroborate with Donaghy saying we're all there, all guys, you know, Dick Abetters, retired, and Ocala, Florida. I believe Jerry Crawford is bopping around, still making money off the G League.
Steve Jarvie is a deacon in the Catholic Church and a ESPN analyst now. And these guys, I just can't see any of them ever say anything. I've talked to a couple of the referees who said some really interesting things off the record. But really, these guys, you know, it's a tight knit fraternity. There's only fifty five of them. And Donaghy, you know, they they all look at Donaghy as the black sheep and and rightfully so.
But at the same time, that's amazing if that that guy gets busted and they still all able to keep their mouths shut because you would think that the FBI could do the you know, really I got a ref in the other room is saying something different and then somebody like falls for that. The fact that they all were able to keep their mouths shut, it's everything that you're suggesting is true is pretty amazing in it.
And what the NBA did last summer. Thank you, man. I appreciate the NBA issued a gag order right after they leak the story and thwarted the efforts that the process was. All right. We're going to thwart the FBI's investigation by leaking the story. It's going to become public. Everybody's going to know about it. That's fine because we just can't have our guys talking about it. They issued a company wide gag order, the entire NBA owners, players, fucking Tallboys.
Everybody shut the fuck up. Don't say a word. Know your livelihood depends on it.
And everybody calling a Christmas Day FBI agents have. You know what's funny is these guys are investigating drug cartels and murderers. And this was this was something they were interested in and something that they believed that they had a case against the NBA, that they were very confident that they were going to be able to uncover a lot when it came to the NBA as a corrupt business. But these guys were putting away murderers there. This was the Gambino family faction of the FBI.
These guys were, you know, focused on taking on the Gambino family and the corporation.
Just issue a gag order. Then I listen, I'd love to talk to you as the FBI agent, but the stern says, I can't talk to you.
He's not above those guys. No, but he but think about this thing about the NBA system as a whole. If you're a player and you critique a referee, if you complain about a referee, you get fined fifty thousand one hundred thousand dollars. Right. The NBA system is a messed up system where the referees are never held accountable for anything because they are a really important part of the NBA business and being able to help determine which teams move on to the finals.
So, I mean, again, we lay it all on the podcast and and I picture this.
This is like being in the writers for the beginning of the season for Epistrophy family, like Eric. Where's the Murphy family going to go? They're like, OK, what's the NBA? Are we going to let this storyline die? Are we going to bring that back around?
That's wild, man. Fascinating how we've had a lot of guests on here. This is like, yeah, the bitcoin in this one here. Like, I'm I'm I'm definitely going to be diving into these whistleblower podcast, Tim Livingston. Everybody has given us. Yes, brother. That was all I'm telling you. I was one of the better podcast we've never done. Thank you, bro. I mean, this is so much fun, you guys.
I can't tell you how much I appreciate you guys having me on Big Fan. And this was this was so much fun. All right.
Don't talk about any important share with the flat screen in a room.
I want I want. This is pretty discreet, right? My setup. You guys go it. But understand our.
Now, I'm not saying where you're at, they're going to find you. Oh, we're so glad, Alejandro. Well, I thought we were done.
Andrew, you've got to bleep that out. That's got to be bleep bleep that out. Bleep that out. Fuck. Yeah, fuck. Yeah. All right, let me do the outro here before you get whacked live on this podcast.
Jesus, Bert. All right, ladies and gentlemen, this has been another wonderful episode of the film for five years. All right. Thank you, Tim.