NEW YORK - Former NBA referee Tim Donaghy has told federal investigators that officials altered the outcomes of playoff series in 2002 and 2005.
The disgraced Donaghy made the potentially damaging allegations in a court document filed by his lawyers Tuesday in Brooklyn Federal Court.
Donaghy, who pleaded guilty last August to charges of betting on NBA games in which he officiated, accused other referees of inappropriate behavior, such as fraternizing with players and coaches.
The NBA did not comment on the allegations when contacted by PA SportsTicker, but later released a statement from Richard Buchanan, the league's executive vice president and general counsel.
"According to Mr. Donaghy, all of his allegations have previously been made to the FBI and the U.S. Attorney, and they are clearly being disclosed now as part of his desperate attempt
to lighten the sentence that will be imposed for his criminal conduct," Buchanan said.
"The NBA remains vigilant in protecting the integrity of our game and has fully cooperated with the government at every stage of its investigation. The only criminal activity uncovered is
NBA commissioner David Stern echoed those sentiments prior to Tuesday's Game Three of the NBA Finals between the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics.
"Clearly, as the date of the sentencing gets closer and the things he's thrown against the wall haven't stuck, (Donaghy is) rehashing various things ... that are baseless," Stern said.
Although he did not specify the teams involved, Donaghy cited an instance during the 2002 postseason in which referees conspired to extend a playoff series to seven games.
According to Donaghy, two referees acting as "company men" called made-up fouls against the team attempting to close out the series.
The documents do not mention any particular teams. But the Los Angeles Lakers, who won the 2002 league title, rallied from a 3-2 series deficit to defeat the Sacramento Kings in the Western Conference finals.
Game Six of that series was marred by a controversial ending, as the Lakers attempted 27 fourth-quarter free throws en route to a 106-102 victory. The Kings, who shot just nine free throws in the fourth quarter, questioned the officiating in the aftermath of the contest.
Lakers center Shaquille O'Neal, who had complained about the officiating earlier in the series, made 13-of-17 free throws in the contest. Sacramento's Vlade Divac and Scot Pollard, who
guarded O'Neal throughout the series, both fouled out in the game. Divac and Kings forward Chris Webber were both whistled for first-half technical fouls.
Donaghy also mentioned a series in 2005, when one team rallied from a 2-0 deficit to win in seven games.
The nation grieved for those hurt, killed and affected by the Boston Marathon bombings. After one of the suspects was caught on Friday — following a day-long lockdown and manhunt — sports returned to Boston over the weekend.
After his team ultimately lost that series in seven games, Rockets coach Jeff Van Gundy accused referees of unfairly targeting center Yao Ming at the request of Cuban.
Van Gundy ultimately received a $100,000 fine, the largest in NBA history, before retracting his comments.
PBT: The Pacers defeated the Heat 97-93 in Game 2 to even the series at 1-1, which now shifts to Indiana.
Video: NBA from NBC Sports
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