Deadspin took a break from its war against ESPN to post a few high/lowlights from the unpublished Donaghy tell-all:
I remember one nightmarish game I worked with Joe Crawford and Phil Robinson. Minnesota and New Orleans were in a tight game going into the last minute, and Crawford told us to make sure that we were 100 percent sure of the call every time we blew the whistle. When play resumed, Minnesota coach Flip Saunders started yelling at us to make a call. Robinson got intimidated and blew the whistle on New Orleans. The only problem was it wasn't the right call. Tim Floyd, the Hornets' coach, went nuts. He stormed the court and kicked the ball into the top row of the stadium. Robinson had to throw him out, and Minnesota won the game.
Later that week, Ronnie Nunn told me that we could have made something up at the other end against Minnesota to even things out. He even got specific-maybe we should have considered calling a traveling violation on Kevin Garnett. Talk about the politics of the game! Of course the official statement from the league office will always read, "There is no such thing as a makeup call."
For those of you keeping track at home, this snippet references a 97-90 Wolves victory on January 19th, 2004. Also, tell us something we don't know about make up calls and star treatment. This is the rub with the Donaghy business. Even if the refs weren't throwing games for Las Vegas bookies, most fans outside of LA are already convinced that David Stern is capable of changing the course of a game or series via his direct-to-Dick-Bavetta bat phone:
It's a good thing this book never went to press. Not only would no one want to give money to a liar and a cheat, but 90% of what he appears to be writing about are things that most fans already believe(d) about the league. Anyone who was a fan of the NBA during the period of time between Michael Jordan's last shot in a Bulls uniform and Dwyane Wade's championship run know that there is something not quite right with the refs and that it probably has something to do with the marketing of marquee players. Most of the time this sort of thing makes for an entertaining evening during the regular season. Who wants to drop $50-100 bucks on a Wednesday night tilt in January to see your favorite player foul out? Unfortunately, it also makes for some highly questionable (if not outright compromised) post season action. (BTW: I will never view Kobe as being a legit 4-time champion and as far as I'm concerned, Phil is still tied with Red, if not behind if you throw in the 2000 WCF or the likelihood that a foul could have been called on just about 90% of Shaq's possessions during that period of time.)
What say you?