Ousted Ref: NBA Fixed 2002 Series

Donaghy charges officials manipulated results to stretch playoff series
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 11, 2008 2:48 AM CDT
SACRAMENTO, CA-- Laker Robert Brain Shaw battles for a rebound with Bobby Jackson and Vlade Divac of the Kings in game seven of the 2002 NBA Playoffs Western Conference Finals at ARCO Arena in Sacrame   (KRT Photos)
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(Newser) – A disgraced former NBA referee claims that league officials conspired with referees to stretch the 2002 Lakers-Kings playoff series to a money-making seventh game, the Los Angeles Times reports. The allegation from Tim Donaghy came in a letter to the FBI that made broad claims of misconduct and match-fixing among NBA referees and executives.

The NBA slammed the allegations as a "desperate attempt" by Donaghy to win a light sentence after pleading guilty to conspiring with gamblers. Lakers coach Phil Jackson declined to comment on the accusations until after the league has concluded its own investigation. He added, however, that it would be a good idea to establish a referee system outside of NBA control.