David Stern Faces the Media

by July 24, 2007

by Marcel Mutoni

The press conference concluded a few minutes ago…here are some of the highlights.

-Stern walks into the room wearing black suit and a navy blue tie, and says that the League has a representative in Vegas who informs them about odd betting patterns.

-In 2005, the NBA learned that Tim Donaghy got into disputes with his neighbors in Pennsylvania. The League hired an investigator to look into that. Donaghy denied everything, and said that it was his neighbor who was the bad guy.

-The Arcan Group, the security company that the NBA hired to monitor these things, sucks. Just thought I’d throw that out there.

-At some point in the last two years, someone alleged that Donaghy was betting heavily in Atlantic City, which the ref denied. The NBA’s investigation came up negative.

-The dispute with his neighbor, according to David Stern, made “us unhappy.”

-Having made the NBA “unhappy”, the League told Donaghy he couldn’t work the 2nd round of the 2005 playoffs. Well, that’s harsh.

-Donaghy then moved to Florida, where he was a good little boy.

-On June 20th (of this year), the NBA got a call from the FBI about a ref alleged to be gambling on NBA games. The league met with the Feds the very next day.

-Stern thanked the FBI, US Attorney’s Office, and the Justice Dept. profusely for allowing the League to work with them on this investigation.

-Stern, naturally, cannot comment on the investigation too much…he doesn’t know the number of games nor which games Donaghy allegedly bet on.

-Donaghy resigned on July 9th. He sent a letter. Stern wished to “terminate” him earlier, but the FBI asked him not to.

-As far as Stern knows, Donaghy is the only ref under investigation.

-The Commish says that, despite being only able to say very little about the investigation, this is an isolated incident.

-Stern said that Donaghy did not bet on games through Las Vegas.

-According to the Commish, the NBA hasn’t begun to comb through the games that Donaghy worked.

-Stern says that the NBA did not know that Donaghy was under investigation until June 20th. If you’re a fan of the game, this has to make you happy.

-Stern says he’s not sure how this scandal affects the possibility of Vegas getting an NBA team.

-Lowlight: Rachel Nichols of ESPN asking Stern to describe the “range of emotions” he went through after the news broke. The other reporters in the room then proceeded to leap off the top of the Empire State Building.

-David Stern put on yet another brilliant show when the Q&A session with media members began: Cracking jokes about going to an NBA family picnic to inform everyone that the sun will shine again; comparing himself to the director of the CIA; saying he only needed one day to prep for the press conference (and that he scheduled it at 11 so that people watching on the West Coast wouldn’t have to get up too early); uttering a strange joke about when he stopped beating his wife; and finally, calling Donaghy a “rogue, isolated criminal”. He’s really the best.

The important thing to note here is that Tim Donaghy is the only ref under investigation and that the League didn’t find out about any of this until about a month ago. Of course, all of this could change if Donaghy decides to sing to the Feds and rats others out…