Source: Donaghy associate claims 13 referees involved in NBA betting scandal
7News Sports Director Joe Amorosino is reporting the following:
BOSTON -- Only two people know all the details of the NBA's 2008 betting scandal: former NBA referee Tim Donaghy and his associate, former professional gambler Jimmy "The Sheep" Battista. Both men served time in federal prison for their roles in the gambling scheme.
A source close to Battista who says the gambler explained to him the details of the betting operation tells 7Sports that Battista says he was working with 13 referees and not just Donaghy, as the NBA has claimed.
The source says Battista showed him what the gambler claims are phone records and game notes confirming the names of all 13 referees involved.
The source also tells 7Sports that Battista claimed to have a "Big 5" of "dependable" referees and that Donaghy was the "King,” delivering a winning bet in 78 percent of the games he officiated.
Battista pleaded guilty to conspiracy to transmit wagering information in connection with Donaghy and served 15 months in federal prison.
The former professional gambler is presently working on finalizing a tell-all book deal and does not plan to share more details until just before the book is released.
The 7Sports source says that on December 12, 2006, the night before the Celtics played the 76ers in Philadelphia, Battista says he met with Donaghy and a mutual high school friend.
On that night, the gambler claims they made a deal which according to Battista involved Donaghy supplying information including injury reports and referee assignments and Battista making the bets.
The source says that according to Battista, the first game the two men worked on together was the Celtics-76ers game the following night; a game Donaghy officiated and one the Celtics covered with ease.
The Celtics were 1 1/2 point favorites, but with 10 minutes to play in the third quarter, the score was tied.
The Celtics would eventually go on to win by 20 points.
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