Conspiracies may or may not exist in the NBA. We can only speculate on the matter, but Tim Donaghy, former league referee who spent 15 months in prison over rigging games who may or may not have some insight on how things work, thinks the league wants the Brooklyn Nets to defeat the Toronto Raptors in favor of good ratings.
“(The Raptors) are not only going against the Brooklyn Nets but going against the league office,” Donaghy said in a radio interview in Canada. “They have a very talented team and have to be that much better than the Brooklyn Nets.
“In this situation, Brooklyn would be put at an advantage. A Brooklyn-Miami matchup (in round 2) would bring great ratings and that’s what this is all about for the NBA and the league offices — bringing in as many dollars as they can. … Some of the things that the league does and continues to do puts these teams at a disadvantage — like the Toronto Raptors — because moving forward they won’t bring in the big dollars for the league.”
It’s not often that former league officials speak out on what the league is or isn’t doing, but Donaghy’s speculation shouldn’t shock many considering the situation that forced him out of the league. He isn’t a trustworthy source, but his comment makes some sense. Fighting for a new television deal, ratings will be ever important for the NBA this season. The more ratings they draw during the playoffs, the more revenue the league will get from networks such as ESPN. It’d actually give them leverage, forcing more money from network companies.
The league won’t likely respond to Donaghy’s allegation, but it’s an interesting comment and forces viewers to keep a keen eye on the Raptors-Nets series as Toronto looks to tie the series 1-1 before heading to Brooklyn