When A Kiss Just Isn’t A Kiss
We all remember that beautiful moment during the 2007 Black Super Bow … All-Star weekend in Vegas when Charles Barkley and NBA referee Dick Bavetta made sweet love down by the fire. Maybe we’re exaggerating a bit but their kiss could have been the sign of something more sinister. We’re not talking James Dobson sinister. We’re talking Pete Rose and Tim Donaghy. “The donkey kicks twice at midnight. Take the Washington Generals tomorrow, Chuck. They’re due.”
Much has been written about former NBA referee Tim Donaghy’s latest allegations about gambling in the NBA. The New York Times reports that former referee Hue Hollins claimed extensive inquiries were made about Bavetta.
In addition to asking questions about Donaghy, Hollins said the agents inquired extensively about Bavetta. They asked if he ever noticed that Bavetta “was making sure that the home team would win, and I told them I had no idea because I didn’t work with him a lot.”
Hollins said the agents did not ask about a specific team, game or series and did not ask about Game 6 in 2002.
“They were very specific about their questioning, as though they had heard something,” Hollins said. “They knew exactly what they were going after.”
If Hollins is telling the truth about the FBI inquiries, there could much more to Donaghy’s claims than the desperation of a doomed man. There’s no way to know what other information the FBI has but it seems as though the NBA and David Stern are in for heavier scrutiny and his blanket denials may not hold weight much longer. Game 6 in 2002, the ending of Game 4 of the Lakers-Spurs series this season, the Game 5 suspensions of the Suns-Spurs series last season, etc. The denials already ring hollow with fans and many in the league.
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