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A source tells 7Sports that the gambler at the center of the 2008 NBA betting scandal says 13 referees were involved.
Jimmy "The Sheep" Battista pleaded guilty to conspiracy to transmit wagering information in connection with disgraced NBA official Tim Donaghy and served 15 months in federal prison.
The source also tells 7Sports that Battista claims he has the phone records to prove his contact with these 13 referees.
The source tells 7Sports that Battista says he had a "Big-5" of dependable referees with Tim Donaghy being the "King" as Battista called him, who the gambler says delivered a winning bet 78 percent of the time in games he officiated.Hmm, but Stern told me it was only one "rogue" official? JR 11/25/2009 07:43:00 PM Tweet Edit
The 7Sports source says that on December 12, 2006, the night before the Celtics played the Philadelphia 76ers, 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 bet 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.