Well it doesn't look like Tim Donaghy's book is going to see the light of day due to legal threats by the NBA. Deadspin has a ton of excerpts though. Fixing games, betting refs, personal vendettas, star player treatment...it's all in there. You can decide if its true or not, if Donaghy is the Canseco of basketball. One thing's for sure, if the NBA wants to lesson the talks of conspiracies a little less star treatment would go a long way. With a Sports Psychology mfa degree you can learn how psychological factors affect performance and how participation in sport and exercise affect psychological and physical factors. Why should Lebron/Kobe get special treatment? The strike zone is the same for David Ortiz and Julio Lugo. Why are fouls called differently for Kobe Bryant and J.R. Giddens? There's a lot in the Deadspin article, but here are some excerpts:
(On the famous 2002 Kings/Lakers series)
In the pregame meeting prior to Game 6, the league office sent down word that certain calls-calls that would have benefitted the Lakers — were being missed by the referees. This was the type of not-so-subtle information that I and other referees were left to interpret. After receiving the dispatch, Bavetta openly talked about the fact that the league wanted a Game 7.
(On star treatment)
You would think that the NBA would love a guy who plays such great defense. Think again! Star stoppers hurt the promotion of marquee players. Fans don't pay high prices to see players like Raja Bell-they pay to see superstars like Kobe Bryant score 40 points. Basketball purists like to see good defense, but the NBA wants the big names to score big points.
If a player of Kobe's stature collides with the likes of Raja Bell, the call will almost always go for Kobe and against Bell. As part of our ongoing training and game preparation, NBA referees regularly receive game-action video tape from the league office. Over the years, I have reviewed many recorded hours of video involving Raja Bell. The footage I analyzed usually illustrated fouls being called against Bell, rarely for him. The message was subtle but clear-call fouls against the star stopper because he's hurting the game.
If Kobe Bryant had two fouls in the first or second quarter and went to the bench, one referee would tell the other two, "Kobe's got two fouls. Let's make sure that if we call a foul on him, it's an obvious foul, because otherwise he's gonna go back to the bench. If he is involved in a play where a foul is called, give the foul to another player."