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On July 20, 2007, columnist Murray Weiss of the New York Post reported an investigation by the FBI into allegations of an NBA referee betting on games to control the point spread. It was revealed that Donaghy, who has a gambling problem, placed tens of thousands of dollars in bets on games during the 2005–06 and 2006–07 season and had been approached by low-level mob associates to work on a gambling scheme. Mike Missanelli of The Stephen A. Smith Show suggested that Donaghy had gotten himself into debt and tried to make it up by betting on games.
“Studying under Dick Bavetta for 13 years was like pursuing a graduate degree in advanced game manipulation,”
Bavetta was one of three referees for the Game 6 of the 2002 Western Conference Finals between Sacramento Kings and the Los Angeles Lakers. Former referee Tim Donaghy has alleged that at least one of the referees working this game had subjective motives for wanting the Lakers to defeat the Kings, and made officiating calls to effectuate this outcome. The NBA has not permitted Bavetta to speak publicly regarding the incident, though The New York Times reported on June 12, 2008 that the FBI is investigating allegations that Game 6 of the 2002 Western Conference finals had been manipulated to further the series to a seventh game.