- Tim MacMahon, ESPN Staff Writer
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Ex-con/ex-referee Tim Donaghy confirmed what folks in Dallas have long suspected: NBA executives and officials are biased against Mavericks owner Mark Cuban.
Donaghy, who made an appearance on ESPN 103.3’s Galloway and Co. to promote his book “Personal Foul,” said that bias cost the Mavericks games and played a significant role in their collapse after taking a 2-0 lead in the 2006 Finals.
“I think there was numerous games,” Donaghy said. “Obviously Mark was very outspoken in regard to the referees. Referees have personal vendettas that they take out on certain players, coaches and owners. Mark was certainly one of those people.”
Donaghy claimed that Danny Crawford bragged that the Mavericks rarely won playoff games that he officiated, information Donaghy used to place bets against the Mavs. The Mavs have lost 15 of their last 16 playoffs game that Crawford worked.
If Donaghy can be believed, there were two major officiating factors in the controversial Finals collapse that was fueled by Dwyane Wade free throws. He said referees are trained to favor teams that are down in playoff series. And then there’s the anti-Cuban bias.
“It had been told to me behind the scenes that they were actually happy in the NBA office when Dallas was knocked out from the playoffs,” Donaghy said, “because it was less complaints from Mark, it was less e-mails from Mark and it was less work that they had to do.”
Of course, Cuban surely fired off a few e-mails after the Finals.
Cuban’s e-mail response to Donaghy’s comments on Thursday: "My position hasn't changed. But I've already paid for stating it, so I'm not going to repeat it."
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