David Stern and the National Basketball Association have worked diligently to eradicate their image as a league comprised of thugs and hoodlums. Now however, they must fight an image that the NBA is a league comprised of thugs, hoodlums and gamblers mixed up with mobsters.
Bloomberg News and the New York Post both reported today that the Federal Bureau of Investigation is conducting a probe into an unnamed NBA referee who bet on games, including games he worked during the past two seasons. David Stern is aware of the investigation, although neither him nor Stu Jackson, the NBA executive who oversees referees, cared to comment on the report.
It seems the referee fell into debt with mafia-connected bookies, who forced him to make calls that affected the point spread in order to pay off his debts. The investigation is apparently part of an organized-crime probe, and the FBI is set to arrest both the referee and his mobster buddies.