This is not the type of news the Toronto Raptors fans want to hear. According to former referee Tim Donaghy in an interview with a radio show based in Canada, the league is doing everything in their power to set-up a Brooklyn-Miami series in the next round.
"(The Raptors) are not only going against the Brooklyn Nets but going against the league office," claimed Donaghy. "They have a very talented team and have to be that much better than the Brooklyn Nets."
Donaghy’s main contention is that the league wants to bring in high ratings in the potential Nets-Heat match-up in the second round of the Eastern Conference Playoffs.
The Heat are ahead of the Charlotte Bobcats, 2-0 in their own series while the Nets and Raptors are tied at 1-1 in their best-of-seven affair with Game 3 set on Friday (Saturday morning in Australia).
"In this situation, Brooklyn would be put at an advantage. A Brooklyn-Miami matchup (in Round 2) would bring great ratings and that's what this is all about for the NBA and the league offices -- bringing in as many dollars as they can,” said Donaghy, a convicted felon who spent 15 months in jail because of game-fixing charges when he officiated in the league.
“Some of the things that the league does and continues to do puts these teams at a disadvantage -- like the Toronto Raptors -- because moving forward they won't bring in the big dollars for the league. It's terrible for the fans (of) Toronto. They go and support that team but really they're going to have trouble moving on based on talent and what takes place on the floor when they're really going against the refs and the league, along with the Nets."
The NBA did not pass the chance to criticize and renounce the former NBA ref.
"Tim Donaghy is a convicted felon looking for any opportunity for people to listen to his baseless allegations," said an NBA spokesman in an official statement to refute Donaghy’s claims.
”For Mr. Donaghy to continually try to challenge his former colleagues' ethics is distasteful and says more about his own integrity than it could ever say about our referees, who are the best and most scrutinized game officials in the world."
NBA fans are divided on the issue as they have seen their share of “bad calls” this early in the postseason.
Over at online sportsbook Pinnacle Sports, the Nets are priced at 1.602 to win the series against the Raptors who are now the underdogs at 2.470.
This means that for every $100 bet on Brooklyn nets a $160.2 payout (or $60.2 win) while the same $100 bet on the Raps will more than double that original wager to around $240 (or $140 winnings!).
Do you have the guts to believe a felon like Donaghy? Bet the house on Brooklyn and thank the convicted criminal later perhaps?