The story behind the NBA betting scandal and the gambler who made it happen.
In June 2007, the FBI informed the NBA that one of its referees, Tim Donaghy, was the subject of a probe into illegal gambling. Within months, the public knew the broad outlines of a scheme involving Donaghy betting on games he officiated with a co-conspirator, longtime Donaghy acquaintance and professional gambler Jimmy “Baba” Battista. They were joined in the scandal by mutual childhood friend Tommy Martino. By November 2008, each man had pleaded guilty to charges relating to the conspiracy and was in federal prison. The story was over. Or so it seemed to be.
Researched with dozens of interviews, court documents, betting records, referee statistics, and unique access to witness statements and confidential law enforcement files, Gaming the Game looks inside the FBI’s investigation and beyond to provide the definitive account of the scandal. Jimmy Battista’s remarkable decades-long bookmaking and betting career is examined; including, and especially, his role as architect of the widely publicized scandal. Battista, who unlike his co-conspirators never spoke with federal authorities, reveals for the first time intricate details of the scheme–most of which only he knows.
“Offers a fascinating look into the Donaghy scandal…intriguing” – Philadelphia Daily News
“(Griffin) straddles the line between academic and storyteller, cop and journalist…[Gaming the Game} will blow your mind” – Philadelphia Magazine
“An exhaustively researched book threatening to overturn some uncomfortable assumptions about the NBA’s referee scandal…[Gaming the Game] delivers the intrigue you’d expect from a true crime thriller” – ESPN.com’s True Hoop
“[This] important new book…offers a full picture of how the world of big-time sports gambling operates” – The Painted Area (an official ESPN.com NBA blog)
“A book you can bet is worth reading…fascinating…a complete effort” – Delaware County (PA) Daily Times
“If you’ve ever wondered what the REAL story was behind Tim Donaghy and the NBA betting scandal, this is a must read…if you’re interested in sports betting, you won’t be able to put [Gaming the Game] down – Bettors World
“Compelling [and] many leveled…the research behind Gaming the Game is impressive…Griffin’s knowledge of the crime scene in and around Philadelphia illuminates Gaming the Game…He’s a fluid, crisp writer and an A-1 historian of crime [who] combines an eye for detail with the ability to convey broad social themes.” – Blogger News Network