Ref who worked Kings vs. Lakers responds

Posted: June 12, 2008

Bob Delaney said yesterday he has not been contacted by NBA or federal authorities about former colleague Tim Donaghy's allegations that a 2002 playoff game Delaney officiated was fixed to favor the Lakers over the Kings.

"This is not the first time a known or convicted criminal has lied about me before the judicial system,'' Delaney, a former New Jersey state trooper, told ESPN's "Outside the Lines.''

"I have an extensive law-enforcement background and still train police officers. I have dealt with criminals and informants, and I know full well they are capable of doing and saying anything. I cannot comment any further without permission from the NBA.''

Delaney, who worked Game 2 of the Finals between the Lakers and Celtics last week, wrote a book published in February about his 3 years spent infiltrating organized crime as an undercover agent. His name has been dragged into the NBA's deepening officiating scandal by Donaghy, who has pleaded guilty to felony charges related to his role in betting on games he officiated and providing confidential information to gamblers.

In Game 6 of the Western Conference finals between the Lakers and Kings, Donaghy asserted that two of the referees had been instructed to favor the Lakers to ensure a seventh game. Delaney, Dick Bavetta and Ted Bernhardt - who no longer works for the league - worked the game. The Lakers took 40 free throws to Sacramento's 25, including a 27-9 advantage in the fourth quarter in a 106-102 victory. The Lakers then won Game 7.

Hall of Famer Bill Walton, who returned to work this week as an ESPN analyst after a serious back injury, said he is "saddened'' by Donaghy's assertions, which he characterized as "totally wrong.'' Walton worked Game 6 of the Kings-Lakers series.

"You always sit there and say, 'How can he make that call? What is going on here?' " Walton said. "I just try to look at the positive and the bright side of all the people who have given their lives to make the NBA the great sport and great business that it is.'' *

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