On the latest episode of the BS Podcast, Bill Simmons went pretty hard after former NBA referee Tim Donaghy and his “attempt to spin his version of events until it becomes a mainstream narrative."
In order to deliver a counter-attack to what he describes as PR efforts from the Netflix Untold series, Simmons hosted a relevant guest to make his points even more valid. Sean Patrick Griffin, the best-selling author of “Gaming the Game” from 2011, joined the podcast and made it clear that the Netflix Untold doc about Tim Donaghy’s betting scandal is “fact-starved and disgraceful”.
The other side of the story
Griffin, the Professor of Criminal Justice at The Citadel, actually has an entire section on his website devoted to the NBA gambling scandal accompanied by a detailed Twitter thread all aimed at debunking what Donaghy is trying to serve to the public.
He sums it all up under Brandolini's law which is also known as the bulls*it asymmetry principle.
Basically, he calls Donaghy out for skipping crucial pieces of information and the public’s lack of willingness to do some actual fact-checking before making conclusions. All of this is echoed by Bill Simmons, who also followed the issue closely ever since the days he was still part of ESPN.
“So yeah, they could make a movie about Tim Donaghy's story. And they probably will. Let's just hope we're not watching a documentary about the death of the NBA some day, because we're headed that way. Wake up, fellas. Rome is burning," Simmons wrote.
Where is the truth?
Fast forward to the present, and Sean Patrick Griffin makes another powerful conclusion.
Simmons follows this up by sarcastically giving “kudos to Donaghy” for successfully spinning his version of the story and calling this episode of the Netflix Untold series a “documercial." He also announced the new episode of BS Podcast on Twitter, labeling the Donaghy segment as “Debunking 15 years of Tim Donaghy’s revisionist bulls*it (including the Netflix doc).”
Simmons made it very clear at the beginning of the segment that his goal is to, in a way, punch back at Donaghy’s PR stunts. "I made a point of not to talk about Tim Donaghy on my podcast, including not having him as a guest," he said. "And then this Netflix doc happened about Donaghy and a lot of people have mentioned it to me and my fear is that Donaghy's attempt to spin his version of the events from 2003-2007 is becoming the mainstream narrative.”
This should serve as a great cautionary tale of the need to always look at all angles of every story -- Donaghy used the Netflix series to present his side, but according to Simmons, there has to be more to it.
Wherever the ultimate truth may lie, let’s hope that our beloved game and league have now forever left these controversies in the past.