Right now, NBA commissioner David Stern is addressing, for the first time, the whole Tim Donaghy situation. We are curious to see if he can avoid picking up the lectern and throwing it across the room.
Because we're sitting in our parents' basement in our underwear, we thought we'd do that the kids call a "live blog," because there's nothing more exciting than a live blog of a guy talking into a microphone.
After the jump, all kinds of David Stern goodness.
11:53. OK. We have a whole other site to work on it now and therefore gotta get back to it. Frankly, you all are doing a rather outstanding job on your own in the comments. We've come away impressed by Stern in this press conference ... not that it's gonna stop him from being repeatedly hammered in every newspaper in the country for the next two months. At least.
11:50. Stern uses the old "when did I stop beating my wife?" comment to bat down a leading question from the Newark Star Ledger. We understand what he's saying ... but we're not sure everyone did.
11:48. A WNBA reference. Nice.
11:45. Excellent question from Liz Robbins from The New York Times, which says, essentially: You've fined players for criticizing officials before. How you feel about that now? Stern responds by calling Donaghy," a rouge, isolated criminal." OK.
11:43. After this press conference, Stern is heading over to the NBA Family Picnic. Boy, that's gonna be one inspired potato sack race. What a joyous occasion.
11:40. After two solid, factual questions, Rachel Nichols from ESPN pops up. And what a question she has: "Can you take us through the range of emotions you went through when you found out about this?" CHRIST. Hey, Rachel: You're not a sideline reporter right now. Is that really the only question you know how to ask? The guy from Bloomberg News just ate his own tie.
11:37. Questions! Who let the Bloomberg News guy in? Stern's back on the "rogue employee" motif. Seriously, he's going to have Donaghy killed; he's treating him as Osama, except, you know, you can catch Donaghy.
11:34. Stern says "this is the most serious situation and worst situation I have ever experienced, either as a fan of the NBA, a lawyer for the NBA or as commissioner of the NBA." And then he makes a pledge to get to the bottom of this, regardless of cost. And we absolutely do not doubt that. We're not a game-fixing referee, and we're pretty scared right now.
11:32. Stern emphasizes that "that's all he's been told." He seems to be in the dark about a lot of what's happening, but he's being as open as one could possibly imagine in this spot. He emphasizes that he had no idea Donaghy might have been gambling during the season, and if he had, he would have been fired. (And shot. And eaten alive.)
11:30. "On July 9, Mr. Donaghy resigned." Well, that's nice! "Suffice it to say, we would have liked to have terminated him earlier." The time period being investigated, says Stern is the last two years. He refereed 139 regular season games, eight playoff games and four preseason games. Stern makes this clear: "He is the only referee accused."
11:27. We think he's licking his chops. "He is accused of betting on games in the NBA. We're not positive that it's games that he works, though I understand that there are accusations that there were games that he worked. He may have bet on other games in which he didn't work. I understand that he is accused of providing information to others for the purpose of allowing them to profit on betting on NBA games. I don't know the number of games. I don't know which games. Until this moment, I have no deployed the people necessary to do the work that would satisfy us. I felt constrained by the FBI office to keep this as quiet as possible."
11:24. Stern says the FBI called him on June 20 2007 about a referee alleged to be betting on games. Stern says he's pleased with the cooperation of the FBI and their "informing us of the danger that is here." But because they're still helping, he says, "he can continue not to comment on the ongoing investigation." Stern's been pretty open so far, and he's not stopping now. "I'm gonna give you the best of my understand of what Mr. Donaghy stands accused of." So here goes.
11:22. Stern says the league told Donaghy in 2005 that he wouldn't be doing the next round of playoffs because they were not happy with his neighbor behavior. Then he moved to Florida and "there were no more reports of any kind." Stern's detailing that his league — kind of mob-like, actually — watched Donaghy like a hawk for years and never saw any problems. Which is fascinating, whether the allegations are true or not.
11:20. Stern says an allegation was made that Donaghy was making bets at The Borgata in Atlantic City (which doesn't have sports betting). Donaghy denied it, and the NBA found no proof that he'd been there. "The only thing that persisted was this ongoing dispute with his neighbors, and we informed him that this made us unhappy."
11:17. Finally, Donaghy comes up. Stern brings up that "dispute with this neighbor" in 2005. He says the league hired an investigator to look into the complaint, and Donaghy told the league the allegations with him were untrue. Thankfully, that guy don't lie.
11:13. Contrary to this Slate column, Stern says the league has a representative in Vegas who informs them when there are odd betting patterns. Wait: There are NBA representatives who don't live in Vegas?
11:11. It's pretty awesome that every time ESPN shows footage of Donaghy, he's shown arguing with a player. This reminds us of "The Naked Gun" jumbotron montage; we fully expect him to be attacked by a tiger in a second. Stern still isn't saying anything.
11:09. Stern says he has security people from "the secret service, the U.S. Army and the New York City police department." We hope they all wear camouflage. He's also droning on. We keep waiting for him to make some sort of statement, you know, about what's going on.
11:07. Stern, looking far more uncertain than he usually looks, is going through the procedures to make sure refs don't, you know, try to fix games. He sounds a little like John Skipper in that ESPN memo. He actually mentions "pamphlets." Yeah, well, that worked.
11:06. Opening statement from Stern. He doesn't look happy. He talks about how he'd "rather not have this press conference, but we felt an obligation." Hey, thanks!
11:05. Here comes Stern. He's shorter than everyone in the room, but he always looks somehow taller.
11:03. Skip Bayless is talking. We're gonna mute this until The Commish comes on.