If the NBA Finals go the distance, David Stern will find his league in the unenviable position of battling for attention with Tim Donaghy's release from prison. Game Seven is scheduled for June 18th, while Donaghy will be released from prison on June 17th. It doesn't help Stern that the apparent reason for Donaghy's release is about as juicy as it gets.
According to Executive Prison Consultants, an advisory company for inmates facing time in federal prison, Donaghy is being released early because he needs surgery resulting from an assault by another inmate. Pat Zaranek of Executive Prison Consultants explained the circumstances to Deadspin.
Tim Donaghy was attacked by another inmate claiming he had ties to the NY mob. Donaghy was threatened that he would be shot in the head and his knee caps would be broken. Donaghy suffered knee injuries that were confirmed via x-ray and an MRI taken 3-4 months after the attack. The attacker was removed from the facility and locked down in a higher level facility.
They waited three to four months after the attack to do x-rays and an MRI? Is this what nationalized health care is going to be like?
Based on an extensive knowledge of movies and television shows about prison (and, thankfully, no personal experience), the beatdown could have occured for any number of reasons. Donaghy was given a lesser sentence after cooperating with authorities, so it could be related to that, or perhaps the attacker lost money on a game that Donaghy referred. There's the spurned sexual advance angle, the beat up the famous guy to earn credit among the other inmates angle and the prison is crazy and there's really not much rhyme or reason to anything angle.
No matter the reason, one imagines Donaghy is thrilled to be getting out of the joint so that he can get back to writing his memoir. Sure, prison beatdowns make for compelling reading but it is hard to cash in on your crimes if you catch a shiv in the shower room.
And, at this point, David Stern would like to remind you that Game Four of the NBA Finals is tonight. While the referees in that game may be inept and inconsistent, they aren't corrupt!