Disgraced former NBA ref Tim Donaghy claims league is biased against Raptors

Toronto Raptors (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)
Toronto Raptors (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images) /

A popular refrain among the Toronto Raptors’ fanbase, as can often be the case among small-market teams, is the idea that the NBA does not want them to succeed. The more conspiracy-minded fans out there believe the NBA would do anything to get teams from cities like New York and Los Angeles going deep into the postseason.

Former NBA referee Tim Donaghy, who went to prison due to a scandal that saw him deliberately influencing the outcomes of games based on their Las Vegas point spreads, added more fuel to that fire. The league may not be big fans of the Raptors and their success.

In an appearance on the “Dishes and Dimes” podcast, Donaghy said that despite Toronto’s positive merits as a “fun” city and hub for non-American basketball culture, the NBA themselves would rather just about any other team in the league take home a championship.

“It’s funny, when I was there anyway, when you saw Toronto on your schedule, you kind of cringed a little bit because there wasn’t much to do there, Donaghy said. “It was kind of tough when you saw Vancouver or Toronto on your schedule…it is a fun and exciting city, but from a global attention, I don’t think the league is hoping they win too many more championships.”

Tim Donaghy says the NBA doesn’t want the Toronto Raptors winning titles.

While the NBA and the media who cover the league wanting a team with more global brand recognition to go deeper into the postseason isn’t too outrageous, the way Toronto is viewed with either indifference or disdain is quite puzzling.

Between Stephen A. Smith directly taking multiple unprompted shots at Toronto during their 2019 title run and their Damian Lillard pursuit as well as the league giving them the fewest nationally televised games the second they saw a decline in production, Toronto is certainly not a market the NBA promotes heavily.

This is despite the fact Toronto has been a consistent winner with a passionate fanbase that has an entire bicoastal country of millions behind them. What’s not to like?

Due to Donaghy’s lost list of behavioral problems and the fact he created an entire scandal built on dishonesty, he may not be the most reliable source when discussing league matters. If you’re inclined to believe him, however, his quotes could serve as validation for any anti-Raptor conspiracies.