An interesting part of the Untold: Vol. 2 documentary Operation Flagrant Foul, on the 2007 gambling scandal centered on former NBA referee Tim Donaghy, is how it’s not just about Donaghy. The documentary, directed by David Terry Fine, has extensive interviews not just with Donaghy, but also with fellow conspirators Tommy Martino (who Donaghy initially started placing bets with) and Jimmy “The Sheep” Battista (who worked his way into the scheme later). It marks the first time they’ve all told their stories on-screen, and those stories have some notable differences. But these three guys had connections long before this gambling saga, as this new clip illustrates:
That clip has Donaghy saying “Tommy was one of those guys all the girls loved, athletic, funny, good-looking kid that everybody liked.” It then has Battista saying “He had good street smarts, always easy-going, you wanted to be around Donaghy.” Martino then says “Bah-bah (Battista) and Donaghy were not friends, they were acquaintances. I was friends with Jimmy, I was friends with Timmy. I was their link. All three of us went to Cardinal O’Hara High School together. Tim was hilarious, he was the prankster, you know, he was the guy pulling the fire alarm. Jimmy was a God-fearing, church-going boy just like we were. And his family was very strict with him, and maybe that’s why he rebelled a little bit and got mixed up with them guys.”
A key part of this documentary is Donaghy and Martino’s claims on how what the scheme eventually grew into was something well beyond what they had initially imagined, with them citing Battista’s involvement for that. And this clip helps to illustrate how these conspirators knew each other in the first place, and what their relationships were long before this. It’s a useful look at the history between these three people, and the exploration of that history’s a fascinating part of this film.
Untold: Operation Flagrant Foul is available now on Netflix.