Untold: Operation Flagrant Foul Review – one of the biggest scandals in NBA history

By Romey Norton
Published: August 24, 2022 (Last updated: December 5, 2023)


One of the biggest scandals in NBA history is brought to our screens.

Netflix’s Untold: Operation Flagrant Foul was released on Tuesday, August 30, 2022.

Untold Volume 2 brings us this powerful documentary about an act of betrayal. It’ll come as no surprise that the sports betting industry brings in billions of dollars each year, but is all of it legal? Here we follow the true story of a corrupt referee who betted on the games he was officiating. The games he was refereeing could have been manipulated and fixed for personal gain and profit. Half say he did, and half say he didn’t. Through an hour and sixteen minutes, you can draw your own conclusion, but this is without a doubt one of the biggest scandals in the NBA.

Gambling is an obsession, people get addicted, and it changes their lives. In this documentary we hear from three friends, Timmy (the NBA umpire), his partner in crime Tommy Marino, and gambler working, making millions for the mob (20 to 30 million) James Batista. These three key players caused a huge scandal in fraud and extortion, and it led to ten more referees being investigated as it didn’t take long for the FBI to get involved. This is where the fun stopped, and the fear began.

Timmy is described as the King of fixing games, who could control the outcome, and he made a considerable amount of money during his time as a ref for the NBA. His friend Tommy said that they made money, had fun, and got caught, and then they had to come clean and admit what they did. The FBI wired Timmy up and made him a confidential informant, but he insists that no one else was involved.

We’re given exclusive interviews with Timmy, Tommy, and Batista, as well as family members, FBI investigators and Timmy’s lawyer. There’s footage from the NBA games he was officiating, and footage from NBA officials regarding the scandal. There is a certain suave and swagger from this documentary that I just loved and had me gripped from the start — I wanted to see what everyone had to say. The locations and music used for the interviews are understated, which I really enjoy as the focus can be on the individual and their story and have maximum impact, so the viewer isn’t distracted with anything in the background.

Investigative, informative, and infuriating at times, this documentary is well worth the watch. Whether you’re a sports fan or not, this story will capture your attention and have you hooked from beginning to end. Flagrant Foul and Crime and Penalties have crossover in terms of the sometimes-shady subjects they feature, so I highly recommend watching if you were a fan of the latter.

What do you think of Netflix’s Untold: Operation Flagrant Foul? Comment below.

You can watch this series with a subscription to Netflix. 

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