In a riveting page-turner, NBA referee Bob Delaney reveals the clandestine life he led before becoming one of professional basketball’s most respected referees. In 1975, Delaney had spent only a year and a half as a New Jersey State Trooper when his superiors approached him with a tantalizing yet dangerous undercover assignment: to infiltrate the Mob. Delaney accepted, and became Bobby Covert, the president of Alamo Trucking, a fully-operational business used by law enforcement as flypaper for snagging crooks.
At the height of The Godfather era, Delaney wore a wire and lived among wiseguys who modeled themselves on their on-screen counterparts, quoting lines from ?The Movie” and boasting of how often they’d seen it. Delaney even crossed paths with Joe Pistone, the real-life Donnie Brasco (though neither knew the other was undercover), knowing all the while that a single slip could get him killed.
Ultimately gathering enough evidence to convict 30 members of the Bruno and Genovese crime families, Project Alpha was a success, but Delaney struggled with post-traumatic stress disorder and traces of Stockholm syndrome after getting too close to those he investigated. Therapy helped him come to terms with all he’d endured during his three tense years undercover, and, once a college basketball star, Delaney began officiating high school and intramural games as a way to rebuild his life?eventually working his way up to the NBA, where he has been a referee for more than two decades.
Baker & Taylor A respected NBA referee describes his work with the N.J. State Police as an undercover operative assigned to infiltrate organized crime, explaining how he took on the role of "Bobby Covert," president of a trucking firm, until he gathered enough evidence to convict some thirty members of the Bruno and Genovese crime families, and how he used his love of basketball to help recover from the trauma of the mission.
Baker & Taylor Discusses the three years the author spent as an undercover agent infiltrating the New Jersey Mob, the trouble he had adjusting to "real life" after closing the case and testifying before Congress, and his second career as a referee for the NBA.