The Breen report: a next-level investigative journalism piece

Joe Maher, Photo Editor

Editor’s note: This article is the second of a three-part series on Michael Breen, which will come out over the next three weeks.

Last week you read the introduction to this fantastic, definitely investigative journalism piece. At the end I told you that I promised an informant, a cover-up, the FBI and maybe even death. This chapter holds many, but not all of those things and starts to paint a picture of why this article needed to be written. Here is The Breen Report Chapter 2:

Part II: The Informant

Okay, I might have lied about being able to prove everything that I write in this article. There are a few things you have to trust me on even though I have no sources, no notes and no discernable proof that it exists. But hey, it is definitely1 true. I will let you know when one of those sections arise. This is definitely one of those sections.

I started out my research by going through old games that he had commentated on. Finding the most popular ones were easy, but he has been in the game for so many years that there are numerous games that are inaccessible. This was the first tip off to me that I was on the right track. 25 years of commentating and I can only find most of the games? What happened to all of them? I needed answers. After about a week of digging I started to get some messages in my email about Breen, which was interesting because I had not shared my newest article idea with anyone. The first one was from “The NBA” and had the subject of “Watch Game One of The NBA Finals Tonight at 9 p.m.” How would the NBA know what I was doing and insist on me watching Mike Breen commentate if the FBI was not monitoring my computer and its search history?

The next email I got was from Hulu trying to “remind me” to renew my subscription. Why would they insist on making me watch things that were not Mike Breen if the FBI did not want to throw me off the scent? The signals were becoming very confusing, but finally, I got an email that confirmed my suspicions about the first two. Someone knew what I was doing and wanted to help. They told me for $500 they could give me what I was looking for. Like, literally that. They said, “If you send $500 in an envelope to this address, we can give you what you have been looking for.” As all FBI informants operate, of course, this was in my spam folder and after one week of waiting I found what I had been looking for.

Part III: The Break, Maybe

There was a video on YouTube that was just highlights of the 2010-2011 Dallas Mavericks going through the playoffs making some clutch plays with Breen saying “Bang!” at each play. Upon finding this video I did not know what I had found. I assumed that this was a video of how they won each game, but it was not. It was highlights of every “Bang!” from the 2011 Mavericks’ Western Conference Final (A series where they lost one game to the Oklahoma City Thunder in) and NBA Final (A series they lost two games to the Miami Heat in). Could it be that one of these times in which he said “Bang!” led to one of those losses?

I checked every game; the first “Bang!” was Western Conference Finals Game One – a Mavs win. Nothing there. The second “Bang!” was from the Western Conference Finals Game Two—a game that the Oklahoma City Thunder won. Woah. Something there. Something huge there. I went back and watched it again. Then I just listened to it. “Barea for three, “Bang!” One-point game again.” It could not be, but the evidence was becoming insurmountable.

Part IV: The Mislead

Now, I am no fool. I knew that there was always a chance for some hoax videos to be put up due to the massive popularity of my campaign to find the truth on Breen. I had become a huge topic within the FBI and I knew that nothing this good would just fall into my lap, even with the use of my informant. So, I needed to be thorough and investigate this one thing that bothered me about the video. It was the fact that before Barea shot, as he dribbled up the court, there was silence from Breen, and after the “Bang!” another pause before his “One-point game again.” It was almost as if someone could have added in the “Bang!” and taken out Breen’s commentating. This seemed plausible because other shots in the video had the opposite problem. For example, Dirk gets a rebound off of a Wade missed free throw and before Breen even finished saying “Rebound Nowitzki,” a “Bang!” was placed in. The video must have been fake, but how much of it was actually fabricated? And why would they do this?

I looked for game highlights of that specific game – the May 19, 2011 game two of the Western Conference Finals. I found a video posted by (Remember? It was the people who sent me the first email and also the organization that the Mavericks play for and Mike Breen commentates on) that was recapping the game. They showed the exact shot that J.J. Barrea hit and though the commentating is quiet, it is there. It was tough to gauge what he said, but after about ten times of listening to the recap and watching Barea make that three, I found out the truth.

Come back next week to hear the TRUTH, the cover-up, the aftermath, and maybe even a death.2


1 probably… maybe… possibly… could be.

2 Again, do not hold me to that last one.