Stern admitted that game 6 of the 2002 Western Conference finals between Sacramento and the Los Angeles Lakers was "not one of the best refereed games (but) the allegations about that game are not true. I find it to be less than fair that our officials now have to defend themselves from allegations by one of their fallen brethren."
His comments were made at a news conference before Thursday night's game 4 of this year's final between the Lakers and Boston Celtics.
Stern's news conference was held because of Donaghy's claim that he was not the only referee involved in making bogus calls, including the Lakers-Kings contest.
Several times Stern called Donaghy a "convicted felon."
Donaghy has entered a guilty plea to federal charges he shared inside information on NBA games with gamblers and will be tried this summer.