The 1981-82 New York Knicks were bad, but were they intentionally bad? A new book says three players fixed games to help out their drug dealer.
A new book titled “Larceny Games: Sports Gambling, Game Fixing and the FBI” says some members of the 1981-82 Knicks team had an addiction to cocaine and were supplied the drug by “one of the largest dealers on the East Coast.” That dealer was also an avid gambler, the author says.
The book claims the drug dealer started betting $300 per game, but by January 1982 began placing $10,000 wagers on whomever the Knicks were playing. By March that year, he’d won six of his seven five-figure bets. (Via NBC)
The accusations by the book’s author, Brian Tuohy, are based on documents from an FBI investigation.
He says eventually the players weren’t just leaking information to help their drug dealer out but were reportedly betting against themselves, too. The FBI documents say a “source observed heavy betting by [redacted] toward the latter part of the NY Knicks season, on the Knicks to lose certain games. In each case, the Knicks did lose, or failed to cover the point spread on the game.” (Via Sports Illustrated)
The Knicks finished 33-49 that season, last in the NBA’s Atlantic Division.
Micheal Ray Richardson was the team’s headline player at that time and was rumored to have a cocaine addiction. He was banned from the NBA for life in 1986 for violating the league’s drug policy for a third time. (Via YouTube / CourtsideJones)
When asked about the allegations, he told the New York Post: “Hell no! … We never did anything like that.”
The case was considered closed by 1986 with no arrests. The Knicks have declined to comment.
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