Saturday, September 14, 2013

Report says 1981-82 Knicks fixed games for a drug dealer

In the 1970's and early 1980's the NBA was in a bad spot. Games were on tape delay and there was rampant drug use among players back then.

 A report by Gary Buiso of the New York Post says that the New York Knicks fixed games back in the 1981-82 season.

Coked-up Knicks players fixed games as a favor to their drug dealer — who bet big bucks against the anemic New York squad, FBI informants claimed during the 1981-82 season.

The feds probed whether three Knicks, reportedly “heavy users of cocaine,” and their supplier, “one of the largest dealers on the East Coast,” shaved points, according to FBI documents cited in Brian Tuohy’s book, “Larceny Games: Sports Gambling, Game Fixing and the FBI.”

The dealer was a degenerate gambler who usually bet $300 a game, informants told investigators, but in January 1982 he began laying $10,000 wagers on Knicks’ opponents — and winning them.
By March 25, the coke dealer had won six of his seven five-figure bets against the Knicks — while continuing to make his normal $300 wagers on other NBA games.

“Over . . . the last two months, all three [players] have given . . . tips on when to bet the Knicks to lose. This has occurred seven times and six of the tips were good,” according to FBI files citing two unnamed “sources.”

Point guard Michael Ray Richardson who was banned for life from the NBA for violating the league's drug policy for a third time in 1986 emphatically denied the story.

“Hell no!” Richardson, 58 and living in Texas, told The Post when asked about the point-shaving allegations. “We never did anything like that.”

Rookie Alex Bradley cosigned Richardson's statement.

“At times the coach was a little lax, and he didn’t put enough pressure on those guys [to play harder],” said Bradley, now a security guard in Wilmington, Del. “At certain times, when we needed to turn it up, it just wasn’t there.”

The FBI ramped up the efforts to prove there was point shaving going on beyond the Knicks. Since there wasn't any known evidence of wrongdoing the investigation eventually went away. The case was closed in 1986.

It wouldn't shock me if it was true considering the time period in which the alleged point shaving took place.

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