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.

Tracy McGrady wishes he stayed in Toronto

Everyone says hindsight is 20/20. You always think about what choices, whether good or bad, that you made in the past and how it might have went if you made the opposite choice.

Former NBA star Tracy McGrady thinks about it now that he's retired.

McGrady teamed with his cousin Vince Carter with the Toronto Raptors as a high flying, athletic duo that could have wreaked havoc on the NBA. The team had made it's first playoff run and were poised to become an Eastern Conference contender. Instead, McGrady wanted to get out of Carter's shadow and signed with the Orlando Magic in the summer of 2000. The Raptors eventually fell a Carter jump shot short of knocking off the Philadelphia 76ers in the Eastern Conference semifinals the next season in which McGrady would've made the difference in the seven game series.

Now reflecting on what could have been a legendary NBA career if injuries didn't rob him of his athletic gifts, McGrady says he wishes he stayed in Toronto as told to the Toronto Sun's Dave Feschuk.  

“In hindsight, looking back, obviously I wish I had stayed in Toronto,” McGrady was saying in a recent telephone interview from his home in the Houston area. “There’s no doubt we could have contended for a championship. I think about that often. But if ‘if’ was a fifth, you know?”

“There’s no doubt we would have won that series if I would have been there,” McGrady said. “We had incredible camaraderie. You can’t duplicate that, man. Big brothers, little brothers — we had a mix. And me and Vince were in the perfect situation. You’ve got the two young superstars and you’ve got these old vets. They were our force field. They protected us from anything that happened on that basketball court. They did all the dirty work. And all we had to do was just concentrate on putting the ball in the hoop and guarding who we were guarding. It was just such a great time in my career.

“Had I been a little older and wiser and knew what was ahead of me, I would have stayed, no doubt, with those guys. But that was some of the best times of my life, man. Being with (Charles) Oakley and Kevin Willis and Antonio Davis, Muggsy (Bogues), Dell Curry, Dee Brown. Man. I still talk to a lot of those guys to this day. Because I appreciated how they looked out for me. They were all professionals.”

“At the time I’m trying to make a decision whether to stay in freezing Toronto or go home to Orlando. ... I just thought it was a no-brainer. As I said, if I’d been a little older and a little wiser maybe things would have been different. ... It’s definitely something I always sit back and reminisce about, thinking about Toronto and what we could have been.”

Sounds more factual than sour grapes if you ask me. The Raptors might have been very good, maybe the best in a watered down Eastern Conference back then. The team had a good veteran core and the young superstars to make a run at the finals. But it never happened.

McGrady toiled on some bad Orlando teams and eventually was traded to the Houston Rockets but was never able to get out of the first round of the playoffs.

McGrady doesn't come off as angry. Just reflecting on what might have been had he stayed with the team that drafted him.


George Karl being sued by his agent in a payment dispute

George Karl was fired by the Denver Nuggets this summer despite winning NBA coach of the year and getting the Nuggets to a three seed in a loaded Western Conference.

Karl is currently in a dispute with his long time agent Bret Adams. Adams is suing for breaching a contract and not being paid since January, Jeff Bell of reported.

Former National Basketball Association coach George Karl is being sued by his long-time agent, Columbus attorney Bret Adams, in a payment dispute.

Adams filed suit in U.S. District Court in Columbus on Wednesday, claiming Karl has refused to pay him since January, allegedly breaching a contract between the two. The suit says the contract calls for Adams to receive $10,000 a month from Karl. He is asking for compensatory damages in excess of $75,000, attorney fees and other costs. …

Adams told me in an email he is hoping for an immediate resolution of the dispute, calling a Karl a 20-year friend and client.

If this is over money, Karl should pay what he owes. I suspect there's more to the story than Adams not being paid.  

Ex-Tiger outfielder Bubba Trammell charged with aggravated assault

Former Detroit Tigers outfielder Bubba Trammell is facing charges of aggravated assault after he allegedly ran down two police officers after they responded to a domestic violence call at his Knoxville, Tennessee home.

Trammell has struggled with depression in the past and that might have something to do with the charges he's facing.

This past Saturday, Trammell, 42, who has struggled with depression in the past, allegedly pushed a family member and began breaking items inside his home, the Knoxville News Sentinel reported. He also allegedly exposed himself to a female family member.

Trammell allegedly “drove his vehicle eastbound on Glenrothes Boulevard toward officers,” according to the arrest warrant obtained by the Sentinel. “Officers were standing in the street, in front of the defendant, signaling him to stop. Officers had to move out of the path of the vehicle to avoid being struck by the vehicle.

“When officers entered their vehicles to go after the defendant, he came back to the scene and was taken into custody.”

Trammell will be arraigned on September 23 on the two aggravated assault charges, plus charges of domestic assault and indecent exposure.

Charles Rogers has a warrant issued for his arrest

More bad news about former Detroit Lions receiver Charles Rogers.

 For the fourth time in 18 months a judge has issued an arrest for Rogers after he failed to show up for a pretrial hearing.

Saginaw County District Judge A.T. Frank on Tuesday, Sept. 10, issued a bench warrant for Rogers' arrest after Rogers, who faces five misdemeanors from two unrelated incidents, failed to appear for a pretrial hearing.

Frank on Tuesday said both Saginaw County officials as well as NFLPA officials are attempting to locate Rogers, but those attempts have proven unsuccessful. Rogers had numerous trial dates rescheduled throughout the year when he was in North Carolina, but after the judge learned of Rogers' apparent current whereabouts, he issued the warrant for Rogers' arrest.

When you think about it this isn't too much of a shocker to anyone. Anytime something is reported on Rogers it's usually negative and there is a warrant issued for his arrest.

This guy should still be a contributor for an NFL team at the very least. Maybe he needs to spend time in a cell instead of receiving probation or going into rehab to get his act together. Maybe he'll wake up then and realize he ruined a gift and skill that most of us don't have.