Found September 16, 2013 on
NY Sports 24/7:
A few “coked-up” New York Knicks players fixed games for their drug dealer during the 1981-82 NBA season, reports the New York Post.
In his book “Larceny Games: Sports Gambling, Game Fixing and the FBI,” author Brian Tuohy cites FBI documents that claim three players of the 1981-82 Knicks who were “heavy users of cocaine” threw games so their coke dealer could win big. The players may have also been betting against themselves.
The coke dealer’s and players’ names were redacted from the FBI documents.
Apparently all three Knicks players gave “tips on when to bet the Knicks to lose.”
Evidence suggests the Knicks probably did throw games that year. The drug dealer was also allegedly a degenerate gambler who usually bet $300 a game. But beginning in January 1982 he started waging $10,000 bets against the Knicks. By March, he’d won six out of seven bets worth five figures each.
After the team fell to 33-49, Knicks guard Michael Ray Richardson famously said, “The ship be sinking!”
Curiously, in 1986 Richardson received a life-time ban from the NBA after violating drug policy three times. Richardson was rumored to be addicted to cocaine. He was also the Knicks leading scorer that year, averaging about 18 points per game.
There’s really only one argument I can think of to defend the coke dealer and his three Knicks clients. Had the dealer known that the players were hooked on cocaine, he could’ve anticipated their poor play and bet accordingly. I think it’s fair to assume that a few athletes staying up all night doing lines in bathroom stalls at Studio 54 (remember, it’s the ‘80s) wouldn’t be in the best condition to play basketball.
So far the Knicks have failed to comment on the story.
Lucas Rubio is a columnist for NYSports247.com and author of the Playerz League Sports Blog. Follow him on Twitter @PlayerzLeague.
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