New Book alleges “Coked-Up” New York Knicks fixed Games for Drug Dealers
The biggest sports betting scandal in history involves the Chicago Black Sox allegedly throwing the 1919 World Series in exchange for money from gamblers. But there’s a sports betting scandal on the horizon that could even rival the Black Sox incident.
In his new book, Larceny Games: Sports Gambling, Game Fixing and the FBI, author Brian Tuohy alleges that three “coked-up” members of the 1981-1982 New York Knicks basketball team fixed games for their drug dealers. Tuohy’s work cites FBI investigators who looked into a potential point-shaving scandal that three Knicks ran for one of the East Coat’s biggest drug dealers.
The drug kingpin was allegedly a degenerate sports gambler who wagered around $300 a game. However, when he worked out a deal with three Knicks players, he increased his bets to $10,000 per game, usually wagering on New York to lose. The DailyMail wrote about this with the following:
By March of 1982, the dealer had won six of the seven large bets he’d made against the Knicks – all while continuing to bet his regular $300 on games in which the Knicks were not playing.
‘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.’
The scandal doesn’t just end here because the FBI also suspected that the three basketball players were betting against their team too. Tuohy commented that the pros may have been spending large amounts of money on cocaine, racking up huge sports debts, and finding themselves owing more favors to drug dealers.
The names of the players who were initially listed in the report have been redacted, but infamous guard Micheal Ray Richardson was the most notable player mentioned. Billed as “the next Walt Frazier,” Richardson was expected to be a star after being drafted fourth overall in the 1978 NBA Draft.
He initially lived up to these expectations after being a four-time NBA All-Star and averaging 18 points in the 1981-82 season – when the Knicks finished a disappointing 33-49. But a major knee injury and three league drug policy violations derailed Richardson’s career. The latter convinced NBA Commissioner David Stern to ban him from the NBA for life.
When recently asked about shaving points, Richardson told reporters, “Hell no…we never did anything like that.”