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Report: Knicks players fixed games for drug dealer during ’81-’82 season

Sep 14, 2013, 8:00 PM EDT

source: Getty Images

The Knicks may have been a mess by the end of the 1981-82 season, but if the allegations in some FBI documents are to be believed, the team’s players that year weren’t just bad at winning basketball games — they may have been doing things to lose them on purpose.

From Gary Buiso of the New York Post:

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 names of the players and the dealer are redacted in the FBI documents, which The Post authenticated with the federal agency.

There are many more details, of course, including dollar amounts wagered, patterns of betting, and games where the largest amounts wagered covered the point spread on six out of seven occasions.

The Knicks that year were led by Micheal Ray Richardson, who was banned for life from the NBA in 1986 for violating the league’s drug policy a third time.

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

The FBI investigation spread beyond just the Knicks and this single season. The probe lasted until 1986, and expanded to include the drug dealer who was reported to have been conspiring with “various professional basketball teams” to shave points.

The case was closed in 1986 without any arrests.

The book that The Post cites as the initial source of the FBI documents was published on Sept. 3, 2013 –which is the reason we’re only just now hearing about an investigation that took place more than 30 years ago.

  1. stayhigh_247 - Sep 14, 2013 at 8:13 PM

    they’re not the only ones to do it

  2. money2long - Sep 14, 2013 at 8:41 PM

    go knicks

  3. papichulo55 - Sep 14, 2013 at 8:44 PM

    Brett, why are you giving this book, or the NY Post, any publicity? The FBI couldnt make a case, so why help these literary leeches make money? I want to believe NBA games are honest! Is that too much to ask? Dont Tase my game, Bro!

    • adamsjohn714 - Sep 15, 2013 at 6:44 PM

      It’s an interesting basketball story, so they put it on a *GASP* basketball blog. When you don’t do the actual investigative reporting, it’s only slightly frowned upon to pass it off as your own story. You cite/give credit where it’s due.

  4. kb2408 - Sep 14, 2013 at 9:22 PM

    The 80’s were a terrible time for the NBA. Thank Goodness for Magic and Bird for helping the league get back to great basketball and away from coke.

  5. dysraw1 - Sep 14, 2013 at 9:23 PM

    lol those were some wild times, Sugar was crazy back then

  6. jimeejohnson - Sep 14, 2013 at 9:39 PM

    At least they didn’t smoke crack.

    • badintent - Sep 15, 2013 at 7:00 PM

      Len Bias. DOA. RIP

  7. 950003cups - Sep 14, 2013 at 10:01 PM

    Someone should give Amar’e Stoudemire some coke. Maybe he’ll wake the bleep up!

    I also think the entire FBI report is flawed. Otherwise it would’ve came out long ago when some agent was looking for a promotion of some sort.

    • daddyghi - Sep 15, 2013 at 10:12 PM

      if the Feds released this report back then, John Gotti would have them killed…

  8. mikejr80 - Sep 14, 2013 at 10:05 PM

    Wow, is anything sacred? Drug dealers seemingly rule the world

    • badintent - Sep 15, 2013 at 7:03 PM

      Except in Russia. But Russian still claims they went to war with Afghan to stop the flow of heroin into the border region with the Talibanies.
      Singapore has one penalty for drug dealers . Death by hanging or dropping out of army helicopter in Shark infested waters. Pass the Grey Poupon

  9. thenmoveback - Sep 14, 2013 at 10:26 PM

    Report. JR Smith still doing this. See playoffs.

  10. thetooloftools - Sep 14, 2013 at 10:51 PM

    That’s fine. A Russian criminal owns the Nets now.
    Who cares?

  11. maldenmo - Sep 15, 2013 at 7:41 AM

    The 81-82 Knicks were HORRIBLE that year with no really try all-stars. Even if this WAS or IF true, there is NO WAY that team could have beaten the Celtics, 76ers, Bucks or made any noise WHATSOEVER in the playoffs. So DOES IT REALLY MATTER??

    • badintent - Sep 15, 2013 at 7:09 PM

      It matters when the FBI cover and close the investigation due to using the Drug dealer as an informant on the Mobs’ bookie operations. I ‘m guess the FBI agent was a corrupt one like the one handling Whitey Bulger. I ‘m guessing Stern had it swept under the carpet that his desk was on..Guess Stern got a whiff of this book coming out and took the pass of least resistance …… retire.

  12. chltwn32 - Sep 15, 2013 at 8:24 AM

    If they did, one, they wouldn’t remember(drugs tend to do that) and two, they would deny it!

  13. Anoesis - Sep 15, 2013 at 10:40 AM

    An investigation of that magnitude for that length of time and no arrests? Sounds pretty thin to me.

  14. motobus - Sep 15, 2013 at 12:15 PM

    Good thing the FBI is working on what happened in the NBA 30 years ago.

    • adamsjohn714 - Sep 15, 2013 at 6:48 PM

      It’s interesting how you perceive time. Most see it as linear.

  15. onbucky96 - Sep 16, 2013 at 5:51 AM

    And here I thought they only fixed the draft lottery so Ewing would be a Knick.

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