Report: 1980s Knicks Players Fixed Games for Drug Dealers


Athletes fixing games for the benefit of gambling is a serious accusation, so no one will be taking the latest accusation lightly. CBS Sports has the story of the hapless Knicks of the early 80’s. In Brian Tuohy’s new book, “Larceny Games: Sports Gambling, Game Fixing and the FBI,” there are accusations that Knicks players from the 1981-82 season were heavy cocaine users and fixed games to help drug dealers win bets.

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.”

Nothing ever came of the case, and since these are some very serious accusations, it makes you wonder if there really is any truth to any of it. The Knicks leading scorer from the 1981-82 season, Michael Ray Richardson denies that any of it is true. The Knicks finished 33-49 that season, which was also Red Holzman’s final season.