A new book accuses three players on the 1981-82 New York Knicks team of fixing games and betting on their team to lose so they could score hard drugs.
Brian Tuohy's book "Larceny Games: Sports Gambling, Game Fixing and the FBI," cited records from a FBI investigation that say three players were helping their cocaine dealer rake in big winnings so dealer could fuel their addictions, the New York Post reported.
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The Knicks went 33-49 that season, with Michael Ray Richardson leading the team, averaging 17.9 per game, followed by Maurice Lucas's 15.8.
Richardson, who denied the allegations, famously said that year, “The ship be sinking,” as the team fell. He was banned for life from the NBA in 1986 for violating the NBA’s drug policy three times.
Tuohy told the Daily News Sunday that all the FBI reports he received were heavily redacted with all names omitted.
Investigators said the dealer won $10,000 bets after conferring with Knicks players, who agreed to underperform so the team would lose. The dealer won six of his seven large bets against the Knicks toward the end of the season in late March of that year, according to the book.
"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 that cite two unnamed sources.
Despite the federal investigation that lasted until 1986, no players were ever charged because the agency lacked physical evidence and confessions from the suspects.
"The FBI had info that two to three members of his Knicks were shaving for a coke dealer," Tuohy told the New York Daily News. "Informants believed that the players were betting on the games themselves — betting on the Knicks to lose. I came to the conclusion that (the FBI) interviewed the drug dealer and the dealer said, 'I don’t know these guys,' denying the whole story. And the FBI said, okay, and dropped the whole thing."
The book's author added that there was no evidence the FBI ever questioned the players or confronted the league about the investigation.
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