According to a new book, Knicks players hooked on coke fixed games as a favor to their drug dealer, who bet large against the Knicks, FBI informants claimed during the 1981-82 season.
The FBI investigated if three Knicks players, who were heavy blow users and their supplier, one of the biggest dealers on the East Coast, shaved points, according to FBI files citing in Brian Tuohy's book, "Larceny Games: Sports Gambling, Game Fixing and the FBI." The Knicks were led by guard Michael Ray Richardson during that season.
At the time, the NBA was also struggling with a severe coke problem throughout the league.
The drug dealer was a degenerate gambler who normally bet $300 a game, but suddenly in January 1982 he began putting down $10,000 bets on Knicks' opponents and winning them.
By March 25, the dealer had won six of seven five-figure bets against the Knicks. During this time, the dealer continued placing $300 a game on other NBA games.
The FBI was also looking into whether or not these three Knicks players started betting against themselves.
A point-shaving player could tank his performance to make the final score closer than it should be to help those betting on the underdog. A players could also make mistakes to inflate the margin of defeat, helping a favorite-bettor.
The names of the players and the dealer are redacted in the FBI documents. Richardson was banned for life from the NBA in 1986 for breaking the NBA's drug policy three times. Richardson has denied the claims. The Knicks have also declined to comment.
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