The modern Knicks have had to deal with controversies like Honey Nut Cheerios trash talking, Linsanity, James Dolan's musical career, and the disastrous Isiah Thomas years. But all of that seems relatively quaint and cuddly compared to some old school Knicks problems: according to FBI informants, several players on the Knicks roster in the '80s were routinely fixing games to pay off their coke dealers.
These FBI documents are cited in Brian Tuohy’s new book, “Larceny Games: Sports Gambling, Game Fixing and the FBI.” “The FBI had info that two to three members of [Red Holzman’s] Knicks were shaving for a coke dealer,” Touhy told The News. “And that informants believed that the players were betting on the games themselves — betting on the Knicks to lose.”
The dealer, who previously had only made $300 bets on games, started laying down $10K wagers on the Knicks' opponents starting in January 1982—by March, he had won six of his seven bets against the Knicks, while still making $300 bets on other NBA games. “Over...the last two months, all three [players] have given...tips on when to bet the Knicks to lose...betting against themselves,” the FBI report states.
The FBI reports don't reveal what players were believed to be in the fix, but the Post asked former guard Micheal Ray Richardson, who was banned for life from the NBA in 1986 for violating the NBA’s drug policy three times, about it: “Hell no!” Richardson said when asked about the point-shaving allegations. “We never did anything like that.”