The New York Knicks didn't have a great 1981-82 season. They went 33-49 and missed the playoffs before making it in the next two consecutive seasons. There's a reason for the Knicks' struggle, according to the New York Post.
FBI informants said New York fixed games as a favor to the team's coke dealer during that season. The FBI investigated whether three Knicks players who were reportedly heavy coke users shaved points to appease who was “one of the largest dealers on the East Coast.”
The dealer—who was also a gambler—apparently normally bet $300 per game but started betting as much as $10,000 per game in January of that season and started winning, according to the moles. By March, he bet seven figures per game and won six out of seven of those bets. He couldn't have been that lucky right? The implicated Knicks players tanked or flourished according to this dealer's bet.
These Knicks players may've even betted against themselves, according to FBI documents.
The Knicks organization declined to comment and Red Holzman—the head coach during that season—has passed away. Then-rookie Alex Bradley said although his teammates "phoned it in," it wasn't for bookies. Michael Ray Richardson—a guard on the squad who averaged 18 points per game but ended up being banned from the NBA for life because of repeated drug violations—responded to the allegations with a blunt “Hell no!” Regardless, it's still a reminder of how serious the cocaine problem was for the NBA at one point.
[via New York Post]