The Wizard of Odds: How Jack Molinas Almost Destroyed the Game of Basketball

The Wizard of Odds: How Jack Molinas Almost Destroyed the Game of Basketball

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by Charley Rosen, Charley Rosen
     
 

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Jack Molinas had it all — good looks, charm, an Ivy League education, a genius-level I.Q. of 175, and a huge talent for the game of basketball. He was also a gambling addict with a flair for larceny. The Wizard of Odds chronicles the rise and fall of this outstanding NBA All-Star who fixed games, cavorted with the Mafia, produced pornographic films, and was

Overview

Jack Molinas had it all — good looks, charm, an Ivy League education, a genius-level I.Q. of 175, and a huge talent for the game of basketball. He was also a gambling addict with a flair for larceny. The Wizard of Odds chronicles the rise and fall of this outstanding NBA All-Star who fixed games, cavorted with the Mafia, produced pornographic films, and was eventually murdered. Author Charley Rosen chillingly probes the life of a man who understood better than anyone around him the weaknesses of the system in which he lived — so much so that he convinced himself he could manipulate that system to his own ends with impunity. By the time he was arrested on January 9, 1954, for conspiring to fix NBA games, he was already deeply involved with the Mafia. After his release from prison, he would descend ever deeper into crime, a preoccupation that would end with a bullet in the head.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Jack Molinas was a star college and professional basketball player in the 1950s who was expelled from the National Basketball Association in his rookie year for betting on games. He had been manipulating point spreads since his college days at Columbia, and after his expulsion from the NBA he attained his law degree and became a major wheel in the mob-influenced college basketball point fixing scandals of 1961. Eventually sentenced to 15 years in prison for his role as a fixer, he served five before being paroled, forging a new career in pornography, and finally being gunned down under mysterious circumstances. Prolific basketball writer Rosen quotes extensively from lengthy interviews Milton Gross conducted with Molinas in the 1960s for a never-published biography. Because of Molinas's duplicitous, self-serving nature, the reader is never sure how true certain allegations are. A fascinating view of the seamy side of sports gambling, this will be of particular interest to college sports and basketball historians. Recommended for all libraries. John Maxymuk, Rutgers Univ. Lib., Camden, NJ Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781583222683
Publisher:
Seven Stories Press
Publication date:
12/28/2001
Edition description:
A SEVEN ST
Pages:
432
Product dimensions:
6.35(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.40(d)

Meet the Author

A native of the Bronx and longtime pal of basketball guru Phil Jackson, CHARLEY ROSEN led the league in technical fouls during each of his six years as a coach in the now-defunct Continental Basketball Association. Since then he has become the world’s foremost writer of fiction and nonfiction on the subject of basketball, chronicling the drama that takes place both on and off the court. His many novels include The House of Moses All-Stars, a New York Times Notable Book, and Sammy Wong: All-American. His non-fiction works include The Scandals of ’51: How the Gamblers Almost Killed College Basketball and More than a Game, with Phil Jackson. Rosen is an analyst for hoopshype.com and a devotee of the Triangle Offense. He lives in Accord, NY.

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The Wizard of Odds: How Jack Molinas Almost Destroyed the Game of Basketball 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
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