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

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

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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.
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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.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781583225622
  • Publisher: Seven Stories Press
  • Publication date: 12/5/2002
  • Pages: 432
  • Sales rank: 491,953
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.16 (d)

Meet the Author

Charley Rosen
Charley Rosen

Charley Rosen, the coauthor with Phil Jackson of Maverick (1975) and More Than a Game (2001), is a past player and coach of several Continental Basketball Association (CBA) teams and a noted sportswriter and novelist. Rosen is currently the chief NBA columnist for Foxsports.com.

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