The NBA on Tuesday denounced as “baseless” a book’s claim that heavy gambling losses by Isiah Thomas and James Edwards raised questions about point-shaving during two Detroit Pistons games in 1989.
Jeffrey Mishkin, the league’s chief legal officer, called “absolutely false” the contention in the book “Money Players” that the NBA recently reopened an investigation into point-shaving in the late 1980s.
Mishkin said the only investigation occurred after the book’s authors - ABC correspondent Armen Keteyian, New York Times sports columnist Harvey Araton and Sports Illustrated reporter Martin Dardis - sent letters to Thomas and Edwards, questioning them about point-shaving.
The book, which cites six unidentified sources, including four eyewitness accounts, quotes both Pistons players denying any involvement.
“I wish the people who are supposedly saying this would put a face behind it,” Thomas said.
“During my time in college, high school and sometimes in the pros, yeah, you know you play cards, you shoot dice. But I never, ever point-shaved, gambled or bet on games,” Thomas told The Sports Network.
Joe Dumars, who played for the 1989-90 Pistons and is still with the team, said he never saw anything to substantiate the charges in the book.
“I never saw anything to indicate to me that would even possibly be the case,” Dumars said Tuesday. “You’re talking about a guy who was the most competitive guy that I ever played with. So it would be hard for me to believe that.”
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