In The Wizard of Odds, renowned and best-selling basketball writer Charley Rosen brings us for the first time the full life story of Jack Molinas, one of the greatest basketball players of his era, a man whose gambling addiction and hubris caused his ultimate demise. Drawing on numerous, previously unavailable first-person accounts, including Jack Molinas’s own journal and trial transcripts, Rosen presents the true saga of a man who perhaps better than anyone around him understood the weaknesses of the system in which he lived—so much so that he convinced himself that he could manipulate that system to his advantage with total impunity, in a life’s journey that took him from NBA play to the Mafia and the pornographic film industry, and to an ultimate tragic destiny.
Basketball player, coach, and critically acclaimed novelist CHARLEY ROSEN played for Hunter College from 1959–62, where he set school records for scoring and rebounding, and was voted team MVP all three years. He went on to play for the US Maccabiah team in 1961, for Camden and Scranton in the Eastern League (a forerunner of the Continental Basketball Association) in 1962, and was a member of the bronze-medal-winning team in the World Senior Games in 1994. Rosen coached in the minor-league Continental Basketball Association for nine years and was the head coach of the women's team at the State University of New York at New Paltz. He lives in Woodstock, NY.