Bringing together the worlds of Goodfellas and college basketball, Joe Lavine’s ‘Playing for the Mob’ takes a closer look at the corruption that plagued college basketball in the late 70s.
The film sheds light on the point-shaving scandal that rocked college hoops in Boston, as the desire for money took over and the mob took hold of the sport.
Originally played by the great Ray Liotta in Goodfellas, the documentary also provides a look into the mind of famous gangster Henry Hill, who went on to become famous for turning his back on his closest allies and snitching on his fellow mobsters.
Furthermore, a natural consequence of retelling this type of story is it acts as a reminder of how the North American gambling industry has grown in recent years, and why every evolution of the regulatory framework is monumental in the modern climate.
The documentary tells the story from numerous perspectives, focusing on the players at the center of the scandal, as well as mobster Hill, who pulled many of the strings of the operation through his connections with bookmakers at the time.
The film is part of ESPN’s decorated documentary series, which has produced some of the sporting world’s best stories and mapped them out for fans in an enthralling fashion.