‘It’s cardinal sin.’ NBA player could face permanent ban, commissioner says

Toronto Raptors forward Jontay Porter is accused of committing a “cardinal sin” in professional sports and could be facing expulsion from the NBA.


On Wednesday, NBA commissioner Adam Silver gave an update on the investigation into Porter and potential gambling-related activity. ESPN reported last month that the league is looking into “multiple instances of betting irregularities” involving prop bets over Porter’s playing time.


“I have an enormous range of discipline available to me. But it’s cardinal sin, what he’s accused of in the NBA, and the ultimate, extreme option I have is to ban him from the game. That’s the level of authority I have here,” Silver said Wednesday at a press conference.


“Because there’s nothing more serious, I think, around this league when it comes to gambling, and betting on our games, and that is a direct player involvement,” Silver continued. “The investigation is ongoing, but the consequences could be very severe.”


The investigation centers around games on Jan. 26 and March 30 where Porter played briefly before leaving the game. As first reported by ESPN, the games were two instances where betting the under on Porter’s production resulted in unusual winnings.


Per ESPN, the under on Porter’s 3-point attempts was the top money winner among NBA prop bets for the Jan. 26 game. Meanwhile, prop bets on Porter on March 30 “were the No. 1 moneymaker from the night in the NBA,” ESPN reports.


Sports betting has become a booming industry in recent years with its legalization resulting in significant marketing efforts by sportsbooks — and leagues embracing betting in various ways. But as Silver noted, maintaining the integrity of games remains paramount for leagues.


According to the Associated Press, the league has strict rules in place barring players from wagering “money or anything of value on any game.” Additionally, players are required to attend anti-gambling training sessions each year.


The 24-year-old Porter is in his second NBA season and has appeared in 26 games this year. The power forward out of Missouri has averaged 4.4 points, 2.3 assists and 3.2 rebounds per game.




Gideon Canice

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