Jontay Porter Could Face Permanent Ban From NBA If Gambling Allegations Turn Out to Be True

Kos Temenes
By Kos Temenes
April 11, 2024Sports News
Jontay Porter Could Face Permanent Ban From NBA If Gambling Allegations Turn Out to Be True
Toronto Raptors center Jontay Porter (34) and Denver Nuggets guard Jamal Murray (27) are shown in the second half of an NBA basketball game in Denver on March 11, 2024. (David Zalubowski/AP Photo)

Toronto’s Jontay Porter could be facing a permanent ban from the NBA if it is found that he placed wagers on the league—and particularly on himself, according to NBA commissioner Adam Silver.

The Toronto Raptors forward is currently under investigation after accusations of multiple instances of gambling-related irregularities started to surface. Since the start of the investigation, Mr. Porter has not played in the league, as betting patterns associated with his on-court performance are being examined.

“I have enormous range of discipline available to me,” Mr. Silver said. “It’s cardinal sin what he’s accused of in the NBA. The ultimate extreme option I have is to ban him from the game. That’s the level of authority I have here because there’s nothing more serious.”

The investigation came to light after ESPN reported on Mr. Porter’s performance on two separate occasions: first in a game against the Los Angeles Clippers on Jan. 26, and then against the Phoenix Suns on March 20. In both instances, Mr. Porter left the game after playing briefly, citing health issues. This season alone, Mr. Porter averaged just under 14 minutes per game.

On both occasions, Mr. Porter failed to achieve the set numbers offered to betters as prop wagers in the respective games, effectively leaving those who bet against him in a winning position, as he failed to reach the set standard for points and rebounds during both games.

Prop Bet Irregularities

Proposition bets, or prop bets, enable bettors to place bets on specific achievements related to players or to specific outcomes within a sporting event, and are unrelated to the outcome of a game. For example, if a player’s ‘over/under’ is set at 5.5 points per game, those who bet ‘over’ win if the player scores 6 points or more in a game, while bettors wagering ‘under’ win if the player scores 5 points or less.

According to ESPN reports, multiple betting accounts attempted to place wagers of between $10,000 and $20,000 on Porter’s ‘unders’ in January’s game against the Clippers.

Some sportsbooks noticed irregularities in betting patterns during those specific contests, which could likely have led to the league obtaining the information due to the close ties they have with some betting companies.

“I mean, this is not new that there’s unsavory behavior, even illegal behavior, around sports betting. I guess my point is that to the extent it’s going to exist, if you have a regulated environment, you’re going to have a better chance of detecting it than you would if all the bets were placed illegally,” said Mr. Silver.

“At the end of the day, there’s nothing more important than the integrity of the competition, and so any issue raised around that is of great concern to me and to all commissioners, to … all people who are in a position and have a responsibility to safeguard the game,” Mr. Silver said.

Mr. Porter has not played for 10 consecutive games as of April 10, citing personal reasons. However, the period also coincides with the probe into betting patterns associated with his performances.

For obvious reasons, NBA players are prohibited from betting on any games.

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