NBA commissioner says he could ban player from league amid gambling probe: 'It's cardinal sin'


NBA commissioner Adam Silver said on Tuesday that if it is found that Jontay Porter placed wagers on the NBA, particularly himself, he could be banned from the sport.

The Toronto Raptors forward is under investigation after the NBA found “multiple instances of betting irregularities.”

“I have enormous range of discipline available to me,” Silver said on Tuesday. “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.”

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Jontay Porter #34 of the Toronto Raptors warms up before the game against the Portland Trail Blazers at the Moda Center on March 09, 2024 in Portland, Oregon.  (Alika Jenner/Getty Images)

The probe stems around prop bets involving Porter on two games — Jan. 26 against the Los Angeles Clippers and March 20 against the Phoenix Suns.

ESPN broke down the situation involving Porter, starting with a Jan. 26 game against the Clippers, during which “increased betting interest” was found on the under for Porter’s prop bets. 

Before the game, over/under prop bets were created for Porter in points (5.5), rebounds (4.5), assists (1.5) and three-pointers made (0.5). 

Porter, who averages 13.8 minutes per game this season, would go on to play just four minutes in the game before re-aggravating an eye injury, according to the Raptors. All of his prop bets hit the under, as he finished with no points, three rebounds, one assists and no three-pointers made. 

ESPN added DraftKings Sportsbook reported Porter’s three-pointers made under was the “biggest money winner for bettors of any NBA player props for games that evening.” Once again, DraftKings Sportsbook reported Porter’s unders were the top moneymaker bets for the NBA on March 20. 

Jontay Porter passes ball

Jontay Porter #34 of the Toronto Raptors handles the ball during the game against the Detroit Pistons on March 13, 2024 at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, Michigan.  (Brian Sevald/NBAE via Getty Images)

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Then, in the game against the Suns, Porter had over/under prop bets set for 7.5 points and 5.5 rebounds. Porter had to leave with an illness after playing just three minutes. He didn’t score after missing just one shot attempt, while hauling in two rebounds. 

Some sportsbooks have said they were alerted to odd betting patterns surrounding the Porter prop offerings in those games, which means it’s likely that the league — which has business relationships with many wagering companies — may have received some of that same information.

Jontay Porter vs Raptors

Jontay Porter of Toronto Raptors fights for a rebound with Lindy Waters III of Oklahoma City Thunder during the 2023-2024 NBA regular season game between Toronto Raptors and Oklahoma City Thunder in Toronto, Canada, March 22, 2024. (Zou Zheng/Xinhua via Getty Images)

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Porter has not played since the investigation began, with Toronto citing personal reasons.

Fox News’ Scott Thompson and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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