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The NBA affected by the groundswell of sports betting

The NBA affected by the groundswell of sports betting

Jontay Porter. You have probably never heard this name, which few knew until a few days ago. The 24-year-old basketball player, inside of the Toronto Raptors, whose career in the National Basketball Association (NBA) is limited to thirty-seven games and around ten minutes of play on average, nevertheless finds himself involved in a small scandal across the Atlantic.

On March 25, sports media ESPN revealed that he was under investigation by the North American Basketball League after several cases of abnormal betting in recent months. At the heart of the investigations are two matches in which the player left the court in a hurry, probably due to an eye injury and illness. At the same time, operators have noted numerous downward bets on the number of points scored, the number of rebounds taken, etc.

“It is always very difficult to verify the reason for suspicious betsexplains David Purdum, a journalist specializing in sports betting, in the “ESPN Daily” podcast“. Unless you have a cooperating witness or evidence of communication, such as messages, it is very difficult to prove that someone tried to manipulate an outcome or did not give their all. »

This case is part of several controversies linked to sports betting in the NBA. On March 20, while answering a question about seeing a sports psychologist, the Indiana Pacers star Tyrese Haliburton noted that “for half the world, (he is not) there only to help them make money on DraftKings (a sports betting operator) “. “On my social media accounts, that’s most of the messages I receive,” he would testify.

“People shout at me”

“Some punters got my phone number and sent me crazy messages, in which they mentioned my address, my children…, also revealed JB Bickerstaffthe coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers. The number of times we have a ten-point lead and people yell at me to leave my starters on the field, because the odds are at eleven points… It’s crazy. »

His case is not isolated. “It’s getting scandalousLos Angeles Clippers player PJ Tucker recently said. Fans can be heard shouting at players for their bets. It’s unreal. » American sports media Athleticism thus emphasizes that” at least one “ franchise added a safety to its bench this season in response to this “accumulated belligerence due to betting”. Asked by Athleticism, an NBA spokesperson assures that, however, incidents against players and staff members are, for the moment, no more frequent than other bad behavior.

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Mattie B. Jiménez

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