Jontay Porter Could be Banned from NBA if Guilty of Match Fixing: Adam Silver

Posted on: April 11, 2024, 12:01h. 

Last updated on: April 11, 2024, 03:05h.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver says the Toronto Raptors’ Jontay Porter could be banned from the league for life if match-fixing allegations are found to be true.

Jontay Porter, Adam Silver, NBA, match fixing
NBA president Adam Silver, above, was the first major league figure to back legalized sports betting and continues to believe regulation combats match-fixing. But he won’t go lightly on those who compromise the league’s integrity, he said Wednesday. (Image: Jeff Chiu/AP)

The league is currently investigating suspicious betting patterns surrounding two games in which Porter appeared to underperform earlier this year. After both games, gamblers betting the under on Porter three-pointers were the biggest winners among all NBA prop bets, according to DraftKings.

“I have an enormous range of discipline available to me,” Silver said Wednesday at a meeting of the league’s board of governors. “It’s a 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.”

Spot-Fixing Probe

Silver offered no update on the investigation, other than it was “ongoing.” It’s believed the league is looking into whether there is evidence of “spot-fixing,” where players manipulate not the outcome of a game, but aspects within it that can be wagered on as props or of an exchange of insider information for betting purposes.

The first game under scrutiny was played on January 26 against the LA Clippers, which the Raptors lost, 127-107. Porter played four minutes of the game after a reoccurrence of an existing eye injury, totaling no points, three rebounds, and one assist.

The second game was played on March 20 against the Sacramento Kings – again, a loss for the Raptors, 123-89. This time, Porter only played three minutes after complaining of feeling ill, managing one missed shot and two rebounds.

Porter has averaged 4.4 points, 3.2 rebounds, 2.3 assists, and 14 minutes per game over 26 games. He hasn’t played since the launch of the investigation.

Silver Bucked the Trend 

In a 2014 op-ed for The New York Times, Silver was the first major league president to declare his support for legal and regulated sports betting, breaking decades of fierce opposition that was rooted in integrity concerns. Silver wrote that “sports betting should be brought out of the underground and into the sunlight where it can be appropriately monitored and regulated.”

Today, sports betting is a big money-spinner for the NBA, which is projected to make $167 million in gambling-related revenue this season through its relationship with casinos and sportsbooks.

On Wednesday, Silver told the NBA board that the controversy surrounding Portner hasn’t shaken his belief in regulated markets.

“I mean, this is not new that there’s unsavory behavior, even illegal behavior, around sports betting,” Silver said. “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.”