NBA Commissioner Says He Can Ban Jontay Porter From the NBA for Life

  • Porter has not played in an NBA game since March 22
  • Bettors flocked to the under on Porter’s props in two games
  • Porter left both games within four minutes under suspicious circumstances
  • Adam Silver already banned an owner for life early in his tenure
Underneath angle of basketball going through net
Jontay Porter could face a lifetime ban from the NBA, said the league’s commissioner, if found guilty of influencing games for betting purposes. [Image:]

Jontay Porter NBA career peril?

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said that Toronto Raptors center Jontay Porter could face a lifetime ban for his involvement in a betting scandal.

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

Porter has not played in an NBA game since Friday, March 22. It was announced the league was investigating him three days later.

The subject of investigation

Porter, 24, is the subject of interest in two games: one against the Los Angeles Clippers on January 26 and one against the Sacramento Kings on March 20, the second-to-last game he played before leaving the team for “personal reasons” and the ensuing investigation. 

“There is 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 said. “So the investigation is ongoing, but the consequences could be very severe.”

In both of those games, sportsbooks reported an abnormally large amount of interest in betting on Porter’s prop bets. Specifically, they tried to throw $10,000-20,000 on the under on his props.

we had a bunch of people trying to bet under

“People were trying to do whatever they could to bet Jontay Porter props [against the Clippers],” a source told ESPN. “And then, [against the Kings], the same thing. We had a bunch of people trying to bet under for more.”

Porter exited the matchup with the Clippers after less than four minutes with an allegedly reaggravated eye injury. He finished that game with zero points, three rebounds, and one assist.

He then made it less than three minutes against the Kings before he informed his coaches he was too ill to play despite it not being mentioned on the pre-game injury report. He ended that game with two rebounds, no points, and no assists.

Precedent matters

Porter, the brother of Denver Nuggets forward Michael Porter Jr., did not play in the NBA after the 2020-21 season until January of this year. He averaged 13.8 minutes per game and averaged 4.4 points, 3.2 rebounds, and 2.3 assists in 26 games (five starts) with the Raptors.

The NBA has mostly been able to avoid major betting scandals since the 2018 legalization of sports betting, whereas other major leagues such as the NFL have failed. 

“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.”

If Porter is found guilty, there’s a distinct possibility Silver will pull the lever of the lifetime ban.

he banned former Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling for life

In April 2014, two months after Silver was appointed commissioner, he banned former Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling for life following the publication of a tape that contained racist attacks and remarks made by Sterling.

The NBA is also very clear in its rule that players cannot bet on other NBA games, much less purposefully influencing games for the goal of winning bettors money. 

Jontay Porter is listed as out for personal reasons on the Raptors’ injury report ahead of their clash with the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday evening.

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