Jontay Porter gambling scandal rocks NBA | Good Word with Goodwill

Yahoo Sports senior NBA reporter Vincent Goodwill and Yahoo Sports NBA contributor Tom Haberstroh discuss the NBA investigation of Raptors F Jontay Porter for his role in recent gambling irregularities. Is this the tip of the iceberg and how can the NBA future-proof itself from these scandals? Hear the full conversation on “Good Word with Goodwill” - part of the “Ball Don’t Lie” podcast - and subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you listen.

Video Transcript

VINCENT GOODWILL: I think we should get into Jontay Porter. The NBA is investigating him. He missed two games for, quote, unquote, "personal reasons," and now it was revealed that, you know, some real unders were being taken in January and in March. Is this one of those unintended consequences that the league should have expected, once you start embracing everything that comes with gambling?

TOM HABERSTROH: Yeah, I read your column, Vinny. I totally agree. The unintended consequence of the NBA going all in on gambling, partnering with different sportsbook operators, putting the Summer League in Las Vegas, and having LeBron James talking openly about having a team in Las Vegas, it seems like everything is pointing towards the NBA just being in bed with gambling more so than ever before.

In this particular story with Jontay Porter, it's worth noting, the NBA did not catch Jontay Porter, at least. This seems to be coming from the DraftKings Sportsbook operator that self-policed this, and noticed that not only were there lots of Jontay Porter unders being bet, or attempted to being bet, they were the top moneymakers at the sportsbook the next morning, when they sent out the little report to its users. To me, this is a bombshell.

VINCENT GOODWILL: I don't know if we're gonna see Jontay Porter ever in the NBA again, right?

TOM HABERSTROH: And that was true even before this happened. Like, he was a fringe player, two-way player for the Toronto Raptors. He's the younger brother of Michael Porter Jr., who's making max money, $34 million, $35 million a year for the Denver Nuggets, champion, and so this story does have kind of a larger ripple effect than I think the average fan knows.

He pulled himself out of both of those games in question. This isn't just he was hitting these unders, or at least he didn't reach those numbers. He was voluntarily pulling himself, after the first quarter ended, in each of these two games, the Clippers and the Kings game. So that raises red flags.

I think, Vinny, the first thing the NBA needs to do is investigate this, obviously, but they need to get rid of, if they need to collaborate with these sportsbooks, get rid of these fringe NBA player player props, and secondly, get rid of the 3-point under over at 0.5. Just get rid of it, because that shot, you can control that.

VINCENT GOODWILL: I think if you do something like that, you're basically telling the players that you don't trust them, and I don't want-- If you can't trust the players, then you can't do this, you know what I mean? And I'm not saying the league should or shouldn't do this, but I'm simply saying, if every other sports league is doing it, I'm not going to bag on the NBA for doing it, nor can I say that we don't trust our players. If you can't trust your players, you don't have a league.