NBA's Jontay Porter faces lifetime ban for "cardinal sin" of possibly betting on games

The two current gambling controversies in pro sports look to be moving in very different directions. Baseball megastar Shohei Ohtani could be facing no punishment from Major League Baseball. Jontay Porter of the Toronto Raptors could end up getting maximum punishment from the NBA.

Commissioner Adam Silver acknowledged on Wednesday that Porter could be done, permanently.

"I have an enormous range of discipline available to me," Silver said, via Tim Bontempts of "But it's a cardinal sin, what he's accused of in the NBA, and 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, I think, around this league when it comes to gambling: betting on our games. And that is a direct player involvement. And so, the investigation is ongoing, but the consequences could be very severe."

Porter is suspected of making early exits from a pair of games that entailed heavy action for the unders on his prop bets.

Prop bets continue to be the easiest way for an individual player to skew the outcome of a wager. All he has to do is not generate stats. Miss shots. Lallygag. For Porter, it apparently was to leave early, with a potentially embellished injury and/or illness.

He could be leaving for good.

It's unclear whether he directly wagered on his under props, or whether he placed bets through a friend or family member. It's also possible that someone was simply paying him to leave early, so that the unders would hit.

Whatever the specifics, it's a cautionary tale for the NFL. Can the league keep it from happening before it inevitably does?

That's the challenge for 345 Park Avenue and every NFL franchise.