NBA Player Gets Banned for Life

( – Toronto Raptors forward Jontay Porter’s professional basketball career is over after he was banned for violating gambling rules. The 24-year-old had been betting on games, leaking information to other gamblers, and even feigning illness to get bets paid out. Following an investigation, the NBA says it’s punishing him to protect the integrity of the sport.

On March 20, Porter, the younger brother of Denver Nuggets player Michael Porter Jr., was in the Raptors lineup for a game against the Sacramento Kings. Ahead of the game, someone placed an $80,000 bet through an online gambling site that Porter would underperform.

It was a long shot bet, so the potential payout was an impressive $1.1 million –- but it looked like a winner when, after playing for less than three minutes, Porter claimed he was ill and removed himself from the game.

However, the betting site was suspicious about the size of the bet and froze the payout; the NBA began an investigation. It then turned out Porter had passed confidential information about his health status to the gambler before taking himself off the court to meet the bet’s conditions. He also placed at least 13 bets between January and March using a friend’s account.

In total, Porter wagered $54,094 on games and made almost $22,000 in profit. He wasn’t playing in any of the matches he bet on, so there’s no suspicion he rigged them, but the bets still violated the league’s strict anti-gambling rules.

On April 17, the NBA handed Porter a lifetime ban. Commissioner Adam Silver released a statement blasting the player’s “blatant violations” and saying the priority is “protecting the integrity of NBA competition for our fans, our teams.”

It’s been 70 years since the NBA last banned a player—Fort Wayne Pistons star Jack Molinas—for gambling, so officials will hope Porter’s example deters others from breaking the rules.

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