Charles Barkley Wishes Jontay Porter’s NBA Ban For Gambling Wasn’t For Life

Charles Barkley would have preferred a ban of around five years for Jontay Porter, rather than for life. [Image: / R24KBerg]

“Such a young kid” NBA Hall of Famer and “NBA on TNT” analyst Charles Barkley said that he wishes Jontay Porter’s ban from the NBA was not permanent. Speaking with Justin Termine and former teammate Eddie Johnson on the “NBA Today” show on SiriusXM NBA Radio Wednesday, Barkley agreed that Porter needed to be punished severely, but because Porter is a “such a young kid” (he is 24), he would have liked to see a suspension of something like five years “to give him another chance.”

Barkley cited former Alabama football coach and arguably the greatest college football coach of all time, Nick Saban, when providing his reasoning for allowing Porter back into the league at some point.

am I supposed to throw them out in the trash?”

“What am I supposed to do with them?” Barkley paraphrased Saban as saying, referring to college athletes violating rules. “Am I supposed to throw them out in the trash and wonder what’s going to happen with them for the rest of their lives?”

Barkley emphasized that punishment, and a harsh one at that, is completely appropriate and understandable, but that everyone has done “dumb” things when they were young and that dumping an athlete and saying, “good luck the rest of your life,” isn’t the way to go.

Can’t bet against your own team Barkley is known to have a history with gambling and fully admitted that he is a “gambling degenerate,” but said that what Porter did was “one of the stupidest things” he has ever seen a basketball player do.

it looked like he was rigging games, which is so crazy”

“You can’t bet on your own games, man, and it looked like he was rigging games, which is so crazy,” he added.

Talking about Porter betting against his own team, the Toronto Raptors, Barkley explained that even if Porter wasn’t playing, it is one of the worst things you can do in sports. Porter has inside information on his team, from injury statuses that haven’t been fully disclosed to the public, to transportation issues, to internal personal dynamics. Barkley equated it to insider trading.

With regard to Porter pulling himself from games for betting reasons and thus intentionally underperforming: “that’s the one thing you can never do as a player.”

Cut and dry case Jontay Porter was permanently banned from the NBA on Wednesday, April 17, for “blatant violations” of the league’s gambling policy. After three weeks of rumblings that he had committed one of sports’ cardinal sins, the NBA confirmed that Porter was, in fact, guilty of “limiting his own participation in one or more games for betting purposes,” sharing “confidential information about his own health status” with a bettor, and betting on NBA games.

sportsbooks reported unusually heavy action on Porter

Porter was under investigation for removing himself early from two games, one of which was cited by the NBA. On March 20, Porter exited a game against the Sacramento Kings after just three minutes with an alleged illness. Sportsbooks reported unusually heavy action on Porter, specifically bets on his stats coming in under the posted prop bet totals. Because he barely played, the unders hit easily.

The NBA revealed that Porter also tipped off a known NBA bettor about his health prior to that game. That person wagered $80,000 on Porter unders, winning $1.1m. The sportsbook froze the bet because of the suspicious activity and never paid it.

In addition, Porter bet “at least” 13 times on NBA games from another person’s sportsbook account, including three in which his team played. He did not play in any of the three, which he included as legs of larger parlays, but he picked the Raptors to lose in all of them.