Board of Governors Press Conference
David Dow

The NBA has largely remained quiet as it has investigated Toronto Raptors forward Jontay Porter for irregularities relating to prop bets for his statistics, but on Wednesday, commissioner Adam Silver addressed the allegations in a Q&A with reporters following a board of governors meeting. Silver called what Porter has been accused of "a cardinal sin" in basketball and acknowledged that possible discipline for involvement with gambling could be to "ban him from the game."

"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. So the investigation is ongoing, but the consequences could be very severe," Silver said.

The investigation centers on two games that Porter participated in. Both games saw an unusual amount of betting action on Porter's prop bets. Specifically, bettors saw tremendous profits betting the under on a number of prop bets based on Porter's statistics. In both cases, Porter left the games early. In one case, the Raptors cited an eye injury as the reason for his absence. In the other, it was illness. CBS Sports has covered the specifics of the Porter allegations in more depth here.

Porter has not played in a game since March 22, which came two days after the second of the two games the NBA is reportedly investigating. The NBA has not disciplined a player for gambling-related issues since 1966, though the league obviously dealt with the high-profile FBI investigation that led to former referee Tim Donaghy earning a 15-month prison sentence due to his own involvement with the gambling world. 

Gambling scandals are becoming more common in professional sports. The NFL has suspended several players over the past few years for betting, while Major League Baseball is sorting through the fallout of a scandal involving Los Angeles Dodgers star Shohei Ohtani and his interpreter, Ippe Mizuhara.

There is no telling how long the investigation into Porter will take, but given the stakes here, the league will surely be as thorough as possible. The integrity of the sport is perhaps the single most important factor in the health of the NBA. The moment fans don't trust the legitimacy of the product is the moment the business begins to decline. If Porter is found guilty of any illicit activity, the NBA appears perfectly willing to kick him out of the league for good.

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