That was just Tim Duncan’s second 3-pointer of the last two years, a seemingly nice moment for him in the Spurs’ blowout of the Thunder.
As a bonus, he apparently made $100 on the shot.
His girlfriend, Vanessa Macias, tweeted:
My first thought: That’s a funny little story.
My second thought: Wait, that’s betting on basketball!
The NBA constitution states:
Any Player who, directly or indirectly, wagers money or anything of value on the outcome of any game played by a Team in the league operated by the Association shall, on being charged with such wagering, be given an opportunity to answer such charges after due notice, and the decision of the Commissioner shall be final, binding and conclusive and unappealable. The penalty for such offense shall be within the absolute and sole discretion of the Commissioner and may include a fine, suspension, expulsion and/or perpetual disqualification from further association with the Association or any of its Members.
Athletes betting on sports is a cardinal sin, one that has Pete Rose banned from baseball. The integrity of games is paramount to their popularity, and any gambling-related interference – even something as small as a player shooting a 3-pointer he wouldn’t otherwise – could be detrimental. If people don’t trust the results they see on the court, they won’t watch.
Obviously, $100 is no big deal to Duncan. Friendly bets like this probably happen more than we realize.
But it’s still a bet on basketball, and the NBA should absolutely look into this.
Whether Adam Silver makes an example of Duncan is another matter.
Yes, the NBA is working to get sports gambling legalized when the Tim Donaghy scandal still resonates. This is absolutely a time the NBA wants a pristine image, which is why it’s releasing reports on officiating in the final two minutes.
But is it worth crucifying Duncan, one of the all-time greats, over a silly bet? My guess: The NBA warns Duncan, and he tells Macias not to post stuff like that anymore.