Stan Van Gundy Dan Le Batard Show Jontay Porter Screen grab: The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz

Earlier this week, NBA commissioner Adam Silver weighed in on the Jontay Porter gambling scandal, stating that the allegations that the Toronto Raptors forward manipulated his box scores for gambling purposes qualifies as the league’s “cardinal sin.”

But while Stan Van Gundy agrees that the allegations against Porter are serious, he also believes that the commissioner’s assessment was a bit heavy handed considering the player in question’s ability — or lack thereof.

“I will say this: Jontay Porter is never in a position — I don’t mean to demean the guy — but he can’t affect the outcome of games,” Van Gundy said during Thursday’s episode of The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz. “He just doesn’t play a big enough role. So I wouldn’t call it the cardinal sin. But if you had a guy gambling and he were getting playing time, well then you’d have a pretty bad situation.”

To the former NBA head coach’s point, Porter averaged just 13.8 minutes per game (although those numbers are deflated by the two games that he left under mysterious circumstances in which the unders on his player prop bets were heavily bet). It’s not as if this is somebody like LeBron James or Nikola Jokić being accused of manipulating their on-court performances for gambling purposes. Rather, it’s an obscure reserve forward who averages fewer than 15 minutes per game on one of the league’s worst teams.

Conversely, any player who manipulates his performance and/or availability for an ulterior motive presents a sizable problem for the NBA, especially with the league having embraced legalized sports betting in recent years. While Porter’s alleged actions may not directly impact the NBA title race, they would have affected the games he played in, which would have consequences for bets that were placed on everything from his prop bets, other players’ prop bets and ultimately the betting line and total.

The idea of any player manipulating his prop bets presents a slippery slope for the NBA, which is why Silver is taking the matter so seriously and could even ban Porter from the league based on the outcome of the investigation. Still, it was somewhat funny to hear a longtime NBA head coach-turned-TNT analyst weigh in on the matter and provide his transparent thoughts on how much a player of Porter’s stature can truly affect the outcome of a game.

[The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz]

About Ben Axelrod

Ben Axelrod is a veteran of the sports media landscape, having most recently worked for NBC's Cleveland affiliate, WKYC. Prior to his time in Cleveland, he covered Ohio State football and the Big Ten for outlets including Cox Media Group, Bleacher Report, Scout and Rivals.