Charles Barkley addresses Rudy Gobert's issue with NBA referee Photo credit: TNT

The NBA’s decision to ban Jontay Porter for life seemed like an obvious one, but Charles Barkley wishes the scandal was handled differently.

Wednesday afternoon, the NBA issued Toronto Raptors forward Jontay Porter a lifetime ban after the league investigated gambling allegations that included disclosing confidential information to bettors and wagering against his own team. While most people appeared to support the ban, Barkley joined Justin Termine and Eddie Johnson on SiriusXM NBA Radio where he expressed a desire to see Porter get a second chance.

“I understand why they did it, and rightfully so, but I wish they said, ‘Okay, five years.’ Something like that to give him another chance,” Barkley said on SiriusXM NBA Radio. “I understand – like I said, I’m talking out of both sides. I understand why they did it, but he’s such a young kid.”

“Nick Saban says something, and he’s the greatest college football coach ever,” Barkley continued. “He says, ‘People give me a hard time when kids screw up and I give them a second chance.’ He says, ‘What am I supposed to do with them? Am I supposed to throw them out in the trash and wonder what’s gonna happen with them for the rest of their life?’ And I always tell him I admire him because we all did stuff when we were young and dumb.”

But fixing games probably isn’t the type of “screw-up” Saban was referring to. This was an easy decision for the NBA. Porter is not a household name among NBA fans. Yes, he’s only 24 years old, but after bouncing between the NBA and G League, the undrafted player seemed unlikely to ever have an impactful NBA career. Unlikely to have an impact on the court, at least. Off the court, however, Porter’s career is now very impactful.

Barkley’s heart might be in the right place with his desire to see Porter get a second chance. But the likelihood of a player of Porter’s ilk jumpstarting their career after a five-year suspension is next to nil. The only thing opting for a lengthy suspension over banishment would have done was lessen the NBA’s message. As the NBA and its media partners normalize and promote sports betting at every corner, the league used Porter to establish a precedent of punishment for any similar offenses that may occur in the future.

Last month, Barkley harshly responded to Rudy Gobert’s hand gesture, insinuating an NBA ref may have been paid to fix a game’s outcome. Barkley noted how damaging it would be to sports if fans believed games were fixed. In the case of Porter, we have a player who reportedly attempted to fix the outcome of his team’s games, and it warranted the NBA setting a zero-tolerance policy.

[SiriusXM NBA Radio]

About Brandon Contes

Brandon Contes is a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. He previously helped carve the sports vertical for Mediaite and spent more than three years with Barrett Sports Media. Send tips/comments/complaints to