Maverick Carter, known for being the manager of NBA superstar LeBron James and a business associate, admitted to federal agents in 2021 that he had placed bets on NBA games through an illegal bookmaker. This revelation, reported by The Washington Post on Thursday, sheds light on the less-discussed aspects of sports betting, particularly in relation to individuals closely associated with professional athletes.
In his November 2021 interview, Carter told federal agents that he did not recall placing any bets on the Lakers and denied betting on behalf of others. This admission came during an investigation into Wayne Nix, a former minor league baseball player involved in an illegal sports gambling business.
Adam Mendelsohn, a spokesperson for Carter and James, clarified that Carter was not the target of the investigation, cooperated fully, and was never charged or contacted again regarding the matter. According to the report, Carter estimated that he placed around 20 bets on football and basketball games over a year, each ranging between $5,000 and $10,000.
The NBA's Stance on Betting
The NBA maintains strict regulations against betting on league games by players, team officials, and league officials. The National Basketball Players Association extends this prohibition to include agents.
However, business managers like Carter do not fall under these restrictions by either group. The investigation into Nix, which implicated Carter, revealed that Nix’s operation spanned two decades and involved current and former professional athletes as clients or employees.
This included prominent figures such as Hall of Famer Scottie Pippen and former MLB outfielder Yasiel Puig. Puig, who initially pleaded not guilty to a federal charge of lying about his sports bets with an illegal gambling operator, is scheduled for trial in January.
Following the Thunder's 133-110 defeat of the Lakers, LeBron James commented on Carter’s situation, stating he was unaware of the talk with federal agents until recently. James emphasized Carter’s independence and the legality of gambling, noting that Carter has no direct affiliation with the NBA or NFL, thereby allowing him the freedom to engage in such activities.