NBA Coach Says Sports activities Bettors Threatened His Household

Posted on: March 23, 2024, 12:44h. 

Final up to date on: March 23, 2024, 08:40h.

J.B. Bickerstaff, the NBA coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers, says the growth of authorized sports activities playing throughout the US has introduced issues for not solely gamers but additionally referees, coaches, and workforce personnel.

J.B. Bickerstaff NBA Cleveland Cavaliers
Cleveland Cavaliers coach J.B. Bickerstaff says sports activities betting has introduced new challenges for NBA coaches, gamers, and refs. Bickerstaff believes bettors have turn into a significant distraction to the sport. (Picture: USA At the moment Sports activities)

Earlier than his workforce’s tipoff in opposition to the Miami Warmth final week, Bickerstaff was requested by a reporter about Indiana’s Tyrese Haliburton’s feedback saying he seems like a “prop” amidst the heightened sports activities betting local weather.

Bickerstaff stated he actually isn’t immune from the added pressures that sports activities betting has delivered to the sport. The Cavs coach in his fourth season in Cleveland relayed an unsettling account of an angered sports activities bettor final 12 months acquiring his phone quantity and levying threats in opposition to his household.

They bought my phone quantity and have been sending me loopy messages about the place I stay and my children,” the 45-year-old Bickerstaff stated. “It’s a harmful recreation and a high quality line that we’re strolling for certain.”

Bickerstaff has led the Cavs to one of many extra stunning seasons this 12 months, although the workforce has endured current struggles in shedding six of the earlier 10 video games. At 43-27, Cleveland has the third-best report within the Japanese Convention.

The Cavs’ struggles of late have lengthened their title odds, with DraftKings at the moment placing Cleveland at 45/1 to win the NBA Finals. The Boston Celtics have the shortest odds at 2/1.

Sports activities Betting Foul

Bickerstaff says the person who despatched the threatening texts was situated by legislation enforcement after he reported it to the NBA. The coach defined that the individual was not charged with any crime.

The Cavs coach says he’s additionally confronted heckling throughout video games from bettors in search of to win an over/beneath or unfold factors wager.

The variety of occasions I’m standing up there [on the sideline] and we’ve got a 10-point lead and the unfold is 11 and persons are yelling at me to go away the blokes in in order that we will cowl… it’s ridiculous,” Bickerstaff stated. “There’s little doubt about it that it’s crossed the road.”

The NBA didn’t high quality Bickerstaff for expressing his opinions on sports activities betting.

The league handed Minnesota heart Rudy Gobert a $100,000 penalty earlier this month after he made a cash signal by rubbing his thumbs over the guidelines of his index and center fingers. The gesture made in direction of the referee insinuated that the sport was fastened.

Playing a ‘Distraction’

Bickerstaff says the NBA’s embrace of sports activities betting is perhaps good for the league due to larger tv rankings, however it’s a “distraction” for gamers, refs, and personnel.

In Cleveland’s occasion, followers can wager on the sport from their seats inside Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse, as Ohio is house to on-line sports activities betting. The Cavs enviornment additionally has an on-site retail Caesars Sportsbook.

“It brings added strain. It brings a distraction to the sport that may be tough for gamers, coaches, referees, and everyone that’s concerned. And I believe that we actually must watch out with how shut we let it get to the sport and the safety of the people who find themselves concerned in it,” the coach concluded.

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