J.B. Bickerstaff

  • J.B. Bickerstaff said that he has been harassed by sports bettors to the point that gamblers have threatened his family.
  • Bickerstaff is the third person in the NBA to speak out on the negative aspects sports betting has had on the game in the last two weeks, joining Tyrese Haliburton and Rudy Gobert.

CLEVELANDJ.B. Bickerstaff is the latest NBA coach or player to speak out on threats that they have received from sports bettors.

On upset gamblers contacting him, Bickerstaff said on Wednesday “They got my telephone number and were sending me crazy messages about where I live and my kids.

Bickerstaff said that eventually, the gamblers who threatened his family were found, but no charges were pressed.

The Cleveland Cavaliers coach spoke on the added importance of how it influences the game and the safety of all parties involved, especially with the rising number of NBA betting sites that individual states have begun regulating.

J.B. Bickerstaff is not the first NBA player or coach to speak on the issue regarding sports betting and the NBA. In fact, in the last few weeks, a few prominent voices have spoken out regarding gambling affecting the NBA.

The most recent player to comment on gambling was Tyrese Haliburton of the Indiana Pacers. He said that he feels like a prop to many fans, largely because his social media timelines are full of mentions regarding legal sports betting.

One more direct reference to sports betting issues in the NBA was from Rudy Gobert on March 11. The star center for the Minnesota Timberwolves got a technical foul and the maximum fine that the NBA can award of $100,000 for rubbing his fingers together in a money symbol at referee Scott Foster.

That action, which was meant to imply that Foster was not calling the game fairly because of sports betting, was not the only mention of gambling by Gobert that night.

He also said that he felt sports betting is bad for the NBA. He then said, “I know the betting and all that is becoming bigger and bigger, but it shouldn’t feel that way.”

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