NBA rumors: LeBron responds to gambling scandal
LeBron James found himself tangentially connected to a Federal gambling probe. James’ business partner and manager, Maverick Carter, was interviewed once by federal agents in November of 2021 over placing illegal bets with Wayne Nix, according to reporting by The Washington Post.
Adam Mendelsohn, a spokesperson for Carter and James, told the Post, "In 2021 and before 38 states and the District of Columbia legalized sports betting, Maverick Carter was interviewed a single time by federal law enforcement regarding their investigation into Wayne Nix." Carter cooperated with the investigation, was not the target of the Federal probe, and was never connected again, according to Mendelsohn.
Over the course of a year, Carter allegedly placed around 20 bets, ranging from $5,000 to $10,000, with Nix on football and basketball games. While the NBA and NBAPA prohibit players, executives, team and league officials, and agents from placing bets on NBA games, there is no language excluding business managers from placing wagers.
James was asked about the investigation following the Lakers' Thursday night loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder, saying, "Maverick's his own man and at the end of the day, gambling is legal," He added, "I mean, you can go on your phone right now and do whatever you want. And he has no affiliation with the NBA or NFL, so, he can do what he wants to do."
With the spread of legal gambling across the country, Carter’s conduct is far less scandalous today than it was two years ago. In April 2022, Nix, a former minor league baseball player, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to operate an illegal sports gambling business and filing a false tax return.