Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James is speaking out after his manager and business partner Maverick Carter reportedly admitted to placing bets on NBA games through illegal bookmakers.
Carter admitted as much during an interview with federal agents, according to Gus Garcia Roberts Washington post.
“Records show that Carter and his attorney told investigators that he placed approximately 20 bets on football and basketball games over the course of a year, with each bet ranging from $5,000 to $10,000,” Garcia-Roberts wrote. The indictment in the case alleges that in November 2019, during the Lakers’ championship run, (Wayne) Knicks’ partner Eden Kagasov told a “professional basketball player’s business manager” via text message that he could transfer NBA salaries increase to $25,000 per game. “
James said he was unaware Carter placed bets with illegal bookmakers, and the Lakers superstar didn’t seem too concerned about the incident. James noted that sports betting is now legal in many parts of the country and that Carter is “his own man.”
“No,” James. explain When asked if he was worried about the perception of Carter’s admission. “Because that’s the only reason he has legs, because he’s so close to me. But Maverick is his own man and at the end of the day, gambling is legal. I mean, you can just turn on your phone and do anything right now You want to do what you want. And he has nothing to do with the NBA or the NFL, so, he can do what he wants to do.”
Since Carter has no ties to the NBA or NFL — other than the fact that he and James are business partners and close friends — he did not violate any NBA or National Basketball Players Association laws. The NBPA does not allow agents (in James’ case, Rich Paul) to place bets on the NBA, and Carter does not fit that description.
The problem for Carter appears to be that his bets were placed through illegal bookmakers, rather than through the various sportsbooks that are currently legal in the United States.
Carter apparently communicated with Knicks, a bookmaker involved in an offshore sports betting ring. Knicks has since admitted the charges against him.
“Carter admitted he knew Knicks was involved in gambling and said Knicks owed him money for poker and football,” Garcia-Roberts wrote. Carter told the agent, “The 20 bets he placed through Knicks involved college football, NFL and the NBA, he said he would text the Knicks or place a bet directly through Sand Island Sports, a Costa Rican website the Knicks use. Carter said he didn’t know about Eaton Kagasov.
Carter said he paid and received bonuses from the Knicks via wire transfers and cash, identifying one of his employees who he said was responsible for distributing the cash. Federal agents asked Carter if any of his answers were “truthful and not misleading,” and Carter said he was, according to the investigative report.
James’ longtime business partner also revealed that he deleted Knicks’ number from his phone after learning the Knicks were under government investigation.
Carter’s name is certainly important in this story due to his relationship with James, but the Lakers superstar did nothing wrong in this situation.
For now, James is focused on the 2023-24 season and the Lakers, who hope to make a deeper run in the playoffs after reaching the Western Conference Finals last season.
This season, James is still at his peak despite being 38 years old. The four-time champion averaged 24.8 points, 7.8 rebounds and 6.3 assists per game while shooting 55.9% from the field and an impressive 39.6% from three-point range.