CLEVELAND, Ohio — Maverick Carter, the business manager of former Cavaliers forward LeBron James, told federal investigators that he bet on multiple bets through an illegal bookmaker, Gus Garcia-Roberts of The Washington Post reports NBA games were betted on.
Carter spoke with agents in November 2021 as part of the investigation into former minor league baseball player Wayne Nix, who was convicted on charges related to operating an illegal offshore gambling operation.
According to Garcia-Roberts, Carter placed bets on 20 different basketball and football games over the course of a year, but those bets had “nothing to do” with James. Carter also reportedly told his agent that he “doesn’t remember placing any bets” on the Lakers. In November 2019, Knicks business partner Edin Kagosoff texted a “professional basketball player’s business manager” that his salary for NBA games could be inflated, according to an indictment. Up to $25,000.
Carter also said in interviews with law enforcement that he never placed bets for anyone else.
NBA players and team and league officials are prohibited from betting on NBA games. However, business managers are not bound by such rules.
Spokespeople for Carter and James told Garcia-Roberts that Carter was interviewed once in connection with the Knicks investigation but was not charged. He also said the interview was conducted “before 38 states and the District of Columbia legalized sports betting” in 2021. Ohio legalized sports betting on January 1, 2023. But sports betting is still not legal in California, where James currently plays for the Los Angeles Lakers.
Carter told investigators he met Nix in 2017 or 2018 through a friend named Jeff from Ohio. Whenever Carter was in Las Vegas, Knicks accompanied him. Outside of Vegas, the two only spoke on the phone. After news broke that Knicks was under investigation, Carter said he deleted Knicks’ number from his phone, according to Garcia-Roberts.
The Knicks have several professional athletes as clients, including former Cleveland outfielder Yasiel Puig. The former Indians outfielder was convicted on Nov. 14, 2022, of lying to federal investigators, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison.
Court records show Puig sent two banknotes totaling $200,000 in 2019 to Joey Schottenstein, the son of billionaire Ohio State University donor Jay Schottenstein. dollar checks to pay off part of the debt. According to Garcia-Roberts, the investigative report did not reveal whether investigators asked Carter if the man who introduced him to the Knicks was Jeff Schottenstein. Spokespeople for the Carter and Schottenstein families did not respond to Garcia-Roberts’ request for comment.
NBA Hall of Famer Scottie Pippen also told investigators he made a bet with the Knicks, according to Garcia-Roberts. Investigators confronted Pippen about the 2019 Super Bowl bet, in which the Knicks offered Pippen a $20,000 bet with $2,500 at risk. After initially telling investigators that he initially didn’t remember the bet, Pippen told them he did remember the bet and that the Knicks “waived” the loss.
Nix faces up to eight years in prison, with a sentencing hearing scheduled for March 2024.
So far, Puig is the only athlete client to be charged in connection with the Knicks, although he is accused of lying to investigators.
Carter and James are longtime friends, having grown up together in Akron and attending St. Vincent-St. Louis. Marie High School. Carter has been James’ business partner since 2006. Together they helped found SpringHill, an entertainment company with several different businesses including franchises like “Unbroken” and movies like “Space Jam: A New Legacy.” Starring James.