Cavs HC J.B. Bickerstaff reveals personal threats from gamblers, says sports betting has ‘gone too far’

Cleveland Cavaliers head coach J. B. Bickerstaff is talking out towards the results of sports activities betting. (Picture by Michael Reaves/Getty Pictures)

There is not any scarcity of sports activities betting horror tales nowadays.

Cleveland Cavaliers head coach J.B. Bickerstaff added to the record Wednesday evening when he revealed he was pressured to report back to the NBA threats he obtained from gamblers final season.

“They received my phone quantity and have been sending me loopy messages about the place I stay and my youngsters and all that stuff,” Bickerstaff informed reporters earlier than the Cavaliers fell 107-104 to the Miami Warmth. “So it’s a harmful recreation and a wonderful line that we’re strolling for positive.”

Bickerstaff added that the person was discovered however no fees have been pressed towards him.

His feedback have been made in response to a query referencing Indiana Pacers All-Star Tyrese Haliburton’s latest admission of typically feeling he’s seen as nothing greater than a betting “prop.” The 24-year-old was discussing the significance of chatting with a sports activities psychologist as an athlete who usually receives messages on social media concerning his efficiency from sports activities bettors.

“Not all people cares to listen to how we really feel,” he mentioned. “To half the world, I’m simply serving to them become profitable on DraftKings or no matter.”

The league must work to guard referees, gamers and different personnel from the distraction sports activities betting may cause, Bickerstaff mentioned. His point out of NBA officers got here after Minnesota Timberwolves heart Rudy Gobert mentioned playing is “hurting our recreation” following a street loss to Cleveland on March 8. Gobert implied playing influenced referees in the course of the recreation, which noticed him draw a pricey technical for making a cash gesture towards an official.

Bickerstaff appears to agree with the overall sentiment, which is that sports activities betting is turning into too enmeshed in sports activities for consolation.

“We actually need to watch out of how shut we let it get to the sport and the people who find themselves concerned in it,” he mentioned. “As a result of once more, it does carry a weight. Quite a lot of instances the people who find themselves playing like this cash pays their mild invoice or pay their hire, after which the feelings that come from that.”

Cleveland has a sportsbook inside Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse, the world that hosts the Cavaliers, which permits followers to gamble stay.

“There’s little doubt about it that it’s crossed the road,” Bickerstaff mentioned. “The quantity of instances the place I’m standing up there and we could have a 10-point lead and the unfold is 11 and individuals are yelling at me to depart the fellows in in order that we are able to cowl the unfold, it’s ridiculous.”

In the meantime, media stories of great playing points in sports activities appear to maintain surfacing. On the identical day that Bickerstaff made his feedback, Los Angeles Dodgers celebrity Shohei Ohtani’s interpreter was reportedly fired for allegedly stealing hundreds of thousands of {dollars} from the two-way phenom to position bets.

Final week within the NFL, a former Jacksonville Jaguars worker was sentenced to greater than six years in jail for a $22 million embezzlement scheme he pursued whereas with the crew from 2018-2023. The worker’s lawyer claimed that the embezzled cash was used to finance a playing habit.

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