June 25, 2024

The Toronto Raptors were still largely in the dark a day after it was confirmed that the NBA was investigating backup centre Jontay Porter for allegedly fixing games.

“I was just praying for him,” said small forward Bruce Brown on Tuesday after Raptors practice. “Obviously, you don’t want to see somebody go through something like that.

“But other than that, I mean, I don’t know what’s going on. I don’t want to comment too much, but I don’t know.

Centre Kelly Olynyk of Kamloops, B.C., said that he and his teammates learned about the investigation surrounding Porter the same way fans learned: through media reports.

“We don’t really know anything is going on, so it’s hard to comment on that,” said Olynyk. “You [reporters] probably know more than us, which is how these things usually work.”

ESPN first reported the investigation on Monday night about an hour before tipoff in Toronto between the Raptors and Brooklyn Nets. The American sports broadcaster said the probe included Porter’s performance in games on Jan. 26 and March 20.

Porter played briefly in both games before leaving, citing injury or illness. He played four minutes 24 seconds against the Los Angeles Clippers in the first of those games, then played 2:43 against Sacramento in the second game.

In both cases, Porter did not come close to hitting the prop-wager lines for points, rebounds and three-pointers that bettors could play.

A prop bet, short for proposition bet, is a wager not tied to the final score or outcome of a game. Although usually tied to the performance of a player or group of players, it can cover a wide variety of occurrences including the colour of a team’s Gatorade or how long the singing of the national anthems will take.

ESPN said the props surrounding Porter for the Clippers game were 5.5 points, 4.5 rebounds and 1.5 assists; he finished with no points, three rebounds and one assist. For the Kings game, they were around 7.5 points and 5.5 rebounds; Porter finished that game with no points and two rebounds.

Raptors head coach Darko Rajakovic said that, to the best of his knowledge, no one on the team had been approached by investigators. Toronto Police Service told The Canadian Press that they are not investigating Porter, even though both games were at Scotiabank Arena.

The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario, which is responsible for regulating betting in the province including safeguarding against odds manipulation, match-fixing and other sports betting integrity issues, says it’s closely monitoring the investigation.

“Nobody reached out to me and as far as I know, they did not reach out to players,” said Rajakovic, who added he did not know where Porter was.

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