Shams Charania tweet changes the NBA Draft
The rise of sports betting has turned the time around ordinary sports events such as the NBA Draft into gambling frenzies, a phenomenon that The Athletic’s NBA insider Shams Charania found himself on the wrong side of.
Charania, host of “Run It Back” on FanDuel, reported that the Charlotte Hornets were heavily considering drafting prospect Scoot Henderson with the second pick after it seemed as if they were going to take Brandon Miller.
wondering if the integrity of sports has been disturbed
However, Miller was taken second as initially expected, and Charania was thrust into the spotlight because of his ties to FanDuel. Now, the betting public is wondering if the integrity of sports has been disturbed, and if so, what the remedy is.
A can of worms
For all of the entertainment and participation that sports betting has created, the downsides of the fraternization between gambling companies and influential figures within sports reared its ugly head during the draft.
Charania, who has over two million Twitter followers and is one of the most trusted NBA insiders, said at 12:28pm ET the day of the draft that Henderson was “gaining serious momentum” to go second. At the time, Henderson was +400 to be selected with the second pick.
a $100 bet at 12:28 p.m. would have won $400, but later in the day, it would have won just $11.11
In the hours leading up to the draft after the tweet, Henderson fell to as low as -900. To put that in perspective, a $100 bet at 12:28pm would have won $400, but later in the day, it would have won just $11.11.
Many bettors in tune with Charania’s Twitter account were left with their hearts in their throats when NBA commissioner Adam Silver announced Miller’s name as the Hornets’ pick just a few minutes after Victor Wembanyama went to the San Antonio Spurs with the first pick. Consequently, there was an uproar online that accused Charania and FanDuel of malpractice and swindling bettors out of their money.
FanDuel is downplaying the idea that they conspired with Charania to artificially shift the betting markets.
“FanDuel is not privy to any news that Shams breaks on his platforms,” a FanDuel spokesman said Friday, the day after the draft.
ESPN insider Adrian Wojnarowski, the other major NBA insider, said after the Miller pick that the Hornets always intended to take him second.
“All along, the entire Charlotte Hornets organization has been all-in on Brandon Miller — ownership, front office, scouts, coaches,” Wojnarowski tweeted.
Chance of foul play
Last November, an arbiter ruled that FanDuel was worth $22bn. Charania himself is also a made man with an expansive reporting network, global notoriety, and a committed audience. It’s unlikely that there was deliberate foul play.
Assuming that to be the case, the next question is if FanDuel and other sports betting companies should have the ability to partner with people inside the sports world that have the ability to drastically shift betting lines and public perception in unison.
“I don’t think there is anything nefarious going on, but find it puzzling that a regulated sportsbook is allowed to take bets on the NBA Draft and also employ an ‘insider’ who can tweet nonsense that can move betting markets,” said ex-Dallas Mavericks executive and noted sports bettor Haralabos Voulgaris on Twitter.
It must also be mentioned that while Henderson’s odds shortened, Miller’s lengthened to as far as +480. Bettors that took that opportunity would have made out with a significantly greater profit than they would have before Charania’s tweet.
does not allow insiders and reporters to place bets on the leagues they cover.
Charnia’s deal with FanDuel prevents him from placing any bets on their platform. The Athletic also does not allow insiders and reporters to place bets on the leagues they cover.
The NFL is in the middle of dealing with an uptick in violations of its gambling policy, leading to the suspensions of five players and an investigation into Indianapolis Colts corner Isaiah Rodgers Sr. The NBA has not had to deal with such incidents, but has now been presented with an entirely new conundrum.
Commissioner Silver and the NBA have not provided any comment on the matter.