LeBron James’ injury shows issues with the “integrity fee”

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One of the main reasons the NBA has been gung-ho for gambling and the NFL has not is that the NBA is trying to profit off gambling through the implementation of an “integrity fee.” The NBA’s position is that since the league is responsible for making sure bettors have a fair game to bet on, the league should get a percentage of the revenues from sports gambling.

The NFL is not pushing the integrity fee, and an issue that arose after the NBA Finals shows why that’s wise.

After the fourth and final game of the NBA Finals, Cleveland’s LeBron James addressed the media with a cast on his hand and revealed that he had played the last three games with a hand injury. That came as news to everyone, as there had been no disclosures from James, the Cavaliers or the NBA that James was hurt.

And that raises the question: If the NBA is insisting that it provides “integrity” to sports bettors, why didn’t the NBA disclose James’ injury to bettors? If the best player in the league is injured, that changes bettors’ decisions about who they should put money on. If bettors aren’t made aware of such significant information, where exactly is the “integrity” that the NBA is charging a fee for?

You wouldn’t play craps if you didn’t trust the casino to use fair dice, and you won’t bet on sports if you don’t think you’re betting on a fair game. It wasn’t fair to bettors who put money on Cleveland that they didn’t know Cleveland’s best player was hurt.

But the reality is, players are going to hide injuries. There’s no way around that. In every sport, players do their best to conceal from their opponents that they’re hurt. The NFL requires injury reporting in an attempt to prevent insiders from selling information about injuries to gamblers, but injury disclosures often fall short in the NFL, the NBA and every sport.

A sports league that is charging an “integrity fee” while hiding a major injury from bettors is opening itself up to a whole slew of problems that the NFL would prefer not to deal with.

75 responses to “LeBron James’ injury shows issues with the “integrity fee”

  1. Thanks, Mike, for affirming an undiscussed truth in sports: withholding facts (about injuries) — like network officiating and tanking— is an part of every game and also puts the lie to integrity.

  2. They’re already going to benefit from more people watching games because they are betting on them, so why should they get any more?

  3. Probably the best solution is don’t be a degenerate gambler and put your financial future on the bounce of a ball. Just a thought.

  4. Integrity isn’t even in the vocabulary in the upper circles of both the NBA and NFL. If the bettor has a problem with that, keep your money in your own pockets.

  5. The Cavs didn’t cover the point spread for any of the games they lost…Broken hand or not.

  6. The NBA is total and complete trash. They have no consistent definition or enforcement of a foul. The lottery system is a disgrace. And 5 NBA teams have won approximately 70% of the championships. And it is safe to assume that next year will be more of the same. Super teams ensure that.

  7. You could have put LeBron in a wheelchair and laid 15 and the Cavs still wouldn’t have covered.

  8. The better question is why would LeBron punch a white board during the finals and risk injury

  9. the words “integrity” and Lebron do not belong in the same sentence…. so he “broke” his hand after game 1 but there is video of him doing push ups prior to game 2 and of him doing fancy hand shakes with fans….. sounds more like the only broken on Lebron is his grasp on reality….

  10. I get the point but you’re arguing semantics. “Integrity fees”, “reliable, league generated data”. It’s all the same thing, an excuse for the leagues to get more revenue. When I was 7 and keeping box scores of every single baseball game the Brewers played in I was generating reliable data. Is the NFL going to go after every kid keeping stats? Has any league ever developed a statistic on it’s own? The answer is no on all counts. It’s weirdos that make all of that happen, not the NFL, NBA, etc. and the NFL’s money grab is no different than the NBA’s even if you’re trying to write another article showing that the NFL is king. Kind of an insecure move if you ask me.

  11. Soccer has more integrity than the NBA. There’s just as much drama in the fouls but with less contact in the nba.

    The dribbling is consistent from each of the two sports and neither has “traveling” violations… I love games with rules that aren’t enforced too, it makes it so sporadic.

  12. “The NBA’s position is that since the league is responsible for making sure bettors have a fair game to bet on…” What? Is the league responsible for the lack of defense 45 minutes a game, the lack of team play? The NBA needs close games to keep eyeballs on it (and keep concessions sales going into the 4th). I want to bet the over under in hot dog sales.

  13. Roger Goodell already figured out a way to get paid from the legalized gambling… This morning I heard an ad for PSYCHICS on NFL Network radio!!! PSYCHICS! smh. When it comes to making a buck, nobody out slime balls Roger.

  14. “People who gamble on sports…typically get what they deserve”.

    Always nice to get wisdom from the “I live a more moral life than you do” crowd. Concentrate on improving your behaviors. You’ll have more time to do so when you stop worrying about how other adults entertain themselves.

  15. Why are we talking about cry baby Lebron on a football site?

    This dude is a drama queen and naive at best.

    It’s always someone else’s fault, the story of his life.

    This turd represents millennial’s in a nutshell.

    Lebron the wanna be Jordan.

  16. ‘The reality is players are going to hide injuries.’

    It’s also a reality that betters, and not only blog-writers, know this.

    The gambler knows they are betting on a game in which they do not know everything the participants know. The coach may bench the safety, the best player may have a hurt hand, the DB may have been caught with a prostitute before the Super Bowl or the center may have disappeared in Tiajuana.

    Betters know they don’t know everything.

  17. In the NBA’s defense… LeBron’s hand was not broken during those games. The guy was doing push-ups before the 4th game. This is LeBron deflecting as usual, “it’s not his fault they lost”. Even though we know it wasn’t his fault he seems to have the need to tell people.

  18. INTEGRITY would be “crazy dude” (I.e., Bipolar) Draymond Green fessing up that he intentionally poked LeKing in the eye.

  19. It’s not like the Cavs ever had a remote chance of winning. The GSW were just playing with them. I guess maybe LeBron WAS a little upset with JR Smith for not knowing how much time is on the clock. You can have all the “integrity and transparency” in the world, but players too apathetic to know the score at the end of a basketball game is just unforgivable.

  20. Dennis Carson says:
    June 12, 2018 at 7:30 am
    They’re already going to benefit from more people watching games because they are betting on them, so why should they get any more?

    ************************

    Exactly! This will be especially pronounced in January matchups between loser teams. Suddenly there’s a distinct uptick in viewership for dud games

  21. “If the NBA is insisting that it provides “integrity” to sports bettors, why didn’t the NBA disclose James’ injury to bettors?”
    ===============================

    The NBA is currently NOT yet receiving an integrity fee, so bettors haven’t paid for that type of information or service. I would think rules will be tighter once the NBA actually gets a legal contract in place.

  22. Games were regularly ‘taken off the board’ if the starting QB was hurt or for whatever else might cause a significant line change or one team to get all the action. In the 80’s there was always at least 3 to 8 months a game that were off the board.

    In recent years all games seem to be on the board. I don’t pay that much attention to the line anymore. You decide a line then look at theirs and see the difference. Otherwise, you’re not good enough to make money. It can be done. Usually the first 3 weeks when the oddsmakers are still trying to figure things out but you have to be dialed in.

    The ‘need’ to bet and the action on TV games skewes so many people. I’ve seen so many people lose everything. I walked away, way ahead. When an NBA team wins on the road and is playing the another road game the next day and are favorites, (in the mid 80’s) you bet against them. Even if your gut was screaming ‘no’. The hit rate was unreal…look it up).

    But with the amatuer betting, this is going to be a disaster. Lines are going to be way off because of homers (the point is to for the house to make their 10%, thus a line to get people on both sides) and a handful of pros are going to pounce. The house wins the most anyway.

  23. While many people assume the nfl refs are paid off, weren’t NBA refs actually paid off?

    And can we finally put to rest that LeBron is better than Michael? Because he’s not

  24. I think someone on this staff has a man crush on James. All I hear for the last week on this FOOTBALL board is James this and James that. I could care less about anything having to do with him. I am here for FOOTBALL

  25. Lebron with his Abe Lincoln beard is a liar and a big baby, the most over-rated player in history. He runs over people driving to the hoop and never gets called for it. Let’s see the x-ray of the break…..don’t hold your breath cause it’s not. Rank move trying to belittle
    Durant and the Warriors

  26. He’d been hiding his “injury” for a week but couldn’t wait 10 more minutes after the game to get a cast on it – what a DQ – the Ben Roethlisberger of the NBA

  27. cardinealsfan20 says:

    June 12, 2018 at 8:44 am

    “People who gamble on sports…typically get what they deserve”.

    Always nice to get wisdom from the “I live a more moral life than you do” crowd. Concentrate on improving your behaviors. You’ll have more time to do so when you stop worrying about how other adults entertain themselves.

    ————————-

    ah, and there we go, Why people in this country can’t seem to have a conversation. I don’t read this person’s comment as a moral judgement, he/she’s saying “gambling on sports is not smart, it’s a good way to lose your money” which is an absolute, objective fact. Lighten up Francis

  28. of he major sports league the NBA is the worst. the officials run the game and control the outcome with subjective calls designed to keep it that way. Lastly, you can’t charge an integrity fee when EVERYONE who ;pays attention knows star players get different calls then everyday players. NBA is about as real as WWE but at least WWE doesn’t hide things any longer.

  29. Put $$$$ on the team that little Bron Bron runs to next year to win championship…

  30. I love the people that scream “The NBA isn’t rigged. Put up your tinfoil hats”. Um there was that guy Tim Donaghy who said that David Stern and the top execs would tell the refs which team to help advance in the playoffs.

    Study Lakers/Kings 2002 game 6 of WCF.

  31. “The NBA’s position is that since the league is responsible for making sure bettors have a fair game to bet on, the league should get a percentage of the revenues from sports gambling.”

    I can’t believe the NBA would even use this wording. Everyone knows or should know that their outcomes are predetermined. Like the third commenter said, WWE and NBA are same, both fake.

  32. Originally, Lebron wanted to do the post game interview with a neck brace, but the coach said it was too much. So he went with the hand brace.

  33. djstat says:
    June 12, 2018 at 7:48 am
    The better question is why would LeBron punch a white board during the finals and risk injury
    ________
    Knowing him, probably because it was white.

  34. wallabear says:
    June 12, 2018 at 8:58 am
    INTEGRITY would be “crazy dude” (I.e., Bipolar) Draymond Green fessing up that he intentionally poked LeKing in the eye.

    ———————–

    LeKing?? Lol and Draymond’s the “crazy dude”?

    Ok.

  35. players are going to hide injuries . . . sure . . . however in this case, this injury is to Lebron’s ego, not his hand . . . the hand is a BS injury so that he has an excuse for being swept by the Warriors!! Lebron is a heck of a player, no doubt . . . but he doesn’t compare with MJ, non on the court, and certainly not off of it!!

  36. 167 12 Rate This
    maradodavidgmailcom says:
    June 12, 2018 at 7:27 am
    It wasn’t fair to bettors who put money on Cleveland that they didn’t know Cleveland’s best player was hurt.

    It’s called “gambling” for a reason
    —————————————

    That’s true, however, betters were under the assumption James was fine. He didn’t show up on an injury report, and he didn’t exhibit any injury concerns. If that was disclosed, the line would have been much greater, and the spread would have been wider. It would have detracted people from betting. It’s just like saying you’re going to a blackjack table with the dealers rigging it to always beat you. “That’s gambling!” No, it’s not, it’s getting screwed on a bet on the pretense that LeBron wasn’t hurt.

  37. LeBum wanted to make sure he had a excuse for getting swept in the finals.

    He knows what his legacy is becoming and coming to the presser in a cast and making a big spectacle of a minor injury(With a actual broken hand you can’t move the hand. He never would of been able to play with actual broken hand) is all just him knowing the Jordan debate is over and always was over. Jordan is the greatest and LeBaby can’t handle the truth.

  38. jbutina says:

    June 12, 2018 at 10:59 am

    players are going to hide injuries . . . sure . . . however in this case, this injury is to Lebron’s ego, not his hand . . . the hand is a BS injury so that he has an excuse for being swept by the Warriors!! Lebron is a heck of a player, no doubt . . . but he doesn’t compare with MJ, non on the court, and certainly not off of it!!
    ———————–
    Off the court, I’ve got to give it to Le’Toots.

  39. fantasychamp7time says:
    June 12, 2018 at 7:21 am
    He such a drama queen,I hope his little hand will be OK!

    _________________________________________________________________

    He’s a drama queen because he broke his hand then did not once complain about it or make excuses? Okay.. your hate is sickening.

  40. LeBron James’ injury shows issues with the “integrity fee”

    — You should’ve placed the quotation marks around the word injury instead.

  41. It used to be guys throwing a ball through a hoop and whoever does it the most, wins…what a joke

  42. LeBron did all he could to carry the team with a broken hand. He only did pushups before game 4 to hide the fact that it was broken so the Warriors wouldn’t do cheap shots on his hand. LeBron is the greatest player of all time and all you haters need to accept it

  43. You pays your money and you takes your chances… and if you want to flag any sport over “integrity” issues take a look at boxing and some of the judges decisions there.

  44. Let me know when NBA Officials can call a fair and unbiased game. The NBA has Zero integrity lebron or no until that can happen.You have to have integrity to be invited to the White house by the Greatest leader and peace maker this country has ever seen and that just isn’t happening.

  45. LeBum sure looked injured when he alley ooped the ball of the backboard to himself and dunked it, yeah his poor little hand sure looked injured on that play didn’t it. I’m so glad that bum got demolished. Biggest narcissist crybaby in sports history

  46. thermanmerman99 says:
    June 12, 2018 at 1:27 pm
    LeBum sure looked injured when he alley ooped the ball of the backboard to himself and dunked it, yeah his poor little hand sure looked injured on that play didn’t it. I’m so glad that bum got demolished. Biggest narcissist crybaby in sports history
    —————————————————————————————-
    That play happened during game 1, the injury happened after game 1.

  47. I saw him dap up J.R. Smith and others before every game this series. He dribbled just fine. The Cavs were favored to lose, and I’m not even sure they covered the spread to begin with.

    Maybe James’ hand really was hurt badly. He still did it to himself by punching the whiteboard and deciding to run the team himself. The gamblers were betting on all of this, and it is doubtful to me that James’ injury is as significant as he is making it seem. Maybe they didn’t report it because it never happened? Or maybe because it wasn’t significant enough to make him sit?

    I know you’re discussing the question this raises though, and this is not a LeBron hatefest, also true. But I guess my answer to this question is…well, it’s part of the risk gamblers take. If there was no risk, there would be no reward for putting the money up in the first place. Players don’t report every injury, sometimes they do not even realize that they are injured until later on (if at all). You can’t catch all of them, and sometimes teams hide it because they’re more concerned about an opponent taking advantage than they are about betting lines. Betting anything on the Cavs at all was a risk to begin with.

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