Due to the coronavirus pandemic, sports leagues have been suspended globally. In the shortage of athletic events, leagues are finding alternative ways to provide fans with some content. In cooperation with 2k sports, the NBA has organized NBA 2k20 players-only tournament. A perfect opportunity for gamblers around the world to lose their money.
What was going to be a fun event turned out as a significant controversy. The opening game of the tournament, which featured Miami Heat's Derrick Jones Jr and Brooklyn Nets' Kevin Durant, was the subject of a gambling scandal after it was discovered that the game was pre-taped. That made the results of the game known for some people before the game was broadcasted.
Cool Media, a company that operates within the sports betting industry, released a statement to NBC Sports saying that someone must have had inside information about the outcome of the game. Initially making Durant the favorite to win it all, and then having all the money bet on Jones Jr, made it obvious something was up.
"The NBA 2K Players Only Tournament over the weekend caused a headache for sportsbooks because it was pre-taped, and information was ultimately leaked. We initially made Durant the favorite to win the tournament, but he was taking very little action over the first 24 hours. When we posted the first-round matchup lines, and the bets were completely one-sided toward Jones Jr., it became obvious that someone knew the outcome of the game."
Robert Cooper, odds manager at SportsBetting.ag
Unfortunately for Jones Jr, the whole gambling controversy overshadowed the results of the game. He dominated Durant and blew him out 78-62. Information that shouldn't have been available to people before the final buzzer, but due to a scandal was leaked before the game even started.
What was a good intention from the joint forces of the NBA and ESPN turned out to be a considerable embarrassment. If a similar event is even organized, hopefully, hosts will make sure that stuff like this doesn't happen again. NBA fans are hoping that the next game they see live won't be a virtual one, but a clash on the NBA hardwood.