‘It’s About Gambling, All of It’: How the NBA’s Sports Betting Interests Propelled a Key Rule Change


Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Damian Lillard.

Sep 21, 2019, 08:30 PM EDT

THE NBA’S ONGOING PURSUIT of transparency coupled with its embrace of its gaming partners will further shape league policy this season, creating tension with coaches and executives over what teams owe the league, the fans and the betting public.

In-depth discussions with league execs, team front-office personnel and coaches reveal a number of pressure points, one of which came to a head on Friday afternoon when the league officially approved a rule change requiring all starting lineups to be set 30 minutes prior to tip.

The league is looking to satisfy multiple interests with this move, including fair play, respect for players’ health privacy and a public looking for the most information possible.

But several skeptical league executives shortened the driving factor behind the NBA’s transparency push, in conversations with The Action Network. To quote the sentiment of several executives and coaches:

“It’s about gambling. All of it.”

IN AUGUST, THE ACTION NETWORK reported that the league is pursuing changes to the pregame active roster sheet, which is signed by both teams and lists the starting lineups and actives/inactives for the game.