Shaq on if teammate of his did what Jontay Porter is accused of: ‘I’d have to punch him in his face’

Peter Dewey
3 Min Read
Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

During a recent episode of his podcast, NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal shared what he’d do if a teammate of his did what Toronto Raptors big man Jontay Porter is being accused of.

Recently, Porter was placed under investigation for multiple instances of betting irregularities.

“At issue are prop bets involving Porter from games on Jan. 26 and March 20, multiple sources told ESPN,” ESPN’s David Purdum, Brian Windhorst and Adrian Wojnarowski wrote. “An NBA spokesman told ESPN that the league is ‘looking into it.’”

There were two instances this season – once against the Los Angeles Clippers and once against the Sacramento Kings – where Porter exited a game early with an injury or illness. In both instances, DraftKings reported that there were major winnings on the under for Porter’s prop bets.

Adam Lefkoe asked O’Neal how he would respond if a teammate of his were guilty of what Porter is being accused of.

“I’d have to punch him in his face,” O’Neal said.

O’Neal was also asked if there would be a conversation first, but he was adamant about his feelings on the issue.

“Oh yeah, there ain’t gon’ be no conversation,” O’Neal said. “One, why? You just messed up your money. You messed up your family’s money. And now you got them people looking at us.”

He pointed out how the actions of a player caught in a betting scandal would reflect poorly on other members of the team if people were to wonder if they were also involved.

Porter is currently on a two-way contract with the Raptors, earning $415,000 this season. It’s possible that the young big man has cost himself his career in the NBA, as NBA commissioner Adam Silver recently revealed that his punishment could be as serious as banishment from the league – if he were to be found guilty.

This season, Porter has appeared in 26 games for the Raptors and is averaging 4.4 points, 3.2 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game while shooting 38.5 percent from the field and 33.3 percent from beyond the arc.

Porter’s brother, Denver Nuggets star Michael Porter Jr., showed support for him in the wake of the allegations.

“I’ve known my brother my whole life,” Porter Jr. said. “I know what type of dude he is and I know he’s excited to play basketball and I highly doubt he would do anything to put that in jeopardy.”

If Porter is cleared from any wrongdoing, it’ll be interesting to see how he is received by his teammates and by the NBA as a whole going forward in his career.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball, football and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.