The NBA had been slowly shifting its stance on sports betting for years leading up to the Supreme Court’s decision to lift a federal ban on sports betting in May. This change in philosophy comes at a time when the NBA is flourishing, expanding and prepared to capitalize on the monetary advantages of gambling partnerships. 

"Today's decision by the Supreme Court opens the door for states to pass laws legalizing sports betting," NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement. "We remain in favor of a federal framework that would provide a uniform approach to sports gambling in states that choose to permit it, but we will remain active in ongoing discussions with state legislatures. Regardless of the particulars of any future sports betting law, the integrity of our game remains our highest priority."

Despite past issues with the integrity of referees and outcomes of games, the NBA hasn't wasted any time getting into the gambling mix. 

B/R Gambling on Twitter

NBA and MGM Resorts have agreed to multiyear deal on gaming/betting

Via New York Times: "The partnership is the next step in the process of betting becoming an accepted part of the sports culture in the United States after decades during which the major sports leagues shunned any official association with gambling.

As part of the deal, MGM will use official N.B.A. data on its betting platform and work with the league to detect and prevent fraud and game-fixing. MGM will also have the right to use N.B.A. and W.N.B.A. marks and team logos, and it will work on a coordinated marketing plan with the league.”

In a statement, Silver said the league’s “collaboration will result in the best possible gaming and entertainment experience for consumers through the use of accurate, real-time N.B.A. and W.N.B.A. data, and our collective efforts to maintain and enhance the integrity of our games.”

MGM’s chief executive, Jim Murren, said, “Integrating the N.B.A.’s assets and having official N.B.A. data showcased across the MGM Resorts platforms will provide us with a distinct advantage and instill more confidence in knowing that our data is directly from the N.B.A.”

Darren Rovell on Twitter

Full details on the NBA's groundbreaking gambling partnership with MGM https://t.co/gQuMuszRd1

 The deal is not exclusive. The NBA will reportedly be looking for partnerships with other sports betting operators as well. 

Having access to the billions of dollars spent on sports gambling each season is a come up, especially for WNBA players who want to get paid more. However, the NBA can’t deny that it once had a rogue referee working and admittedly influencing games in Tim Donaghy. Adding the element of gambling to the mix doesn't sit right with a lot of people who are already a bit hesitant to totally trust the NBA and the way the game is refereed. 

The Shadow League on Twitter

Tim Donaghy has no problem with that call on Draymond.

If you dig deeper, some people could also be offended by the fact that the NBA is in bed with MGM Grand Resorts which is currently in a PR pickle for reportedly suing 1,000 victims of the tragic Las Vegas shooting.  

okcthundercover on Twitter

@BRGambling @BR_NBA Classy company:

Financial windfall aside, the deal appears to be a recipe for disaster that could lead to players betting on games and potentially influencing games in an illegal fashion. Remember, for gamblers, betting is often about the rush, the addiction and not the money. Baseball learned about the devilish disasters of betting when Pete Rose, baseball’s all-time hits king, admitted to betting on games as a player and manager. “Charlie Hustle” is banned from working in baseball and won’t see a Hall of Fame plaque in his lifetime. 

The NBA is letting it be known that it’s all about the money. They’ll grab that and worry about the possible repercussions later. Maybe they feel that the players make too much money on average to ever risk point shaving, throwing a game or running up a score to cover a spread. 

If gambling addiction is considered a disease or sickness, then the NBA seems to be feeding the junkies more bad crack to soil the game in my opinion. LeBron’s built a school, the Lakers are relevant again, international business is booming, USA Basketball is getting underway. Don't let those things distract you from the fact that the NBA is officially a big time, unregulated business and has basically sold out to the gambling industry, a notoriously corrupt and corruptible enterprise.

So far, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver's tenure has been flawless, from his handling of social issues and player protests to his expansion into international markets and the stream of positive PR driven by heroic activism displayed by NBA superstars. 

Let's hope this doesn't become the first blemish on his record. Every commissioner has one.