The NBA 2K League has announced that six players and a coach have been “disqualified indefinitely” following a gambling controversy. The esports league made the announcement yesterday.
The suspended players include Christopher Lafanette, Dorian Earl Miller, and Robert Nastasi from the league’s affiliate of the Portland Trail Blazers; Zekirri Dennis of Mavs Gaming; and Kimanni Ingram of Jazz Gaming, who the league said “wagered or attempted to wager on NBA 2K League games, either on their own or through other individuals, and also violated the rules by failing to report violations or cooperate fully with the investigation.” Also receiving punishment are Blazers coach Andrew Maxie and player Marquis Gill for “failing to report violations or cooperate fully with the investigation.”
“We take our obligation to the competition and to our fans incredibly seriously”
There are no further details on the gambling or the punishment, but this kind of scandal is always damaging for the competitive integrity of a league, whether it’s esports or traditional sports. And while the NBA 2K League doesn’t have the same level of attention as other professional esports circuits like League of Legends, Valorant, or Overwatch, it’s still a notable enterprise, a collaboration between the NBA and NBA 2K publisher Take-Two Interactive. The league currently has affiliates with the majority of the NBA’s clubs as well as teams based in Australia, Spain, and China.
In a statement, league president Brendan Donohue said, “The integrity of our game is, and always will be, the NBA 2K League’s top priority. We take our obligation to the competition and to our fans incredibly seriously, and we will always act forcefully regarding violations of the rules governing game integrity and the related reporting and cooperation requirements.”