Maverick Carter, long-time friend and business manager to Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James, admitted to a federal agent in 2021 that he made sports bets with an illegal bookie, The Washington Post's Gus Garcia-Roberts reported Thursday. In November 2021, Carter spoke with a federal agent as part of an investigation into Wayne Nix, a former Minor League baseball player who plead guilty to conspiracy to operate an illegal sports gambling business and filing a false tax return in 2022.
According to The Post, Carter admitted to placing approximately 20 bets on basketball and football worth between $5,000-$10,000 apiece. Adam Mendelsohn, longtime media spokesperson for James and Carter, said in a statement to The Post that "Mr. Carter was not the target of the investigation, cooperated, was never charged, and never contacted again on the matter." He told law enforcement at the time that he did not remember making any bets on the Lakers, and he denied making bets for others.
Technically speaking, Carter is not forbidden from betting on sports. Players, team officials and referees are prohibited from betting on sports, and the NBPA includes agents in that rule as well, but Carter is a business manager. Betting with an illegal bookie in an area in which sports gambling is not legal is another matter, obviously, but from the league's perspective, Carter did not break any rules.
Nix's operation allegedly ran for over two decades and included a number of high-profile clients, including Chicago Bulls legend Scottie Pippen. Yasiel Puig, a former Major League baseball player, is currently scheduled for trial in January after he plead not guilty to lying to law enforcement about sports bets he allegedly made with Nix.