Maverick Carter Links LeBron James With Shohei Ohtani’s Interpreter

Carter has admitted to being a client of alleged illegal California bookie Wayne Nix

Maverick Carter high-fives LeBron James.
Maverick Carter (left) admitted to using an illegal bookie to bet on the NBA.
Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty

Though it appears Shohei Ohtani will not be facing any discipline from Major League Baseball or law enforcement for his connection to an investigation into illegal gambling involving multiple alleged bookies and his former interpreter Ippei Mizuhara, more details about the alleged operation continue to emerge thanks to ESPN.

One of those details, and one that has largely flown under the radar, is that one of the alleged bookies who is connected to the investigation, Wayne Nix, is connected to the bookie, Mathew Bowyer, who allegedly took illegal bets from Mizuhara because they both allegedly used the same Las Vegas casino, Resorts World, to launder money.

“Multiple sources told ESPN that Resorts World is at the center of what federal authorities described in an affidavit as an investigation into ‘illegal sports bookmaking organizations operating in Southern California, and the laundering of the proceeds of these operations through casinos in Las Vegas.’ Twelve people have been charged or convicted to date, and two Vegas casinos have agreed to pay fines, according to the affidavit.”

What’s interesting about the alleged connection between Nix and Bowyer is that it creates a link between Ohtani and LeBron James as the NBA superstar’s longtime friend and business manager Maverick Carter, who has already admitted to betting on pro basketball games using an illegal bookie, according to records reviewed by The Washington Post.

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Per The Post, Carter told law enforcement agents he “could not remember” placing any bets on the Lakers (James’s team) and his spokesman Adam Mendelsohn said his client’s wagering “has nothing to do with” James. “In 2021 and before 38 states and the District of Columbia legalized sports betting, Maverick Carter was interviewed a single time by federal law enforcement regarding their investigation into Wayne Nix,” Mendelsohn told The Post. “Mr. Carter was not the target of the investigation, cooperated, was never charged, and never contacted again on the matter.”

Like MLB, the NBA prohibits players, team and league officials from gambling on their league and betting on other pro sports is largely discouraged, if not unofficially prohibited. The National Basketball Players Association prohibits league agents from gambling on The Association as well. However, since there is no rule banning the business managers of league players from wagering on the NBA, Carter didn’t violate league rules. Nor did James, who has not been accused of placing bets on the NBA or any other sport. As of now, the same applies to Ohtani.

However, NBA and MLB officials cannot be pleased that two individuals who are (or were in Mizuhara’s case) so closely tied to the faces of their respective leagues are directly involved in illegal sports gambling. Even though James and Ohtani have not been accused of betting and may not have even known what their associates were up to, simply having their names linked with illegal sports gambling is bad for business. Perhaps that’s why those links, especially in the case of James, have not been front-page news.

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