Mar 4, 2024; Salt Lake City, Utah, USA; A detail view of a basketball on the court between the Utah Jazz and the Washington Wizards during the second half at the Delta Center. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Creveling-USA TODAY Sports Credit: Christopher Creveling-USA TODAY Sports

Over the past few years, sports gambling has become legalized across the country, and various professional sports leagues have begun embracing it, forming partnerships with sportsbooks and casinos as a new revenue stream. But there are certainly drawbacks.

This week, Cleveland Cavaliers coach J.B. Bickerstaff revealed that he has even been threatened by gamblers who got his phone number.

“They got my telephone number and were sending me crazy messages about where I live and my kids and all that stuff,” Bickerstaff said according to the Associated Press. “So it is a dangerous game and a fine line that we’re walking for sure.”

Bickerstaff explained that when people are betting money they need for other things, it could set up a dangerous situation for coaches and players.

“It brings added pressure,” Bickerstaff said. “It brings a distraction to the game that can be difficult for players, coaches, referees, everybody that’s involved in it. And I think that we really have to be careful with how close we let it get to the game and the security of the people who are involved in it.

“Because again, it does carry a weight. A lot of times the people who are gambling like this, money pays their light bill or pay their rent, and then the emotions that come from that. So I do think we’re walking a very fine line and we have to be extremely careful in protecting everybody who’s involved.”

Bickerstaff went on to explain that he has even been harrassed by fans during games to make decisions that will help their bets win.

“The amount of times where I’m standing up there and we may have a 10-point lead and the spread is 11 and people are yelling at me to leave the guys in so that we can cover the spread, it’s ridiculous,” Bickerstaff said. “But again, I understand the business side of it and the nature of the business of it. But I mean, it is something that I believe has gone too far.”

It’s certainly a concerning situation that’s having bad ripple effects.