Erik Spoelstra details Victor Oladipo incident with gambler who was ‘beside himself’ at Heat game last year'
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Sports betting has become a significant part of the NBA in recent years, with the league aggressively moving into the gambling space. However, there has also been some pushback on the matter, and Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra is among those who have expressed apprehension about it.

“I do think it’s somewhat contradictory,” Spoelstra said of the NBA eagerly moving into the gambling space. “I think it treads on a weird line, for sure.”

Spoelstra talked with the media prior to the Heat’s matchup against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday and recalled an alarming experience with a gambler last season. The individual seemingly wanted Victor Oladipo to take at least one more shot even if the game had already been decided, probably so he could hit a bet.

“We had an incident behind our bench last year with Vic Oladipo,” Spoelstra said. “Somebody was screaming. Security had to take him away. The game was already over, and evidently, he didn’t shoot an open three at the end of the game. The game was already decided, and this fan was totally beside himself, and he was a gambler. He had money on whatever the score was.”

The Heat, Spoelstra and Oladipo are likely fortunate that trouble didn’t follow them after the contest.

On the same day Spoelstra shared his story, Cavaliers head coach J.B. Bickerstaff also revealed his own anecdote with disgruntled sports bettors. Bickerstaff may have had it worse because he and his family have received threats due to lost bets and parlays. It looks like the offenders are willing to take drastic measures to get even, as they were able to find his phone number.

Commissioner Adam Silver, who has been a huge proponent of legalized sports betting in the NBA, has yet to publicly address the issue.

Still, the fact that coaches have joined the chorus of several players who have pushed back against gambling should draw the league’s attention.

Fortunately for the Heat organization and its fans, Spoelstra managed to lead Miami to a 107-104 victory on Wednesday. Jimmy Butler paced his squad with 30 points, and Terry Rozier scored the team’s last five points, including a go-ahead 3-pointer in the final seconds of the match.

The Heat couldn’t maintain their winning ways, though, losing to the New Orleans Pelicans on Friday. They will look to avoid suffering another defeat when they face Cleveland again on Sunday.

With Miami currently in the play-in picture and 1.5 games behind the sixth-seeded Indiana Pacers, it needs to take every contest from hereon seriously if it wants to secure an outright playoff berth instead of having to go through the play-in tournament like it did last year.

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Orel writes all day, everyday. During the day, he writes and does research to complete his master's degree in education. During the night, he writes about the league he has loved since the '90s: the NBA.