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#pounditTuesday, June 18, 2024

Shams Charania facing criticism over impact of NBA Draft reporting

Shams Charania in front of a mic

NBA reporter Shams Charania is facing criticism over his NBA Draft reporting and his ties to sports betting.

Charania did plenty of reporting in the lead-up to Thursday’s draft, as one would expect from The Athletic’s lead NBA reporter. One particular report of his raised some questions, however.

On Thursday afternoon, Charania reported that Scoot Henderson was “gaining serious momentum” to go No. 2 overall to the Charlotte Hornets.

The tweet prompted a huge shift in the betting odds for who would go No. 2, as Brandon Miller had previously been seen as the favorite.

Charania’s report undoubtedly led a lot of people to place bets on Henderson as the pick. That is where the conflict of interest comes in. Charania hosts a show for FanDuel TV, and his Twitter bio refers to him as a “FanDuel partner.”

Even before the Hornets made their pick, some had questions about Charania having a conflict of interest between his reporting and driving traffic to FanDuel. Those questions only intensified after the Hornets ultimately drafted Miller anyway, with some outright wondering if Charania had been out to make FanDuel money by influencing people to place bets on Henderson getting drafted No. 2.

https://twitter.com/mansurshaheen/status/1672059846718283776

The speculation prompted a response from FanDuel, which said in a statement that FanDuel “is not privy to any news that Shams breaks on his platforms.”

In all likelihood, Charania just shared a report that did not turn out to be accurate. It was not even as if he guaranteed that Henderson would be selected by the Hornets. Still, his dual roles present a rather awkward conflict of interest.

Charania has received plenty of criticism from within the NBA before, so this is not necessarily new.

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