Getting drafted into the NBA is in itself a royal flush, considering the slim chance of making it after college. Per the NCAA study of April 2020–
- Out of 540,769 male high school basketball players, 18,816 play at the collegiate level– which is just 3.5%. This percentage is diluted further for those who play at Division I schools.
- Now, narrow down the lane even more since only 1.2% of the collegiate players make it into the NBA.
Given how fortunate this opportunity is, you would think that the athletes would pledge honor, dignity, ethics, and the spirit of the game. And don’t get me wrong, the majority of the players have contributed to society even after retiring.
But still, if there’s a system, there will be people who would find loopholes and exploit their privilege.
On November 15, 2023, the New York Jury convicted ex-Boston Celtics Forward Glen “Big Baby” Davis and ex-Detroit Piston Will Bynum. Both were found guilty of a defrauding scheme where they presented false health claims to benefit from insurance plans for themselves and their families. The estimated cost of this swindle is reportedly more than $5 million.
All About Glen Davis and Will Bynum
The Y2K NBA scene was bustling with some of the greatest players of all time. According to the Bleachers Report ranking, the 2000s produced some of the best teams and top players, including Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O’Neal, Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, Dirk Nowitzki, Carmelo Anthony, Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett, Steve Nash, Paul Pierce, Ray Allen, Jason Kidd and Allen Iverson.
In the roster of massive star power, some underdogs would surprise the entire basketball fraternity. Among them were Glen Davis and Will Bynum.
The Boston Celtics thrived in the 2000s with a strategic compilation of players. Glen “Big Baby” Davis (37) emerged as a reliable Forward for the Celtics’ 2008 NBA championship team. He proved his consistency and progress with an 8-year career, playing for Boston, Orlando, and Los Angeles Clippers.
The 40-year-old ex-NBA player played for four seasons in the NBA. Bynum was drafted by the Nets, Rockets, Kings, and Celtics.
Bynum amassed decent stats, averaging 7.1 points and 2.4 assists in 153 games (as reported by ESPN).
NBA Players Insurance Fraud Explained
The extensive investigation report reveals that over 20 NBA players, a majority of whom have played only one season, have been exploiting the insurance plan under the NBA.
Here are a few reported names–
- Milt Palacio
- Sebastian Telfair
- Antoine Wright
- Darius Miles
- Ruben Patterson
- Eddie Robinson
- Gregory Smith
- Glen Davis
- Jamario Moon
- Terrence Williams
- Alan Anderson
- Tony Allen
- Shannon Brown
- William Bynum
Per the prosecutors, these players have presented false health claims, medical reports, and fictitious dental and medical claims to the NBA Players’ Health and Benefit Welfare Plan. As a result, over $ 5 million was embezzled from the scam.
Some players have forged doctors’ prescriptions and invoices, which is a severe felony considering how fragile the healthcare system is.
Glen Davis and William Bynum have been convicted of defrauding the insurance scheme. In unrelated news, Davis is simultaneously accused of cheating and leaving his wife.
U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said in a statement–
“Today’s conviction exemplifies that despite notoriety or success in sports or any other field, no one is exempt from criminal charges if they engage in fraud.”
What is your take on this? Do you think the players should receive a prison sentence for defrauding?
Should they pay back the losses caused by the insurance fraud? Let us know in the comments section below.