NBA All-Star says fans have been more harsh amid rise of sports betting: ‘To half the world … I’m a prop’

Within the last six years, 37 states and Washington, D.C., have legalized some form of sports betting, with plenty of those states letting people do it right from their pocket.

The number of sports wagers placed today was unimaginable even half a decade ago, and the options are endless.

Of course, spreads and totals remain the most popular, but there’s now pretty much a bet for everything, including those based on a lone player’s performance.

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Tyrese Haliburton #0 of the Indiana Pacers brings the ball up court during the game against the Detroit Pistons at Gainbridge Fieldhouse on April 3, 2022 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Michael Hickey/Getty Images)

“Player props” have led to heightened social media hatred, says one NBA All-Star.

“To half the world, I’m just helping them make money on DraftKings or whatever. I’m a prop” Indiana Pacers star Tyrese Haliburton said earlier this week. “That’s what my social media mostly consists of.”

In a form of comedic irony, Haliburton said he doesn’t “give a f—“ when someone tells him they lost sizable funds because of his performance.

Tyrese Haliburton #0 of the Indiana Pacers and Eastern Conference All-Stars dribbles the ball against the Western Conference All-Stars in the first quarter during the 2024 NBA All-Star Game at Gainbridge Fieldhouse on February 18, 2024 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

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But with the harsh words both on social media and in person, Haliburton says he’s been seeing a sports psychologist for “the last couple years.”

“It’s been good. I mean, even when I’m not [struggling], I think there has to be conversations at other times, too, because it’s obvious that what happens on the court is happens on the court…” he said, “It’s important, I think, for us as basketball players, as men, to get those things out because not everybody cares to hear how we feel…

“I think it’s important for us to have somebody to talk to… I do think that it’s important for us to just have conversations with people who really value who we are as human beings.”

Indiana Pacers guard Tyrese Haliburton (0) shoots around Orlando Magic guard Jalen Suggs (4) during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Indianapolis, Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022.  (AP Photo/AJ Mast)

North Carolina legalized sports wagering last week.

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