NBA: Former Kings' employee gambled

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- The Sacramento Kings said Wednesday they were informed by the NBA that a former employee gambled while on their staff.

Jack Mai, the team's former assistant director of scouting, was found to have gambled while with the Kings, who fired him in January. Last season was his eighth with the franchise and third as assistant director of scouting.

Kings owner Joe Maloof said the team fired Mai as soon as it found out through general manager Geoff Petrie that Mai had been wagering.

"I wasn't aware that he was betting. But the minute we found out he was doing something wrong we had to let him go," Maloof said. "People should know that you are not allowed to bet on NBA games. It's against the bylaws, it's against the rules."

The Kings' release said the "investigation revealed that Mr. Mai participated in improper wagering activities while a member of this organization." The Kings said Mai had been disqualified from further association with the NBA and its teams.

NBA spokesman Tim Frank confirmed Mai's disqualification and said reinstatement was not possible, but said the league would have no other comment.

The league has taken gambling especially seriously since former referee Tim Donaghy admitted taking thousands of dollars from a professional gambler in exchange for inside tips, including games he worked.