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Top 3 Famous NBA Players Who Love Gambling

Gambling is a widespread passion and it doesn't recognize borders or differences among peoples and countries. It has the power to attract different types of individuals - from family guys and retired people all the way to unemployed persons and younger adults.

Most people believe that gamblers play the game for money, but is it really the truth? The short answer is: Definitely not.

It turns out that thousands of well-off individuals love gambling because it gives them a different kind of pleasure and satisfaction that they cannot find anywhere else. The trend did not surpass basketball players, even the ones who already earned millions during the course of their careers.

You would be surprised to learn how many former and current athletes regularly play casino games, but we are here to talk about the top three NBA players who love gambling. Let's check them out!

Image source: https://pixabay.com/photos/luck-lucky-number-17-roulette-839037/

1. Michael Jordan, Chicago Bulls
We open the list with none other than legendary Michael Jordan, a winner of six NBA championships and Finals MVP awards. Why did we choose Michael Jordan among so many other basketball gamblers?

First of all, he is widely considered to be the best basketball player that has ever walked the court. Here are a few facts you should know about His Airness:

  • Jordan played six NBA finals series and won each with an average of 33.6 points per game.
  • Jordan is the only player ever to win the best-scorer award along with the defensive player of the year title.
  • Jordan is the only athlete who has become a billionaire.

    If you pay attention to the last fact, you will probably ask: Why the heck would Michael Jordan play casino games? Well, he just loves the thrill of gambling!

    Jordan is a passionate poker player, but he is not shy of other casino games such as craps and roulette. During the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona, Jordan actually spent entire nights playing poker with his teammates. According to some reports, Jordan once lost more than $1 million during a single crisp session.

    2. Alan Iverson, Philadelphia 76ers
    Do you the detail that connects Alan Iverson with Canadian gamblers? The answer is simple – they all love casino slots! If you provide free spins for Canadians, rest assured they will seize the opportunity and Alan Iverson would do the same thing. We added Iverson to the list because he is truly one of the most attractive basketball players of all time. In case you haven't heard, Iverson is a holder of a few notable stats:

  • With a height of just 6'0", he is the NBA's smallest elite scorer.
  • Iverson scored nearly 30 points per game in the postseason, which makes him second to Michael Jordan only.
  • He holds a plethora of personal accolades such as the MVP title, 11 All-Star appearances, Rookie of the Year, and many more.

    But Iverson has not been focusing on basketball exclusively. On the contrary, he used to visit casinos in Detroit and Atlantic City quite regularly, which earned him a serious gambling reputation. Iverson gradually lost control over his gambling habits and alcohol consumption, so he reportedly lost all of his lifetime earnings that exceeded $200 million.

    3. J.R. Smith, Cleveland Cavaliers
    J.R. Smith probably isn't anyone's favorite NBA player, but he deserves a place on our list as a genuine gambler. A former member of the Denver Nuggets and Cleveland Cavaliers is currently without a team, but we selected him because he is the youngest NBA gambler that we know of – at least officially.

    J.R. Smith earned enough money not to use 500 bonus spins for slots games, but he did pay attention to the money he used for gambling purposes. J.R. Smith once reported being ripped off by a thief who took a briefcase with $15 thousand. It was the money J.R. Smith used to take to local casinos in order to purchase chips.

    $15 thousand may not seem like a big deal for NBA players, but the average person would probably go nuts in case of losing that much money. In the eyes of J.R. Smith, it was just a small amount of cash needed to fulfill his gambling demands on a regular basis.

    Honorable Mentions
    We have shown you the most notable examples of gamblers among NBA players, but the list goes on and includes other highly recognizable names. We don’t want to waste your time by naming all of them, but we do want to add a few honorable mentions that really deserve to be discussed. Here they are:

  • Charles Barkley: This man was not only a superior power forward but also a passionate casino gambler. A few years ago, Barkley stated that he had lost over $10 million in Las Vegas casinos. However, it doesn't stop him from continuing his casino journeys even today.
  • Charles Oakley: We've heard a lot of rumors about Oakley and his gambling adventures, but he is mostly known for the fight with a teammate Tyrone Hill who owed him $54 thousand.
  • Antoine Walker: This example shows how disastrous gambling can be if you are unable to stop on time. Antoine Walker was arrested in 2009 for failing to repay his debts.
  • Isaiah Thomas. One of the League's all-time greats is also known for serious gambling affinities. It is believed that the FBI once investigated Thomas as the organizer of craps games, but there were no official confirmations or processes held against this NBA legend.

    The Bottom Line
    Gambling is not just a desperate men's game. On the contrary, it attracts millions of people from all over the globe because the game itself is incredibly exciting and amusing. This means that even some of the richest people on Earth such as NBA players build a serious gambling passion over years.

    We discussed the top three cases among professional basketball players: Michael Jordan, Alan Iverson, and J.R. Smith. We also added a few honorable mentions to the list, but you are free to write a comment if you know other famous basketball stars who love gambling.

    Chris Bell is a person of who lives and breathes sports betting and online casino games. He is a gaming expert and knows pretty much everything about slots. He writes blog posts about virtual gambling, but his true passions are literature and classical music.