Michael Turner is a blogger and an avid casino fan who loves to cover iGaming-related topics in his posts. He is especially interested in poker news, anecdotes and he enjoys playing poker with his friends. Michael also loves occasional sports betting and playing sports video games.
Five NBA Players and Their Stories About Money They Lost in Gambling
Bright lights, lots of excitement, sweat, and tears that's a pretty accurate description of an NBA court and action-packed basketball game. It is also an accurate description of land-based casinos in Las Vegas, which is why they have such a strong allure or sway over some basketball players.
Gambling is a very popular hobby around the world. Some enjoy placing bets on sports games, others love relying on their mental skills and play poker, and there are those who simply want to test their luck on roulette or slots. In other words, it's rare for someone to fully resist these games, just because of how accessible they are. The same applies to NBA stars, and with the wealth they have, it's no surprise they are attracted to the splendor of Vegas.
Here are some of the famous stories about NBA players who lost a lot of money on gambling.
Michael Jordan is still widely regarded as the best NBA player of all time. He has an amazing drive to win no matter what, and he is a role model to many young and aspiring players all over the world. His relentless pursuit of victory, his success story, and his brand of sneakers are just some of the reasons why NBA fans are obsessed with him. Unfortunately, this competitive side of him took its toll when he played different luck-based games.
Unlike on the basketball court, you don't have as much agency on the outcome, but the desire for victory remains the same. Jordan also enjoyed betting on golf games and these were not minor bets, the stakes were pretty high. As a result, he lost one million dollars on one occasion.
Nowadays it's pretty easy for celebrities to keep their gambling hobby a secret. Instead of going to a popular or crowded casino in Las Vegas, or elsewhere they can gamble anonymously in online casinos. Platforms they can find on https://casinosters.com/boku/ all offer a wide array of games, and even if you play with others online they won't know who you are. Moreover, NBA players can quickly cover their losses, so it's usually not a big deal even if they lose thousands. However irresponsible gambling can result in some significant losses much like in the case of Antonie Walker.
Inspired by Michael Jordan, Antonio was also prone to spend hours playing casino games or gambling. Things got so bad that he started writing checks that ended up bouncing, which led to his arrest. Before this, his estimated wealth was around 100 million USD, which is why no one doubted the legitimacy of the checks. He ended up paying different casinos in Vegas a total of $800,000.
Barkley is another fan-favorite player and he shocked the world when he announced that he lost around 10 million dollars gambling in casinos. He also had disputes with different casinos that were settled in court, and even after all that he is still seen playing in Vegas and spending a lot. This did not diminish his popularity and recently one of the modders created his character in the NBA 2K21 video game. So, fans still want to see Barkley play even if it's only in a popular video game.
Another player who is a huge fan of gambling, and who ended up playing with people that tried to weasel out of the bet. Charles Oakley did not like this and decided to use more violent means in order to get the money he is owed. This was a famous incident in the year 2000 when Charles hit Tyrone Hill because he owed him money.
We don't know how much money J.R. Smith lost on gambling but we do know that the hobby created a problem for him on one occasion. When Smith's house was robbed the burglars took a suitcase which contained $15,000 in cash, which raised some eyebrows with the police. Smith then explained how that's his gambling money, and how a suitcase filled with cash should not be weird at all if you are a millionaire.
Gambling is really popular and a fun hobby, however irresponsible gambling usually leads to pretty depressing outcomes. Even someone who is as disciplined and revered as an NBA player is not immune to these bad habits, so it's important to share these cautionary tales. Whether you are playing in a land-based casino or online, always enjoy these games in moderation, and don't push it if it isn't your lucky day.