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Big Name NBA Players with Gambling Problems
NBA players are among some of the best athletes in the world. They can often run farther, jump higher, and perform better than their peers in many other sports. You will also find that they are very competitive people by nature, no matter what they are doing. This is why a lot of them like to gamble.
The process of having some stakes on the line enhances the experience of doing well at something, whether this is sports betting, poker, or casino gambling. Unfortunately, there have been a few big-name basketball players over the years who have developed issues with their gambling behavior. This article will look at some of those past NBA stars who have been in such a position.
Michael Jordan is an icon in the game of basketball, being one of the best players to ever play the game. The Chicago Bulls legend was known for being insanely competitive about all aspects of his life, with this being clearly displayed in the hit documentary series – The Last Dance.
He would bet on everything from coin flips to golf matches, and poker. He was reportedly even lost as much as a million dollars through. Golf bet. He has often visited the casinos in Atlantic City over the years. The billionaire maintains that he has always been able to control his gambling, just that the large sums he puts on the line appear to be significant but for a man of his net worth it often is like pocket change.
J.R. Smith is a recently retired two-time NBA Championship winner. He was in the news when a few years ago when some thieves broke into his home and robbed many of his valued possessions. One of the items stolen was a suitcase that was holding approximately $15,000.
The police asked why this large sum of cash was at his house, with Smith stating that it was for gambling purposes. He apparently loves a wide range of different casino games, including slots, poker, and blackjack.
Charles Barkley is often in the conversation as being one of the best players to have never won an NBA Championship. He has a long history of gambling. Over the years, he has estimated his losses at casinos to be in the range of $15 million. He loves going to Las Vegas in order to gamble, usually placing thousands of dollars on bets each time.
In one particular blackjack game, it is reported that he lost a massive $2.5 million during the single sitting. In recent years, he has reigned in his gambling expenditure and controls his bet sizes a lot more.
Walker was always heralded as being the next great start of the NBA. While his career didn't reach the lofty heights that many expected it to, he still managed to win an NBA Championship with the Miami Heat in 2006. However, some fans believed that Walker's gambling habit was a reason why he failed to fulfill his potential. He would regularly be going to non-UK casinos, gambling the night away.
He was reportedly very reckless when it comes to gambling and was in debt for many millions of dollars to various non-UK casino sites. Despite having earned over $108 million from basketball salaries, she declared bankruptcy in 2010. At the time, he was forced to sell his NBA Championship ring in order to drum up cash to pay off his debts. He eventually managed to become debt-free in 2013.
Charles Oakley was always a fierce competitor on the court, with no holds barred. He was a common visitor to casinos in Las Vegas. There was one incident in which he was nearly losing and Oakley ended up taking back his chips from the casino table, which led to the property banning him. He also was not happy when people owed him money.
There was a preseason game that he fought Tyrone Hill as he owed Oakley about $54,000 in betting stakes and had not repaid him. This fight ended up costing Oakley a fine of $10,000 from the NBA, but he did manage to get his funds returned to him eventually from Tyrone.
Iverson is one of the game's most iconic players and also a cautionary tale for young stars who are making their way through the NBA. While he earned over $200 million during his time playing basketball, he had a gambling addiction that cost him big. He ended up losing all of his money over the years, playing everything from slots to poker, and blackjack.
Despite his stellar career as an eleven-time All-Star, Iverson had little monetary gain to show from his years of playing basketball and being one of the sport’s biggest personalities.
A serious issue
The fact that so many major NBA stars over the years got heavily involved in gambling is interesting. The extremely competitive natures seem to have crossed over into the gambling space.
The types of gambling they engaged in usually varied, whether it was sports betting, games non-UK casino sites like those found here, poker, or betting on random activities. There are some terrible hard-luck stories along the way where people developed proper gambling addictions. Others were able to gamble with big sums but still ultimately stay in control of their spending before it got out of hand.
With the prevalence of online gambling now spreading across the US, it will be interesting to watch how the NBA deals with the growing popularity of the sector. It will never have been easier for NBA players to gamble when they are in certain states.