is all about rags to riches. It’s where the top athletes get paid hundreds of millions of dollars in career earnings
Guys like Michael Jordan are reputed to have personal fortunes of $1,5 billion and more. With that kind of money, the lifestyles of NBA players are more than lavish - they are over the top.
Hundreds of millions are spent on assets like fast cars, jewellery and real estate. Millions more are splashed out on fast women, all-night parties and gambling - formal and informal.
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Day to day events like a round of golf become high stakes games. Bets of $700k to $800k are placed on the horses, heavyweight boxers, the American Superbowl… and the NBA of course.
Blackjack, baccarat and poke
r are played at stakes of $25k to $30k a hand. Money is no object and these guys are out there to enjoy the excesses of life.
Now there are literally thousands of young men in Zambia, Zaire, Mexico and Venezuela who are dreaming of a day when they too can cash-in on one of the richest sports in the world.
In the NBA the mantra is ‘if you’ve got it, flaunt it’ - and that is exactly what the most notorious gamblers of pro basketball have done. Here are three guys who love gambling - and one has paid the price:
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Charles Barkley is the former power forward for the Philadelphia 76ers, Phoenix Suns and Houston Rockets. He is also a self-confessed gambling addict. He was known for his strength and aggression on the court, attributes he carried over to his style of gambling.
The Round Mound of the Rebound lost more than $2,5 million in just six hours at the blackjack tables and recently confessed his total gambling losses are around $10 million… and ticking. He squandered $100k backing the Falcons against the Patriots and around $500k on the Colts.
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To mere mortals like us that may seem like enormous amounts of money but when you consider his career earnings were around $180 million and he made plenty more on sponsorship deals - then hey, who cares!
The Hall of Famer may have hung up his boots but he’s still a regular at casinos like Mandalay Bay. Barkley unashamedly admits he loves to gamble and let’s face it; he can afford to cover his losses!
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Michael Jordan is a legend - both in terms of basketball and gambling. He is known to play high stakes cash games that start at $25k a hand. He’s also the kind of guy that’ll drop $1 million on a few golf bets - and that’s when he’s ‘carrying’ the clubs.
In his playing days Jordan would bet on anything like whose bags would come off the airport conveyor belt first. He was also known for bribing insiders so that his bet won.
The shooting guard for the Cleveland Cavaliers is so into gambling, he regularly visits Monte Carlo, Macau, Las Vegas and Atlantic City. With a net worth of $1,65 billion Jordan isn’t a gambler… he’s a whale!
Image Source: boston.com
Antoine Walker is the former Celtics power forward and a contemporary of Michael Jordan. He used to join the billionaire in his $25k a hand poker games.
Importunely for Walker his luck dried up pretty quickly. The $100 million NBA superstar filed for bankruptcy just two years into retirement.
Although Walker claims it was more his lavish lifestyle and not gambling that depleted his mega-money cache, the man was arrested for failing to pay back around $800k in gambling debts!
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