Jamal Crawford Faced Death Threats After Gambling with Michael Jordan

Jamal Crawford Faced Death Threats After Gambling with Michael Jordan

Michael Jordan’s gambling exploits are legendary, including how he used to bet $100,000 playing rock, paper scissors. Apparently, Jordan’s love of gambling also affected fellow players over the years, including Jamal Crawford.

Although not a teammate of Jordan’s, Crawford participated in summer workouts with MJ while the latter was figuring out if he wanted to make a comeback in 2001.

After playing in pickup games with Jordan, Crawford and others would head to Chicago’s One Sixtyblue restaurant to eat and gamble. Here’s an except from TheUndefeated on the typical scene:

“In between Crawford’s first and second year in the league, after the pickup games at Hoops the Gym, many of Jordan’s friends and associates would go next door to his contemporary American restaurant, One Sixtyblue. After hours, games of chance were set up – Vegas-style card tables, a separate corner for shooting dice.

“Two participants, on condition of anonymity, recounted one particular night when Jordan and Antoine Walker were among the card players and Crawford and Ray Allen were among the players shooting dice.

“The game was craps, in which the shooter opens by rolling two die. Any combination other than “7” becomes the target to roll again. A “7” is considered crapping out, meaning the roll starts over and the money wagered gets collected. Crawford grew up on the game in the streets of Seattle and L.A. He’d won hundreds, maybe thousands, when he was a teenager.”

The craps game didn’t go so well for Crawford and he quickly lost the $10,000 that he came with. He started betting on credit just to continue gambling with the other players.

By the time it was over, Crawford had lost $100,000, most of which he couldn’t pay right away.

Although Crawford has made over $120 million in his 16-year career, he was still in his rookie deal, which paid $8 million over three years.

Given that he hadn’t repaid his debts days after the dice game ended, Crawford allegedly received death threats from the people whom he owed money:

“And that, days after the dice game, a call was placed to Goodwin, Crawford’s agent, to inform him that Crawford had not yet squared his debt with one professional gambler.

“OK,” Goodwin said, according to the person with intimate knowledge of the game. “What does he owe? Jamal is good for it.”

“No, you don’t understand,” the go-between said. “If he doesn’t pay now, these guys will kill Jamal.

“Kill Jamal?!! He’s an NBA player. He gets paid as soon as the season starts. Give me the dude’s number.

“The person with knowledge of the game said Goodwin called the man Crawford owed money, set up a payment plan and resolved the issue without incident.”

Crawford said that he didn’t recall any death threats being made directly to him, but he admitted that the craps game got out of hand.

In any case, this story shows that even professional athletes can get in over their heads when it comes to gambling.

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