Gambling is a long-standing tradition for traveling professional sports teams in just about every sport, dating back to baseball teams on trains in the early 1900s.
Fights over money won-and-lost is a tradition that started about 5 minutes later.
In today’s NBA, these are ultra-competitive people and that energy carries over to everything, including a game of cards. These athletes don’t like to lose and for that reason don’t like to pay up (it’s rarely about the money and more about the pride). That’s what happened with the Tony Allen/O.J. Mayo fight with the Grizzlies — it was over less than $1,500 (which is not much in NBA circles). But a fight broke out over it and now gambling has been banned on Grizzlies road trips.
Ray Allen told 98.5 the Sports Hub in Boston (via Sports Radio Interviews) there are card games on Celtics flights, but things have not escalated because they are a veteran team with strong locker room leaders.
It takes a mature group of guys to be able to deal with a situation like that. There are cases that on some teams, (banning gambling is) possibly something you should do, but for us, we have a mature group of guys. … We know how to take care of ourselves and be men and make sure that certain things don’t take place. We’re responsible for each other. There’s some teams that just aren’t capable.”
Allen said there is a system in place for the Celtics to deal with gambling debts.
We just have a committee. We always talk about, you have this amount of time to pay your debt, whether it’s the next trip or whatever. So if you’re playing cards and you lose, everybody’s like, ‘You owe this dude that much money, you’ve got to pay him by the next time we get on the plane.’ It’s kind of like out of shame that we get guys to pay each other back.
“I, personally, stopped gambling.”
That may be the wisest bet of all.
With so much focus in recent weeks being on NBA players speaking out on social issues, it’s worth remembering that Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has been one of the most vocal athletes in America on these things for decades. The Hall of Fame and all-time leading scorer in NBA history addressed the Democratic National Convention on Thursday evening, urging voters to vote for Hillary Clinton in November, and opened his remarks by introducing himself as Michael Jordan, because “Donald Trump couldn’t tell the difference.”
You can watch the video of his speech below:
In the weeks since Kevin Durant announced he was signing with the Golden State Warriors, we have yet to hear Russell Westbrook speak on his former teammate’s decision. This week, ESPN.com’s Royce Young indicated in a podcast interview that Durant was telling Westbrook and others in the days leading up to his decision that he was coming back to Oklahoma City. He later walked back his report, saying he misspoke. On Thursday, Durant himself told The Vertical‘s Shams Charania that he never said any such thing, or misled Westbrook or anyone else about his intentions.
“It’s false,” Durant told The Vertical on Thursday. “I didn’t say that – words about me telling Russell or Nick that I would stay or leave never came out of my mouth. We met as teammates, but no promises came out of it. In this day and age, I can’t control anything people claim out there. Someone can go out and say something random right now, and people will believe it.
“I never told Russell or Nick [Collison], ‘All right, guys, I’m coming back to the Thunder’ – and then a week later, I decide not to. Never happened. I don’t operate like that. I heard people say that story, but it’s not the truth.”
So that settles that.
CHICAGO (AP) The Chicago Bulls have signed guard Spencer Dinwiddie.
The Bulls acquired Dinwiddie in a trade with Detroit last month and waived him three weeks ago. He spent two years with the Pistons and appeared in 12 games last season, averaging 4.8 points and 13.3 minutes.
The Bulls announced the move Thursday.