The legend of Michael Jordan as a degenerate gambler continues.
Months after ESPN’s docuseries “The Last Dance” shed some light on how the six-time NBA champion’s extreme competitive drive extended off the court, former NBA player Antoine Walker added another story about Jordan’s gambling to the lexicon.
Walker, who played 13 seasons in the NBA from 1996 to 2008, went on the “All Things Covered” podcast and described an experience he had with Jordan in the ’90s. According to Walker, the two once played spades at a restaurant – for 36 straight hours. And it was not for chump change, either.
“I’d say $20,000 just to get in,” Walker, who filed for bankruptcy in 2010 after flushing $108 million in NBA earnings, said on the podcast. “If you don’t have $20,000 to get in, you can’t even play. Mike was competitive. I remember one time we played spades for 36 hours. We were playing against two other guys and Mike and I were partners. They had us behind $900,000.”
Walker claimed that the game took place around the time that Jordan was ]announcing his return to the NBA from a stint in minor league baseball – and they had to postpone a press conference due to the game.
Jordan allegedly sent his nephew to retrieve $500,000 out of a golf bag during the game. At one point, they were down $900,000, but ended up within $20,000 of breaking even.
“Mike did not want to see them win $20,000,” Walker said. “They ended up winning $180,000 because he got too tired. He was falling asleep at the table.”