Jamal Crawford had a good run in his NBA career, which includes highlights like his 52-point game with the Knicks or winning the sixth man award three times. Other than that, the Clippers guard has never seen any controversy on and off the court, maintaining a clean and low-key profile except for that one time that Crawford was almost killed after losing a large amount of money shooting craps.
In a feature profile of Crawford by Mike Wise of the Undefeated, the writer tells the incident involving the NBA player losing at the dice game and eventually receiving threats after losing “several hundred thousand” dollars.
According to Wise, Crawford, in the early days of his career, once spent two days in Michael Jordan’s restaurant, One Sixtyblue, shooting craps with fellow NBA player Ray Allen, and professional gamblers. The athlete had about $2,000.00 in cash, and had even gone up holding $10,000.00 at one point.
But that was the most he would hold as he went on a downward spiral to what he believed was about $100,000 in losses. As a fresh player on a rookie salary, Crawford realized that he was in deep trouble. Days after his gambling debacle, Aaron Goodwin, Crawford’s agent at that time, received a call informing him about the issue.
The following excerpt from Wise’s story depicts the conversation of Goodwin and the go-between:
“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.”
So Goodwin contacted the person Crawford owed money to, and set up a payment plan to resolve the issue. Although Crawford denies losing that amount and having his life threatened, the NBA player still had to hand over the keys of his brand-new, grey 2001 Mercedes-Benz S Class 430 after the second night. And after taking out the basketball from his trunk.
The day that Jamal Crawford was almost killed, has taught a valuable lesson to the athlete and other up and coming NBA players, as well, with the player saying “For me, my entire existence in the NBA has been about becoming a better decision maker.”
Crawford has never stepped into a Casino since then.
Photo Courtesy: Keith Allison/ Flickr