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“Hey, Look At Me! I Have A Gambling Problem, Too!”

A couple of days ater John Daly’s admissions of major gambling problems, Charles Barkley admits the same. He’s lost $10 million, but has no intention of quitting… and perhaps not even of slowing down.

“It’s not a problem,” Barkley said on TNT during halftime of the Pistons-Bucks game. “If you’re a drug addict or an alcoholic, those are problems. I gamble for too much money. As long as I can continue to do it I don’t think it’s a problem. Do I think it’s a bad habit? Yes, I think it’s a bad habit. Am I going to continue to do it? Yes, I’m going to continue to do it.”

I think Barkley’s problem is completely different than Daly’s, though… Daly gambles because of a subconscious urge to do something destructive and risky. For him, it’s about his addictive personality. If it’s not gambling, it’d be something else, as Big John has demonstrated very well.

For guys like Barkley and Jordan (and if you don’t think Michael Jordan has a gambling problem, you’re nuts… Reggie Evans nuts), it’s all about competition and the thrill of victory. I don’t think you’re going to catch these guys at slot machines. They’ll play blackjack, where they think they have a competitive advantage by being smarter. It’s all about winning. And a game like blackjack provides them an opportunity to win very often, in a very short period of time.

I’ve got a friend who’s the same way… He’s so absurdly competitive that I can’t throw a game of darts with the fucking guy in his garage without wanting to punch him in his dirty Greek face. And he loves to gamble… blackjack, craps, poker, anything. It’s the same principle.

I’d wish Charles luck in getting his problems straightened out, but I think he’d rather I wish him luck when he hits a 16 against the dealer’s 10.

Matthew J. Darnell

6 Comments

  1. I gotta say… I have no idea how much Sir Charles is worth, but $10 million has to hurt, at least at some level. That’s how much he’s lost, who knows how much he’s won?

    As far as John Daly is concerned, I’m surprised he still has his thumbs, or really, any digits. $50 million is a whole bunch of money. Again, who knows how much he’s won? but I’m guessing he’s in the hole. Since I doubt he’s ever been worth that much money, someones gotta be giving him a line of credit.

    No comment on Michael Jordan’s gambling.

  2. I enjoyed the Dr. Phil segment Ernie & Charles had on TNT. I was waiting for Ernie to hug Charles, the theme of the night.

    I like Charles’ honesty and he was just giving support to Daly.

  3. Barkley played in the NBA for 16 years. If he averaged $2M a year over that period, gave 10% to his agent and paid 45% in taxes, that’s a little over $15.8M in the clear. That doesn’t include Nike endorsement money, which I’m sure was at least another $3M a year on the average. Then there are those books ghost-written by Michael Wilbon and whatever he’s making now with TNT…

    That said, $10M is still a huge chunk of change for Sir Charles, but probably not enough to break him financially. I suspect he and his agent doing a better job managing his money than John Daly is.

  4. Charles Barkley has made, and will continue to make, a shitload of money. The hyper-competitive high-stakes gambling thing is a problem, certainly, but I don’t think we have to worry about him dying a poor man.

  5. I smoke a fair bit of the hillbilly homegrown MJD, so in the world of barkley, I am an addict. How about you help me figure out if I am one for sure?

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