Michal Jordan isn’t just a legendary basketball player in his own lifetime. He also makes history as one of the highest rollers in blackjack. There are stories galore about how Jordan starts a blackjack night with $500,000, with the betting around $10,000 per hand. But is Michael Jordan the only high roller at the casino table? 

NBA Stars and Gambling

Other NBA players follow Michael Jordan in his love for blackjack. It’s not uncommon to see top basketball players betting high in the most exclusive casinos, with celebrities and multi millionaires. However, if you’re not a high roller like Jordan and prefer a more ‘modest bet’ and like to keep things real, there are casino sites such as NetBet blackjack where you can have fun and play the game against like minded people. 

So, without further ado, here are the Top 5 NBA gamblers and their stories. Get ready for some quite impressive numbers. Where we mere mortals can only dream of their opulent lifestyle, these guys live the dream and breathe the rarified air. 


#5 – Charles Oakley

Charles Oakley has always been a regular casino player. Once, he started an infamous brawl with another NBA player, Tyrone Hill. Oakley threw several basketballs at Tyrone before the beginning of a preseason game. The reason behind the attack was an unpaid debt of $54,000 over a dice game. He’s got suspended by the NBA and fined $10,000 for the infraction. 

#4 – Antoine Walker 

Antoine Walker has lost more money in casinos than he can count. Following the footsteps of Michael Jordan, Walker lived a life of high-stake games all night long. Walker tried to invest in poker to recover his money, but in 2009, he was already in debt with more than ten casinos. Later, he was arrested for failing to pay his debts and fined about $1 million. 

#3 – J. R. Smith

The multi-millionaire Lakers player also has a passion for gambling. His gambling habits got famous when his luxury mansion got robbed. Among the items taken away by thieves was a suitcase containing $15,000 in cash. When it was argued why he would keep such an amount in cash at home, Smith said it was his “gambling money”. It seems pretty plausible for a millionaire with a taste for high stakes. 

#2 – Charles Barkley

Charles Barkley doesn’t play small. In 2006, he confessed to having lost about $10 million in casinos. In the following year, Barkley won nearly $700,000 over a sports bet. Like other high-rollers, Barkley also was struggling to pay his gambling debts. Indeed, the Wynn Casino in Las Vegas took him to court over a deficit of $400,000. Those setbacks didn’t soften his gambling habits, and he still can be seen at high-stakes tables.

#1 – Michael Jordan

Considered the best player in history, Michael Jordan is also superlative outside the court. Jordan is said to be quite competitive in casinos as well. He’s a familiar presence in Atlantic City’s casinos. Typically, Michael Jordan’s bets are ridiculously high. He was once betting $45,000 in a blackjack game and managed to win back over $1 million. His losses are just as spectacular, and he once lost another $1 million on a golf course. 


With that amount of money going around, it’s challenging to calculate how much was earned and lost. Jordan is also the only one on this list who didn’t have legal problems with gambling debts. Anyway, Air Jordan stays on the top of this list, which has left many other NBA players out.