Jamal Crawford Once Had His Life Threatened Over A Gambling Debt At MJ’s Restaurant
If you go to the 16:50 mark of this interview I did with Jamal Crawford a couple of years ago, I asked him if he remembered the first cars he bought as a rookie. He responded by saying he bought an Escalade and gave it to his mother. I then reminded him of the Mercedes he got with Jay-Cee inscribed in the seats. He seemed pretty shock I knew about his rookie purchase but I can’t imagine how shocked he would have been if I would have brought up the time he had to give up his 2001 Mercedes S Class 430 to settle a gambling debt and not get KILLED?!
In a recent must-read story about Jamal in The Undefeated, Mike Wise tells a shocking story about a rookie Jamal and Ray Allen shooting craps at Michael Jordan’s ‘Sixtyblue’ restaurant.
As a colossal pit formed in his stomach, he remembered thinking, ‘What the hell did I just do?’
Over what is believed to be a two-day span, he said, he lost in the neighborhood of $100,000. A person with intimate knowledge of the game claims Crawford lost several hundred thousand and Allen lost even more. And that, days after the dice game, a call was placed to Goodwin, Crawford’s agent, to inform him that Crawford had not yet squared his debt with one professional gambler.
“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.”
The person with knowledge of the game said Goodwin called the man Crawford owed money, set up a payment plan and resolved the issue without incident.
Crawford swore he didn’t lose that kind of money, and said he never heard the story about his life being threatened. But he doesn’t deny he got in way over his head, which led to a particularly humiliating moment.
To help square the debt at the end of the second night, he walked out to his 2001 Mercedes-Benz S Class 430, an immaculate new grey sedan. Before he handed over the keys, he opened the trunk of the car. And took out his basketball.
For the next 15 years, Jamal has made a pretty nice living, recouping his losses, while building very impressive (maybe unappreciated) resume shooting a basketball and not dice. That night at Jordan’s restaurant was actually the last time he ever shot dice.
JAMAL AND JORDAN
If you want to hear a few other great stories about Jamal’s respect and relationship with Jordan, check out the full interview above and the following video from the Colin Cowherd show.