It shouldn’t come as a surprise that degenerate gambler Antoine Walker has a story to tell about teaming up with Michael Jordan for a 36-hour spades bender that other degenerate gamblers will eat up. Walker told the story Thursday during an appearance on All Things Covered with Patrick Peterson and Bryant McFadden.
The story goes that MJ and Walker get into a high-stakes spades game at a restaurant against a couple of unnamed gamblers who were down for a marathon session with a couple of the NBA’s most notorious bettors. Walker, who was sentenced to probation in 2011 for not paying his Vegas gambling debts, says the game just kept going and going.
“When Mike calls, the buy-in goes up a little higher. It’s going to be a number that everybody has to bring to the table,” he told Peterson and McFadden. “I’d say $20,000 just to get in. 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.”
“What made it even more interesting, it was the day he actually was supposed to make his announcement he was officially coming back. He canceled the press conference, everything. We played for 36 hours, man.”
“This is what happened: I was leaving for Boston in a couple days, so I had about $100,000. I was always a cash person, I had my money,” Walker recalled. “MJ had about $200 (thousand) on him. MJ sent for half a million, cash. Sent for it. And then the other guys we played against had money, too. So they had us down $900,000.”
Walker then tells how Jordan had his nephew get $500,000 out of his golf bag to keep the game going.
How did this all end?
“We got all the money except $20,000. Mike did not want to see them with 20, so they ended up winning 180. He got too tired, we couldn’t go no more. He was falling asleep at the table… Every gambling session didn’t go 36 hours, but we had some competitive gambling sessions.”
Jordan would go on to become a billionaire ($1.6 billion, according to Forbes) while Walker lost $100 million and filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in 2010. Walker didn’t lose it all gambling. There were also real estate investments that went bad and left the former NBA player broke.
“It’s a tough lesson to learn,” Walker said in 2016 about losing it all. “I wanted to take care of my family; I wanted the best for them. I really didn’t have the word ‘no’ in my vocabulary. It was something I was not used to saying.”
My jaw dropped when I heard this story.
Michael Jordan canceled a press conference to announce his return to the NBA because he was gambling for 36 hours straight w/ Antoine Walker♠️
And they were down $900,000 at 1 point😬@WalkerAntoine8
— Bryant McFadden (@BMac_SportsTalk) March 4, 2021