Not many basketball players have showed interest in poker, and one reason for this could be that the National Basketball Association (NBA), the world’s biggest basketball league, does not have a team in Las Vegas, the place where most of the US poker action takes place. Besides, the NBA season is quite tough with 82 games being played over a period of seven months, leaving players little time for other games such as poker. Despite this, five basketball players have shown interest in poker.
Paul Pierce, a top NBA player, broke several records while playing with the Boston Celtics. His biggest achievement is that of becoming an NBA All-Star ten times. When he is free, Pierce plays poker and would like to become a professional poker player when he retires from basketball. He has taken part in a few World Series of Poker (WSOP) events, including a $10k PL Omaha event, which was held in July.
Tony Parker, a French basketball player who had played basketball with the NBA’s San Antonio Spurs for 12 years, also likes to play poker when he is free. Parker registered with BetClic, a French online poker room, in 2010. He has also hosted several charity poker tournaments to raise funds for worthy causes.
Tony G. is a widely acclaimed poker personality, and not many people know of his behind-the-scenes accomplishments in Lithuanian basketball. He not only served as the manager of the Lithuanian basketball team from 2010 to 2012, but is now the vice president of the Lithuanian Basketball Federation. Tony G. has finished in the cash 15 times in WSOP events. Besides, he has emerged as the finalist in several Aussie Millions and World Poker Tour events. He is also the owner of several online poker rooms.
Shawn Marion, who has been playing basketball for the past 14 years, has proved to be a great asset to his team. Although Marion keeps away from high-stakes poker tournaments, he has played in several WSOP events. Marion has stated several times that he plans to become a professional poker player once he bids good-bye to basketball.
The late Jerry Buss owned Los Angeles Lakers, a top NBA team that won 16 conference titles, 18 division titles, and 10 NBA championships thanks to the presence of basketball stars such as Shaquille O’Neal, Magic Johnson, Kobe Bryant, and James Worthy. But Buss was also a poker shark, who played a number of high-stakes poker games.