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BY Abu Mubarik, 3:00pm February 02, 2023,

NBA legend Charles Barkley lost $20M to gambling but bounced back to build a $60M net worth, here is how

Charles Barkley. Photo credit: Wekimedia

Charles Barkley is a retired basketball player who is now a television sports analyst. At the peak of his NBA career, he was one of the favorites of big brands, earning him millions of dollars in endorsement deals.

He got endorsement deals with brands like Nike, FanDuel, T-Mobile, McDonald’s, Dick’s Sporting Goods and Right Guard. According to Celebrity Net Worth, he earned a total of $40.3 million in salary alone during his playing days.

In retirement, Barkley reinvented himself as a sports pundit, hosting the popular TNT show “Inside the NBA” alongside Shaquille O’Neal, Ernie Johnson, Jr., and Kenny Smith. His work as a co-host has won him three Sports Emmy Awards.

According to Celebrity Net Worth, Barkley signed a 5-year, $30 million deal with TNT to continue as a co-host of “Inside the NBA” in 2020. He reportedly signed a 10-year $100 million contract extension to remain at TNT in October 2022.

In a recent interview, Barkley revealed that he nearly lost all his fortune due to his gambling habit. He told In Depth with Graham Bensinger that his gambling habit was influenced by his love for winning and making money.

“I hear all these people talk about ‘You just like the action,’ ” he explained. “No, I like the money actually, and it always sucks when you lose, but it’s a great feeling when you win.”

According to him, his gambling habit saw him lose between $10 to $20 million in the 1980s. He eventually decided that it was time to step back and break his gambling spirit. 

“I have lost at least 10 to $15 million somewhere in there. Like I said, I have probably won a million dollars five or six times but I have lost a million dollar 10 to 20 times in the 80s,” he said.

“Yeah, no question. It got out of hand, but I quit for like two years, and I remember talking to my friends one night, [and] they said ‘Oh, gambling’s not your problem. You’re just an idiot,’” Barkley explained. “You can’t break the casino and since I developed that mentality, gambling is a lot more fun to me, to be honest with you.”

Today, Celebrity Net Worth reports that he has built a net worth of $60 million and could have been more but for his gambling habit.

Barkley was born in Leeds, Alabama on February 20, 1963. He was abandoned by his father. He was raised by his mother and stepfather, who died in an accident when he was 11 years old. In high school, Barkley took interest in basketball although he failed to make the varsity basketball team as a junior. He improved his senior year well enough to garner attention from Auburn University’s head coach.

He played for Auburn for three seasons while studying business management from 1981 to 1984. He was drafted as the fifth pick in the first round of the 1984 NBA Draft by the Philadelphia 76ers. He was later traded to the Phoenix Suns and became the Most Valuable Player almost immediately after he was traded. He was later traded to the Houston Rockets where he retired. 

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: February 2, 2023


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