As part of some light hazing, a rookie center in the NBA was given the responsibility of bringing the poker chips on every road trip. When he forgot them, the veterans on the team were relentless in razzing him.
James Wiseman, a 20-year-old in his first season with the Golden State warriors, told The Undefeated that he was given that task by NBA superstar Steph Curry. But unfortunately for Wiseman, he forgot them on one of the trips and was seemingly unaware of how seriously many of his teammates take poker.
“Man, Klay lit my ass up,” said Wiseman. “He was like ‘Damn rook, how you forgettin’ them poker chips!’ That was like my first mistake every, losing the poker chips. Everybody was clowning me. They was like, ‘Man, you forgot the poker chips!’”
Wiseman opted to leave the University of Memphis after just one year and enter the NBA draft. He was taken by the Warriors second overall in last year’s draft. The 7-feet tall 20-year-old just celebrated a birthday at the end of March and is still about 10 months away from being able to legally gamble at a casino.
If the Nashville native doesn’t enjoy card games, he won’t be fitting in with many of his teammates. Curry is clearly a poker enthusiast after telling Wiseman to guard the poker chips “with his life,” and Thompson told media at the end of 2019 that he was getting “killed” in the team’s poker games, which he said took place on nearly every plane ride.
The team’s power forward, Draymond Green, appeared on an episode of Poker After Dark a couple years ago, and the team’s minority owner Chamath Palihapitiya, is a die-hard poker fan and plays in the same home game as Phil Hellmuth. The 15-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner gifted Palihapitiya his 13th piece of WSOP gold.