5 NBA Players Who Lost Money Because of Cryptocurrency

Cryptocurrency took the financial world by storm and many have claimed it to be the future. With the hope of securing long-term financial comfort, it’s not a surprise that various professional athletes jumped into the craze, including NBA players. Unfortunately, all investments pose a risk, something the Stephen Curry NBA story shows. Cryptocurrency, which already showed signs of instability, is no different. Because of this, even the richest and most successful NBA players fell victim to this form of financial manipulation. NBA player cryptocurrency stories need to be documented. For this piece, let’s take a look at five NBA players who lost money because of cryptocurrency.

NBA players who lost money because of cryptocurrency:

Stephen Curry

Leading the NBA in all-time 3-point makes, four-time NBA champion Stephen Curry is arguably the best shooter in league history. But off the court, that didn’t translate well financially in terms of his deal with FTX. The Stephen Curry NBA brand took a hit.

Curry served as a brand ambassador for the company, while getting paid in equity. Aside from Curry, the cryptocurrency exchange also inked deals with other athletes such as Tom Brady, Shaquille O’Neal, and Naomi Osaka to convince more investors. In fact, one commercial even saw the four-time NBA champion dress as a mime. The Stephen Curry NBA reputation was attached to FTX, and Curry didn’t do his homework here — at least not enough of it.

Unfortunately late in 2022, FTX filed for bankruptcy. With stakes on the cryptocurrency exchange, Curry lost millions of dollars after the firm’s debacle. Fortunately, Curry’s popularity, endorsement deals, and NBA contract will be able to save him from this financial setback.

Aside from suffering losses, Curry and other celebrity endorsers will also be under investigation after getting sued for promoting FTX. NBA player cryptocurrency stories include this alarming component.

Klay Thompson

Klay Thompson is “money” from rainbow country, but the same can’t be said financially. Aside from Stephen Curry, fellow splash brother Thompson also suffered financially. And no, this doesn’t refer to the time when he failed to make the All-NBA Team that would’ve made him eligible for a five-year, $221 million supermax deal. We’re referring to something else entirely.

In January of 2022, Thompson agreed to take a portion of his NBA salary in Bitcoin. It’s another NBA cryptocurrency story which is now viewed very differently compared to when the deal was first agreed to.

Due to the bankruptcy of FTX, the cryptocurrency market also took a hit. With the collapse of FTX, the value of bitcoin significantly dropped. As a result, Thompson lost approximately a whopping $20 million from his $37 million NBA salary. Even though Thompson will still be okay from this setback, $20 million was still a huge amount of money to lose. NBA cryptocurrency stories such as this will be cautionary tales for younger pro basketball players.

Andre Iguodala

Another Golden State Warrior who suffered significant losses from investing in cryptocurrency was Andre Iguodala. Iggy has had lots of success as an investor, pouring money into successful firms such as Zoom, Twice, Allbirds, Casper, Jumia, and many more. However, investing in Bitcoin wasn’t one of them. This was another cautionary tale with a cryptocurrency NBA dimension.

Like Warriors teammate Klay Thompson, Iggy also agreed to receive part of his NBA salary, worth two million dollars, in Bitcoin. Based on reports, the 2015 NBA Finals MVP lost about $1.3 million for doing so. Unfortunately, this only proves that even the most seasoned investors can also lose big money in an unstable market such as crypto. NBA player cryptocurrency debacles are numerous, but this might be the most surprising one.

Cade Cunningham

As the number one pick of the 2021 NBA draft, Cade Cunningham made waves as a potential gamechanger for the Detroit Pistons. A few weeks after being drafted, Cunningham announced his partnership with cryptocurrency firm BlockFi. The multi-year partnership has also paid Cunningham’s signing bonus in Bitcoin. With the hopes of securing his future, it was an easy decision for Cunningham to agree to the partnership.

In November 2022, BlockFi announced that it was filing for bankruptcy. It’s unclear if Cunningham will still keep the amount he got paid in Bitcoin. However, according to reports — and assuming he still has the funds — the value has now dropped by 32.8%. It has been a rocky road for the former top pick. Aside from losing money from BlockFi, Cunningham is also dealing with a leg injury that will keep him off the basketball court for a long period of time.

Michael Jordan

Michael Jordan is arguably the most successful basketball player who has ever lived, strictly in terms of on and off the court earnings and overall political and economic clout. While he is dubbed as the GOAT on the NBA hardwood, he also became the first billionaire player in NBA history. After winning several NBA championships and lucrative endorsement deals, it’s no surprise that Jordan has a huge net worth.

Despite his celebrity status, Jordan also wasn’t spared from getting burned in the crypto market. In March of 2022, Jordan released a non-fungible token collection called 6 Rings. Just a few months later, the value dropped significantly after the collapse of the FTX empire. This forced His Airness to suffer a 92% net loss, amounting to at least an estimated $10 million. Like other NBA players on this list, Jordan still has other lucrative income streams that will save him from this failed investment.