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July 22, 2008
by Robbie Gillies
Charles Barkley got caught up in a bit of a gambling controversy in mid-May, when the Wynn Casino filed a suit against him for the $400K in gambling debts he had failed to pay on time (he soon thereafter settled-up). This was only the most recent example of Barkley gambling away large sums of money; well, large to us, not to him.
When news of his legal troubles with Wynn became public, he went on TNT during Inside the NBA and told everyone he wouldn't be gambling for a year or two. In The Birmingham News, he said, "I have to realize people are always out to get me...I've got to limit the chances they have to get me." Well, the media got him alright.The Philadelphia Daily News reports:
During a visit to Saloon (a restaurant) last summer, Charles Barkley asked Abate (a busboy) how he was enjoying teaching, and was disappointed to learn that Abate had still not returned to Temple because of problems securing financial aid.
Sir Charles told Abate he would like to help him with his tuition, and Abate wasn't sure how to respond. Barkley didn't give him much time, telling Abate that he had the length of Barkley's meal to decide. Abate wisely accepted.
Barkley says that helping Abate is in line with his efforts to aid in education, which has been important to him in recent years. Barkley's given $1 million to his Alabama high school Leeds, another million to Corningstone High, in a poor area of Birmingham, and $1 million to Auburn University, where he played before being drafted by the Sixers in 1984.
Not everyone is out to get you Charles. In fact, the majority of people think you're a great guy, and stories like this confirm it. Unless...are you gambling with this kid's future? You got side bets that he won't make it through college don't you? I'm on to you, Chuck.