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Randy Livingston
Randy Livingston
Position: -
Born: 04/02/75
Height: 6-4 / 1.93
Weight:209 lbs. / 94.8 kg.
Earnings: $1,339,200 ($2,238,772*)
Randy Livingston is a well-known face in Louisiana. He was recognized as the national high school player of the year in 1993, played at LSU for two seasons and spent more than a decade in the NBA. Now, Livingston is coaching for Newman High School varsity basketball in New Orleans. But his time in the pros wasn’t so bright. He was facing battles off the court, losing millions to gambling.
Now 46 years old and more than four years sober, Livingston is hoping that his triumphant story of defeating his card gambling addiction can inspire anyone who needs help and particularly an NBA player who may be hiding his addiction as well. “I can’t turn back the time now, but I hope some other young players learning my story will be touched by it and it will teach and help them make better choices,” Livingston said.
Livingston’s gambling worsened with large amounts of money he earned in the NBA. High stakes card games of tunk, poker and bouree were commonplace with the players on team planes and in hotels to kill time. He said he gambled with the likes of Hall of Famers Charles Barkley and Clyde Drexler while playing for the Rockets. Livingston said a bouree card game went into a bad direction on a Suns private plane once when it led to a fight between his then-teammates Cliff Robinson against Penny Hardaway and Todd Day. “Me, Cliff, Penny and Todd were all playing bouree and the pot got up there to $30,000,” Livingston said. “And something was said to Todd by Cliff, who finally won a pot. We were beating Cliff every road trip. Someone said, ‘That post has to go back to [Day].’ Cliff went crazy. We had season-ticket holders on the plane. The Suns let family and anyone on the plane. A fight broke out and they grabbed each other. Cliff fell and Todd stomped him. It was crazy.”
An NBA source told The Undefeated that during Livingston’s NBA career the league had a joint program with the NBPA offering psychologists and help for addiction to alcohol, drugs, gambling, sex, etc. However, the NBA source also said that the NBPA and the union did a poor job at the time of educating the players about all the programs available. An NBPA source told The Undefeated that the union currently has programs available to help with gambling and other addictions. “It took a while for players to learn that we had programs that weren’t just for drugs,” one NBPA source said. “Now they know we have programs that are more wide-ranging for mental health, gambling and whatever they need.”
Storyline: Mental Health
Livingston would love to do anti-gambling motivational speaking for NBA teams and also during the annual NBA Rookie Transition Camp. He would also be willing to be a liaison for NBA players to get them help as well for gambling. “The first place they take the rookies is to Las Vegas for summer league. Hopefully, I can talk to them in Vegas or at the rookie symposium,” Livingston said. “When teams come to New Orleans to play the Pelicans, I’d like to come in and share my testimony and to [tell you] how get help if you have a problem, especially if you don’t want to tell the coach or be public with it. You can just say, ‘Randy,’ or pull me to the side, and I can lead you into the right direction with it …