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Bankman-Fried’s arrest came in the Bahamas, where he had set up shop. That, too, resonated with Haslem, with the Heat having held their preseason training camp in Nassau. “I have a very large amount of contacts in the Bahamas, family members, just people that I’m close to,” Haslem said. “What they were doing for those islands and the people that were benefiting, those were the people that I was excited about and those are the things that I’m heartbroken about, because those people don’t have those opportunities anymore.” Unlike athletes who invested with FTX, Haslem’s involvement was promotional. “I got gypped out of $15 million,” he said. “That’s what my equity had grown to. He didn’t dupe me. I signed a contract with a company and that’s part of it. A lot of people got hurt, and that’s where I feel sad.”
NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal is regretting one of his paid partnerships. The 50-year-old TNT analyst defended his involvement in the failed cryptocurrency company FTX after he was named in a lawsuit alongside other celebrities like Tom Brady and Gisele Bündchen. “A lot of people think I’m involved, but I was just a paid spokesperson for a commercial,” O’Neal told CNBC Make It.
O’Neal admitted he wasn’t fully aware of what he was promoting with the company or the success of cryptocurrency in general. “I don’t understand it,” he said of cryptocurrency, and said he “will probably stay away from it until I get a full understanding of what it is.” After FTX’s collapse, O’Neal said that cryptocurrency “is too good to be true,” according to his own “experience” with the trend.
The list of “promoter defendants” is extensive. In addition to Curry, Madonna, Paris Hilton, Serena Williams, Justin Bieber, Snoop Dogg, DJ Khaled, Gwyneth Paltrow and Jimmy Fallon (among others) are named. They’re described as company promoters who solicited sales of Yuga securities to the public. The core problem, the complaint maintains, is that Yuga Labs allegedly conspired with MoonPay, a company that facilitates the sale of digital assets, and another defendant to “discreetly pay their celebrity cohorts … without disclosing it to unsuspecting investors.”
Following its launch earlier this year, Shibuya—co-founded by artist Emily “pplpleasr” Yang—announced today that it has raised seed funding to expand its Ethereum NFT-driven, interactive video platform and onboard new creators. Shibuya raised $6.9 million in a round co-led by VC heavyweights Andreessen Horowitz and Variant Fund. The round also included participation by notable angel investors including NBA star Kevin Durant, entertainer (and NFT creator) Paris Hilton, Alibaba co-founder Joe Tsai, and Aave founder and CEO Stani Kulechov.