Udonis Haslem reveals FTX ‘gypped’ him out of $15 million

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Defunct cryptocurrency trading company FTX was once at the top of the bustling digital market, but that is no longer the case. FTX had a naming rights deal with the Miami Heat’s arena, and it seems like team leader Udonis Haslem also had a deal with the company.

Recently, Haslem revealed that he lost $15 million as a result of his deal with the company that collapsed earlier this year.

“I got gypped out of $15 million,” he said, according to Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel. “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.”

Prior to the collapse of FTX, Haslem worked as a spokesman for the company and appeared in commercials that played during Heat broadcasts and at FTX Arena.

Haslem has determined that FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried, who was arrested earlier this month, is “not a good person,” but he’s made it clear that he doesn’t feel “ashamed for any involvement” in the defunct company.

Though Haslem is certainly unhappy about losing the small fortune of $15 million, he did make it clear that he hadn’t invested any of his own money.

“I didn’t put no money in; I took it in equity,” he said. “I feel bad for the people that were hurt and lost money and really got caught up in that foolishness. But at the end of the day, I came in pure.

“I did a lot for the city. I was able to give small-business loans, I was able to do a lot for my charities.”

Haslem is far from the only athlete that was connected to FTX in a professional sense. Tampa Bay Buccaneers superstar quarterback Tom Brady was heavily involved.

Interestingly, Haslem isn’t the only person with a connection to the Heat franchise that was involved with FTX. One-time Heat champion and NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal was recently named in a lawsuit dealing with FTX’s collapse.

O’Neal claimed that he was simply a “spokesperson” for an FTX commercial.

“A lot of people think I’m involved, but I was just a paid spokesperson for a commercial,” he told CNBC’s Make It.

The Hall of Famer said that he doesn’t understand cryptocurrency.

“I don’t understand it, so I will probably stay away from it until I get a full understanding of what it is,” O’Neal stated.

It’s a shame how much Haslem lost, but he will likely be fine from a financial standpoint thanks to his NBA career as well as his many successful business ventures.

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Jonathan is a freelance writer, filmmaker, and passionate fan of the NBA. In the past Jonathan has covered politics, entertainment, travel, and more. He is a proud contributor of Heat Nation.