Sunday Jan 29, 2023

Randy Livingston No Longer Conceals His History of Addiction to Gambling

Coach Randy Livingston

The former NBA guard is using his experience as a high school basketball coach to inspire others.

NEW ORLEANS — Randy Livingston, a former NBA guard, is now the head coach of the varsity boys’ basketball team at his former high school, which served as the inspiration for his basketball aspirations and gambling nightmares.

Isidore Newman School in New Orleans was led by Livingston to the 2021 Louisiana Boys’ Division III championship, when it almost missed earning a tenth championship. It seems appropriate that Livingston is mentoring the upcoming crop of basketball superstars.

Livingston, who played basketball for Newman and won three state titles, is arguably the best high school player in Louisiana (1991, 1992, 1993). In addition to sharing the 1992 and 1993 Naismith National Prep Player of the Year awards with Jason Kidd and Rasheed Wallace, he was once a McDonald’s All American who was featured on an ABC Primetime special.

Livingston periodically glances at an old photo of him with two teammates as he recalls his spectacular high school career. He is not holding a basketball, but rather cash he acquired playing poker while driving to Washington.

Looking back, it was merely a foreshadowing of things to come, similar to when a drunken person has his first drink or a drug user smokes their first joint of marijuana.

The Undefeated was told by Livingston. “On the bus to Washington, D.C., everything was fun and games, but looking back, I never would have imagined it would become an addiction. Seeing that picture serves as a somber reminder of how innocently everything began. Several guys having a good time.

“I wish I had understood where it would lead at that precise moment. Maybe my decisions would have been different.

Livingston went from being a prep standout with superstar hopes to surviving in the NBA for 11 seasons mostly as a backup by overcoming crippling knee problems. With prep talent Chris Lockett (ranked 27th in the ESPN Class of 2023) and celebrated high school quarterback Arch Manning of the Manning football family in the frontcourt, the former Louisiana State University player aims to lead Newman to another championship this season. On November 15, they play their opening match of the year. Many of Livingston’s teammates are still unaware of how his wealth from teaching and playing professional basketball fueled his severe gambling addiction, which finally led to his removal to a private rehab facility in 2017.

Although I can’t go back in time at this point, I hope that some other young gamers who read my tale will be moved by it and that it will teach and influence them to make wiser decisions.

— Randy Livingston

Livingston, who is 46 years old and has been sober for more than four years, hopes that his inspiring tale of overcoming his card gambling addiction will serve as motivation for anyone in need of support, especially an NBA player who may be concealing his problem.

The Habit

Livingston grew up in the Calliope Housing Complex in New Orleans, where he experienced regular poverty, crime, drug use, and violence. Ada Livingston, his mother, reared four kids while putting in 70 hours a week at a hospital.

In addition to discovering his love for basketball there, Livingston also discovered gambling. He recalls his mother playing the card game Pitty Pat for extra cash and observing neighborhood dice games as his earliest gambling experiences.

According to Livingston, there were card games with a laser-like emphasis on winning money. “I simply assumed that’s how you obtained it, right? We always had spending money to go on excursions. When I was between the ages of 9 and 10, I was playing Pitty Pat in the neighborhood with one of my boys and trying to beat the game.

Livingston noted that he and his friend Paul Duhon played the card games Pitty Pat and tunk together as children to win money.

Livingston claimed that he learnt how to play poker from his largely white high school basketball friends who came from wealthy homes while he was attending Isidore Newman School. After winning $600 from his teammate on the road trip, that is when he took the picture.

“Poker is played by all the white youngsters, and they taught me how to play. At Newman, I still have that photo in my possession, Livingston said. “I had at least $600 playing poker on the bus, despite never having played the game before. The projects were not where I played poker. I either had beginner’s luck or picked everything quite quickly. So, I got the entire prize. I’ve always gambled, but I never considered it to be an issue. Whatever, it was just more entertainment.

The 1993 Class’ top-ranked player was a native of New Orleans. Together with Peyton Manning, a two-time Super Bowl champion, Livingston guided Newman School to three state championships. Livingston averaged 3,429 points throughout his time at Newman.

He was a troublemaker. He was one of the best high school players, according Jason Kidd, the Dallas Mavericks coach and 10-time NBA All-Star. He had good strength and agility, and he could jump to touch the backboard square. He had a lot of dominance.

Livingston decided to play for LSU on a full scholarship in order to remain a local. But in July 1993, while participating in a pickup game as a counselor at a top-tier high school basketball camp, he tore the ACL in his right knee, preventing him from joining the Tigers.

Livingston added, “I visit an LSU physician who just so happened to be the father of one of my Newman teammates, but he was an LSU guy and was on the board of trustees. “He subjected me to the knee lock test, and then he left the room and began to sob. I was aware of a problem. He left the room without saying anything as he did so. I suppose you tore your ACL, he stated when he entered the room.

In order to satisfy his desire for competition, Livingston redshirted due to a physical condition during his first season with LSU. He claimed that he participated in dice games with LSU football players, who wagered their financial aid money. 

At the age of 17, Livingston also broke into casinos in Baton Rouge to play blackjack and craps.

Livingston remarked, “They know to come downstairs in the room and we going to gamble all night till somebody become broke every time we get our Pell payments.” “I believe it turned into a problem at that point. I’d visit the casino boat as well. It only became a greater problem when I took the risk of slipping in while knowing you are underage and letting everyone know who I was. Something is wrong if you’re willing to take the chance of going to jail and facing criticism for being on the boat.

Livingston was leading NCAA Division I basketball players with 9.4 assists per game as a redshirt rookie when he fractured his right knee on Jan. 31, 1995, in Arkansas. The 6-foot-4 guard played in just 29 games for LSU over two seasons, averaging 10.4 points and 7.6 assists. Despite that, Livingston entered the 1996 NBA Draft. Although he was selected with the 42nd pick in the second round by the Houston Rockets, he was happy to make it to the NBA.

“It’s a win after everything I’ve been through,” Livingston said. “It’s rewarding. A kid from Calliope’s career in New Orleans when all the opportunities were there and all the opportunities were hurt, I was happy. I am really happy for my family and myself.

Livingston’s game got worse with his big money in the NBA

Advanced card games of tunk, poker, and bourre are common among gamblers on group flights and in hotels to pass the time. He said he played with the likes of Charles Barkley and Clyde Drexler while playing for the Rockets. Livingston said a wild card game went wrong on the Phoenix Suns’ private jet once when it led to a fight between teammates Cliff Robinson against Penny Hardaway and Todd Day. “Me, Cliff, Penny and Todd were all playing hardball and the pot was worth $30,000,” Livingston said. “What Cliff said to Todd, who ended up winning the pot. We beat Cliff at every turn. One person said, “This post will be from [Date]”. The fire is crazy. We have time tickets and flights. The sun left the family and everyone on the plane. A fight broke out and they caught themselves. Cliff fell and Todd stepped on him. It’s crazy.”

Livingston overcame regular knee issues to become an NBA player with the Rockets, Suns, Atlanta Hawks, Golden State Warriors, Seattle Supersonics, New Orleans Hornets, LA Clippers, Utah Jazz and Chicago Bulls, playing 203 games from 1996 to 2007 .He supported it. service by signing a 10-day contract. “People will say, ‘He played on 11 teams, 10 different years. He was persistent, played on one knee, had success, made it through the D-League CBA, all that, and still be able to get a 10 day contract. I think I’ve got a record for the number of ten-day contracts I’ve had,” Livingston said.

Get help and rebuild

Livingston said most of the $2.5 million he earned during his NBA career was spent on gambling, but he said he never bet on sports. He found his outlet in casinos and card games and said that at some point he contacted the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) for help with his addiction. Playing Easy Online Poker Gambling with a Smartphone

Livingston said the NBPA is connected to former NBA star John Lucas, a former drug addict who has a long history of helping players overcome drug and alcohol abuse. Livingston said Lucas could not help his gambling addiction.

“When I play, there is no help. It’s only help for alcohol addiction clinics, but nothing for gambling,” Livingston said.

A source told The Undefeated that during Livingston’s NBA career, the league had a joint program with the NBPA to provide psychologists with help for alcohol, drug, gambling, sex, etc. However, NBA officials also said the NBPA and the league did a poor job of educating players on all available programs. An NBPA source told The Undefeated that the team now has programs to help with gambling and other addictions. “It took the players a while to realize that we have a program that’s not just about drugs,” an NBPA source said. “Now they know we have extensive programs for mental health, gambling and anything else they need.” 카지노사이트

Although Livingston left the NBA in 2008, his gambling addiction continued while he worked as an assistant coach at LSU and as a coach in the NBA G League. Anita Smith, a licensed NBA agent who became Livingston’s wife in 2016, noticed “warning indications” of her husband’s serious gambling problems starting in 2012. These signs included mood swings and strange conduct. Smith claimed that she had previously told Livingston that she wished to assist him in his efforts to find assistance.

“Finding out didn’t take very long. But when I did learn that no one in his personal circle had previously tried to assist him, it startled me. How can you allow someone to have a terrible addiction for decades without addressing them, saying anything to them, or making an effort to seek them help?” Smith remarked. “I’m willing to remain by you and accompany you on your journey to recovery if you’re willing to get treatment. However, you have to be the one to confess you have a problem and seek the necessary assistance.”

While an assistant coach at LSU, Smith claimed that Livingston made an effort to control his gambling behavior by keeping himself out of casinos in Baton Rouge. Livingston planned a formal meeting with a state police gaming operations field office in Louisiana to accomplish this, where his image was taken and distributed to gaming officials at the state’s various casino sites. The goal of self-exclusion is to prevent the admitted gambler from engaging in gambling, obtaining or enjoying complimentary goods or services, joining a slot or players club, receiving casino credit, cashing checks at a casino, collecting wins or other valuables, or recovering losses.

Marianne Kaiser

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