For being wealthy, some athletes can sure be cheapskates. Remember, if you will, that Tiger Woods never tips and Plaxico Burress keeps his wallet closed around strippers. Kinda Scrooge-ish for someone who can afford to throw away all his platinum cards and get a uranium card, but whatever; if you’ve never met a rich man who’s a spendthrift … you’ve probably never met a rich man.
But at the very least, these guys are at least paying in full when they buy something, right? I mean, we’re not hearing stories like, “Tiger Woods only paid 12 cents for an Irish Car Bomb then he punched my waitress in the face and set her dog on fire” or anything.* But according to C.J. of the MINNEAPOLIS STAR-TRIBUNE, when it came time to pay for a taxi home from a wild night at the casinos last week, Iverson and his buddies decided to leave the cab driver four bucks short:
“The meter read $54,” said Randy Busch, owner of Southwest Metro Transportation. But driver Nick Spooner got paid only $50. After looking at his records Monday, Spooner told me he picked up Iverson plus two male companions and one female companion at 12:50 a.m. on Wednesday and drove them from the Shakopee card club to downtown Minneapolis’ Graves Hotel. The hotel is across the street from Target Center, where the Pistons beat the Timberwolves Wednesday night.
Four bucks? Seriously? Now, posses aren’t like the NCAA; there’s no minimum SAT score (yet), so it’s very well possible that the guys didn’t know they were shorting the driver. There was, after all, math involved:
Spooner’s supposition is consistent with an eyewitness account of the Iverson party’s behavior at the card club. “He was mad and saying they should be providing steak for him because he’s [throwing around money]. So we’re getting to the hotel [Mouth] is like, How much is it? I pointed to the meter. The Mouthy One threw $100 in my lap and said, Give me $50.
And then nobody else decided to cover the difference. Kind of shady, considering Iverson had been bragging about carrying around $50,000 all night. But if you’re noticing something else a bit shady, so did HG at YOU BEEN BLINDED - what’s up with that driver?
In fairness to Allen, the cabbie knew he was four bucks short and let them slide, then went and ran his mouth to a reporter. That’s janky but not paying an extra four dollars when you’re holding stacks is shady too.
If Alley I wants to get back into good graces with the Minneapolis media (current give-a-sh*t factor is probably somewhere near 0.00002, of course, but we’re just sayin’), it probably wouldn’t hurt to look Spooner up and tip him an extra Andy Jackson or two next time the Pistons come to town. If he’s out there playing high-stakes three card poker for hours on a weeknight, it’s not like he’s going to miss a few dozen dollars anyway.
*By the way, the only kind of dog it’s okay to set on fire? Pomeranian.