A lot of athletes have tales of being brought up the hard way. Where pimps were trying to catch a woman that’s weak, where pushers wouldn’t let junkies go free, and where women tried to catch tricks on the street. At least, that’s what the intro to Jackie Brown told us. But Nuggets guard Anthony Carter was on a whole different level of street life: He used to actually play ball for the drug dealers.
During an interview with the ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, Carter told stories of how he spent his late teenage years playing ball in Atlanta parks, getting paid by drug dealers. The dealers would spot each 5-man team anywhere from $400 to $2,000, and then split the winnings if he won. “The one who put up the money, he didn’t get any (if that drug dealer’s team won),” Carter said. “He just wanted the bragging rights.”
Street life, indeed.
ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS:
Carter said games were watched by 25 to 75 people. The full-court battles were not for the squeamish.
“There was blood, elbows,” Carter said.
Carter played for the Kirkwood Boys, named after his neighborhood. He said his team won more than 100 games in several years, losing only once, and he pocketed more than $10,000.
“(I used the money) to buy shoes and food,” said Carter, who grew up poor. “That was the only way we could eat.”
Carter has made millions in the NBA. But when he plays outdoors again Saturday, his mind will drift back to his first gig.
Wow. Way to bring that up, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS. If you ask us, it seems like a time in his life he’d rather leave in the subconscious.