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"Closest I’ve ever came to a teammate punching me" -- the story of JJ Redick's airplane fight over a game of Booray

Card games on team planes tend to get crazy, and JJ Redick experienced it first hand during a game of Booray with his 76ers teammates
JJ Redick talks about how he almost got into a fight with a teammate while with the 76ers

JJ Redick with the 76ers

Gambling is the players' go-to activity to kill time while traveling. And while it usually helps develop chemistry, every now and then, things get out of hand. 

Guys take their card games seriously, and with a concentration of competitiveness being through the roof, the occasional outburst is inevitable. The only question is, how far do things escalate? 

Judging by JJ Redick's example, anything is possible.

"Closest I've ever came to a teammate punching me"

In the latest episode of 'The Old Man and The Three,' former Sixer shared a story about the time he almost got into a fight with Justin Anderson over a game of Booray. 

"Closest I’ve ever came to a teammate punching me," Redick said. "It’s weird. We were all at the table and thank God, you (Embiid) didn’t sit at the table. You were the fifth guy so you were in the aisle, and JA and I were across from each other and I felt that he was sabotaging the game. Just remember him and (Jerryd) Bayless would always get into it?"

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“Anyway, JA stood up on the table and you (Embiid) stopped him from doing any violent acts," Redick continued. "The flight attendants got involved like they partially broke it up too. What was wild to me about that story was I had probably two or three friends across the league over the next month text me be like, ‘Yo, you boys are wild in fuc*ing Philly,' because the flight attendants were telling the story to all the other teams.”

Booray on planes

Most players refuse to share gambling stories like these. But every once in a while, we hear an anecdote that paints the picture of how crazy card games can get on NBA flights. And usually, it's not about a back and forth between two guys; it's about the money in the pot.

“How much money a player can lose really depends on the length of the flight,” an anonymous NBA player said.We’d play regular hands for most of the flight and then, once the plane started descending, we’d double up on the hands until we landed. We will sometimes play $100 a hand. On a long cross-country flight, I’ve seen a player lose $10,000 to $15,000. On a single flight!”

Booray is mostly a veterans' game -- younger players with lesser contracts usually can't keep up. But it's not for lack of tying. 

Rookies or even G-League guys tend to sit at the same table with the big boys. And as expected, things tend to get ugly. "I’ve seen rookies or G League call-ups play and then lose all of their money in a few minutes and then they’re just really hurt the rest of the plane ride,” another player added. “It can be hard to watch.”

Meanwhile, the likes of Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, and Paul Pierce were "betting Rolls Royces" on the Celtics plane. That's how crazy card games can get -- money is not an issue, and when competitiveness kicks in, nothing is off the table.


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