Shaq And Steph Seemingly Share Laugh About Their FTX Lawsuit, But For Those People Who Lost Everything This Is No Laughing Matter

Stephen Curry was a guest on Tuesday’s “Inside The NBA” broadcast ahead of Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals. The Golden State Warriors guard was being honored as the 2023 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Social Justice Champion. During the interview Shaquille O’Neal appeared to share a “joke” with Curry about both being named defendants in a class-action lawsuit against failed cryptocurrency scheme FTX and its endorsers.

“Steph, I don’t have a question,” O’Neal said. “We know where you come from: Your father is a class act, your mother is a class act — her and my mother are friends, they speak highly of you. I speak highly of you. You’re my favorite player. I just want to say, congratulations, my brother, and thanks for getting me in trouble. Don’t say nothing,” he said to a laughing Curry. “Be quiet.”

Hilarious and funny to O’Neal and Curry who have both net worths in the hundreds of millions bracket. Not so funny to the regular people that have lost considerable amounts of their life savings.

What Is The FTX Lawsuit About?

Last year the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) charged Alameda Research CEO Caroline Ellison and former FTX chief technology officer Gary Wang with defrauding FTX investors. Both have agreed to cooperate with federal authorities in the prosecution of FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried.

Celebrity endorsers like Curry, O’Neal, Tom Brady, and Larry David are seen as trustworthy figures to regular people. Why? Because we worship at the altar of celebrity. We “know” these people and like them. They wouldn’t be involved in anything shady?

The truth is we don’t know what Curry and O’Neal knew about FTX and it doesn’t matter. Bankman-Fried, Wang and others at FTX banked on the public’s general love and trust of famous celebrities to commit their alleged crimes.

If you are going to lend your name to something, where a reported $8 billion in investor dollars is lost you bear some culpability for not doing due diligence.

This Is No Laughing Matter

O’Neal in particular had to know something was wrong as he has been reportedly dodging lawyers representing FTX investors for months and avoiding process servers attempting to serve him with the complaint.

He was finally served on Tuesday at the game.

“The process server filmed the event to ensure there was no ambiguity like Shaq has been arguing in the FTX case,” Adam Moskowitz a lawyer representing FTX investors told People, adding that O’Neal had the process server “kicked out” of the arena.

“These claims now are very serious and thus it is good that we can start with the merits, instead of the silly service sideshow Mr. O’Neal unfortunately created.”

Most celebrities when presented with an endorsement opportunity look at the payout first. Not much thought is given to what product they are actually endorsing unless it is something that is antithetical to their brand.

But what could be bad about an opportunity to democratize investing and give regular people a chance to make millions like the elite do in the stock market?

Terri Smith is an architect in the Seattle area who says she may have lost about $30,000 in the FTX implosion.

“I was devastated really,” Smith told NPR. “That’s a huge chunk of money for me.”

It’s easy to laugh and joke when you have the safety and security of hundreds of millions of dollars and the best attorneys at your disposal.

Not so much when you’ve lost a significant portion of your life savings.

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