As Wilson Chandler tells it, despite being a NBA star with a decade-plus pro career and nearly $80 million in career earnings, the 6’8 combo forward still got his start in blockchain the same way scores of enthusiasts do: trading shitcoins.
Chandler told Cointelegraph that he first heard about crypto from some “kids” he played Fortnite with in 2017. After growing fascinated by their stories of turning paltry sums into legitimate holdings, he eventually invited one out to his Chicago home for a crash-course on setting up wallets and using exchanges.
From there, the record is all on-chain: per a look at his Etherscan address, his early investment strategy was little more than spray-and-pray.
“From there I bought coins — Bitcoin, ETH, Stellar — bunch of shit just playing around, learning. Lost a bunch of coins doing silly stuff like pump and dump companies, not knowing any better.”
Like many degens-in-development, he relied on a network of friends for information. As he recounted on a recent episode of NFT collector podcast Club Top Shot, he had one enthusiastic buddy talk him into a pump-and-dump scheme based out of Amsterdam — a scam that cost him a significant Bitcoin position. The friend? The late, legendary rapper and activist Nipsey Hussle.
“I think about that shit all the time,” he said, laughing.
However, he told Cointelegraph that those early stumbles have now paved a path to what may well end up being a second act for the former star.
“Experience is the best teacher they say.”
Second acts and sneaker deals
As a basketball player, Chandler’s resume is stellar. For years he could be relied on for strong 13-5-2 stat lines, primarily playing for scrappy Denver teams that twice made the playoffs — including an all-time great hipster team in the “Knuggets,” the collection of Nuggets and Knicks players assembled in the wake of the Carmelo Anthony trade.
However, signs pointing towards the end of Chandler’s playing days. He’s…