TMZ has become infamous for those curbside interviews outside of major L.A. hotspots. And recently, they caught Phil Hellmuth, or rather the Poker Brat jumped in front of the camera when he saw the chance for more publicity. Whatever the case, the 13-time WSOP champion had some interesting comments about both poker as a sport and who the best poker-playing basketball players are. That said, let’s take a quick look at what he had to say on both topics.
Is Poker a Sport?
“Poker is not a sport,” Hellmuth said when asked about the matter. “Like my friends wanna claim it’s a sport and should be in the Olympics. But it’s not a sport, and you don’t need to be in great shape to play.”
When TMZ asked why ESPN airs so many poker events, Hellmuth said that the network recognizes the heavy skill element involved with the game. And so this is where he sees poker fitting in with actual sports like football and basketball.
Who are the Best Athlete/Poker Players?
“David Lee from the Golden State Warriors, I played with him last week and he smashed us for $32,000, he is excellent,” Hellmuth said. But Lee isn’t the only baller whose poker skills have impressed the 50-year-old. Some other Warriors players who Hellmuth name-dropped include Stephon Curry, Klay Thompson and Andrew Bogut. The latter may even be as good as a poker pro, according to Hellmuth.
Outside of the Warriors, the Poker Brat also says that Tony Parker and Tim Duncan are great players. So, it seems as if the defending NBA champions are not only excellent on the basketball courts, but also the felt as well. Listen to Hellmuth’s full interview below: