Former NBA star Latrell Sprewell's home is up for foreclosure and his yacht sold at auction to help pay off the $1.3 million he owes on the boat, according to court filings.
Maybe Sprewell wasn't exaggerating when he explained turning down a three-year $21million dollar contract extension in 2004 by stating he had a "family to feed?"
Latrell made $96.62 million over the course of his career. Unfortunately, he's not the only NBA player who has failed to display financial foresight.
In a recent NBA player's association meeting, it was said that 60% of all NBA players go broke within 5 years of retirement.
That's an astonishing statistic in a league where the average NBA salary is $5.2 million dollars a year.
"Last October, former NBA player Jason Caffey, who made an estimated $29 million during his eight-year NBA career, was in bankruptcy court seeking protection from his creditors, among them the seven women with whom he fathered eight children."
Just last month, Shaquille O'Neal's expenses were released due to his impending divorce. Among his $875,015 in monthly expenses are three mortgages totaling $156,116.
How does Shaquille O'Neal, a player who has made an estimated $231,614,005 playing basketball alone (he's probably equaled that amount in endorsements), have mortgage payments?
Who's giving these guys financial advice?
Maybe Shaqille's 2003 antics, in which he screamed "pay me!" to Jerry Buss during a preseason game were as much about financial planning as they were his lack of respect for the man who was paying him $23,571,429 that season?
There's nothing wrong with enjoying the finer things in life and treating oneself to a beautiful home and a few luxury vehicles. After all, many of the NBA's players have devoted their lives to the game of basketball. Fine tuning their crafts with countless hours of practice.
For providing entertainment to the millions of basketball fans around the world, NBA players deserve to be rewarded.
But it all boils down to this: it's not about how much you make, it's about how much you save. While the NBA lifestyle is without a doubt extravagant and many of the players provide for their extended family and friends, no one is exempt from that natural law.
I hope the NBA player's association is successful in instilling a sense of self discipline in the future generations of NBA stars.
"The saddest thing in life is wasted talent." - A Bronx Tale 1993
The next saddest is wasted fortune.
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