Famous Athletes Who Went Broke

Mike Tyson and Latrell Sprewell (Getty Images)

In 2008, the NBA Players’ Association claimed that 60 percent of pro basketball players go broke within five years of retirement. It’s not hard to see why. In the annals of “easy come, easy go,” few people see it come and go like professional athletes.

While it’s true that many take their salaries and invest them in sensible and enduring business ventures, many others squander their multimillion-dollar salaries on expensive cars, jewelry and mansions, and when the checks stop coming in, they have little to show for it.

Basketball player Latrell Sprewell first made headlines during his tenure with the Golden State Warriors. During a 1997 practice, he choked his coach, P.J. Carlesimo, and earned a 68-game suspension. Sprewell still went on to a substantial career, earning almost $100 million.

It all came to an end when he turned down a three-year contract extension from the Minnesota Timberwolves worth $30 million. According to Sprewell, this was simply not enough money. He said, “I have a family to feed … [team owner Glen Taylor] better cough up some money. Otherwise, you’re going to see these kids in one of those Sally Struthers commercials soon.” (Sprewell was referencing ChildFund International commercials, which provided sponsorship to deprived children around the world.)

The Timberwolves’ upper management, unmoved by his family’s tragic situation, didn’t offer him one more cent, and by the end of the 2005 season, he was unemployed. By 2007, his yacht, “Milwaukee’s Best,” had been repossessed by federal marshals after missed payments and insurance worth over $1 million. In 2008, he defaulted on the mortgage on his Milwaukee home, sending it into foreclosure. His Westchester mansion went into foreclosure two years later.

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2 Comments

Filed under African Americans

2 responses to “Famous Athletes Who Went Broke

  1. I hope all Black Athletes understand they are just another slave to that
    manager! They know exactly what you will do with the money you slaved
    for on the ‘court’.
    Wake Up Black Folks! Why don’t our Black Athletes work with our young people and help them form their own teams? Until we become entrepreneurs instead of working for the ‘man’, our young people haven’t a chance in life! THINK ABOUT IT!!!

  2. Zach

    @ Phyllis: So are white athletes just another slave to that manager or is it just a black thing. Don’t blame YT for these low IQ morons that waste money on the most ridiculous things. How about taking a class on financial planning. This hip hop culture cracks me up. It’s all about who can waste their money the fastest. Fucking idiots!

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