Antoine Walker is well known for making $110MM playing basketball in the NBA and recently filing for bankruptcy. Flat broke. Doesn’t even own a car in his name. He has come out and been open about what happened and what he went through, which I very much respect and love to hear…but a bit of me has lost some respect for that story.
What I am about to say DOES involve some assumptions, but I want everyone to focus more on what my overall message is about what happened to him.
If you read this article and the video in it (http://finance.yahoo.com/news/former-nba-star-antoine-walker–life-after-losing–110-million-214644672.html), he talks about his spending but during it, he also says that what really made him go broke was “bad real estate investments.” But look at the other things that were said about his spending. Multimillion dollar homes for his family members. Not one family member..but many. Flying around in private jets with 9 or 1o of his friends. Losing millions in gambling at casinos. Buying four or five cars for each house he was at. Yes, real estate was probably the final nail in the coffin, but he was on the path to going broke LONG before that. And then he blamed the real estate bubble that so many didn’t see. I get it. We don’t always see those things, but not because we don’t see them…we aren’t looking for them. I won’t even get into that right now…
My point is, he spent like crazy and made some bad investments. Even if his investments did well, was it likely that his spending would have been able to keep up? I don’t know but I seriously doubt it. He made $110MM, but after taxes and agent fees, that’s $55MM. He owned four or five multimillion dollar homes, so that takes about $20MM out of that number. And when you lose millions gambling and then how much more does it cost to fly private jets and take 9 or 10 of your buddies on every vacation you go on as well as buying expensive gifts for all of them…you can do the math.
Bad investments can always cause a lot of problems. I would never minimize that fact. But to say it was what is what he really did wrong? I think that’s denial and try to run away from the all too common problem that athletes have…they just spend too much money.