October 27, 2009
In 12 years, Antoine Walker(notes) made more than $110 million playing professional basketball moderately well. Take away taxes, throw in some adidas endorsement money and a "NBA Live 99" cover, and he's left with, what, $60-to-65 million?
Whatever the details, it was a big chunk of change, which, amazingly, wasn't enough.
That's right, during the last several months, the once multi-millionaire athlete has been pursued by multiple financial institutions for unpaid debts.
In fact, according to Shira Springer of The Boston Globe, "Employee No. 8" owes more than $4 million to his creditors and is facing felony check fraud charges in Las Vegas. All of this at the age of 33. Wild.
Now I know what you're thinking: How in the world does somebody — not named Montgomery Brewster — even begin to blow through that amount of money?
The answer: fairly easily.
"[Walker] liked to move in an outsized entourage; his mother estimates that, during his playing days, he was supporting 70 friends and family members in one way or another. And speaking of his mother, he built her a mansion in the Chicago suburbs, complete with an indoor pool, 10 bathrooms, and a full-size basketball court. [...]
Living at the Bishops Forest condominium complex in Waltham during the Celtics season, Walker turned the pavement surrounding his home into a virtual luxury car lot — two Bentleys, two Mercedes, a Range Rover, a Cadillac Escalade, a bright red Hummer. Often, the vehicles were tricked out with custom paint jobs, rims, and sound systems at considerable added expense. He also collected top-line watches — Rolexes and diamond-encrusted Cartiers."
Condos, luxury cars, watches ... I guess that'll eventually force you into bankruptcy. Especially when you're not investing any money or collecting $200 with every fifth or sixth roll of the die.
But Walker's lavish lifestyle wasn't all "me-me-me." He was also a generous friend and teammate who had custom suits made for coaches, routinely picked up giant team dinner tabs and, when there were funds to spare, gave to underprivileged youngsters. He was basically spending money like it was going out of style.
And it did.
I guess Biggie was right after all: mo' money, mo' problems.
Other stories resonating on Yahoo! Sports:
• Phillies' star upset with New York Post cover
• Boston big man out six weeks after getting into fight...in his car!
• Andre Agassi admits to using crystal meth during playing days