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On July 1, 2011, the National Basketball Association lockout began, and as of this writing, there's no end in sight. On Oct. 21, the Associated Press ran this grim quote from Maurice Evans(notes), vice president of the National Basketball Players Association: "I hate to use the expression 'gloves are off,' but for all intents and purposes, the gloves are off."
Even if the two sides should reach an agreement, the damage that's already been done to the 2011-2012 NBA season has been major. One hundred regular season games have been lost, along with the entire preseason.
The regular season games that have been cancelled have cost the players approximately $170 million. Now, some speculate that all games from Nov. 14 through Dec. 25 will end up on the chopping block, costing the players millions of dollars more.
[Related: Tough financial times for Dr. J]
If the lockout jeopardizes the entire season and all of its players' salaries, it's not unthinkable that some of them may end up losing astronomical sums of money. It's happened to several former NBA players before despite their gargantuan salaries, and they lost all that money on their own without even enduring a pay stoppage in the first place.
Among them is Scottie Pippen, best remembered for his tenure with the Chicago Bulls. The 2010 Basketball Hall of Fame inductee was there when the team won six NBA championships, and he was there during the 1995-1996 season in which they won 72 games. Pippen is also the only person to win both an NBA championship and an Olympic gold medal in the same year, and he is one of only four players from the Chicago Bulls to have his jersey retired.
Unfortunately, Pippen's successes on the court couldn't stop him from losing career earnings worth $120 million, including more than $4 million for a corporate jet that was grounded just months after he bought it. He sued his attorneys for $8 million for failing to monitor the purchase, and won the lawsuit. The jury ruled, however, that Pippen bore some responsibility for the purchase himself, and he was awarded only one quarter of the amount that he sought.
Which other former NBA players have lost millions of dollars?
Check out Sports Biz with Darren Rovell.