Sunday, April 8, 2012

Finances: A Hard Game to Play

   I always figured that it must feel good to be on “easy street” for those I perceived as being on it. It would seem that I’m not always accurate in my assumptions (which should never really be made first) since there are more than a few stories of people that simply can’t manage their vast amounts of money. Very few of us, when compared to the number of the majority, will ever get the opportunity to have this tragic experience, but it still leaves me wondering why this “game” is such a hard one to play.
   We’ve all heard the stories of the people that win huge lottery amounts, only to have their lives wrecked beyond comprehension because of their inability to cope with incredible wealth. I say with confidence that if it were me, things wouldn’t be that way. Then I wonder how many others like myself have said the same...only to be faced with a reality that was simply incomprehensible until it happens. I read a few articles recently that prompted me to consider the “blessing” of financial success, either through luck or hard work, and the tragedy of losing it all through carelessness and the inability to plan.
   A recent example is ex-Celtic Antoine Walker. A three-time NBA All-Star, the Boston Herald (Friday, March 16, 2012, page 16) reports that he is now broke. What...? I was astonished and left wondering how this could happen.
Walker, who earned more than $110 million in the NBA, blew it all on homes in Miami and Chicago, Bentleys, furs, diamonds, exotic vacations, bad investments and whopping gambling debts... a complete lack of respect for the talent he was blessed with to give him an opportunity at a better standard of well as empower him to be a helpful force to others. Perhaps I’ve oversimplified the issue, in fact, I’m sure I have...but it just strikes me as asinine, especially for a professional athlete whose earning power is based on their finite physical ability, to have no foresight into how they will earn a living in the future and go from earning $110 million to... in a $915-a-month apartment in Boise - with a roommate - eating cold cuts and KFC and playing for $25,000 in the NBA’s development league.
   It has me wondering what the future holds for Warren Sapp since I read on Yahoo that he is now filing for bankruptcy since he can’t pay back the $6.7 million he owes in back child support (say what?), alimony and to creditors. Being a father of five, I have absolutely no comprehension of a man that doesn’t support his children. In fact, I have no comprehension at all of Mr. Sapp’s mentality to owe for his children, and yet report $6.45 million in assets including...

...240 pairs of Jordan athletic shoes worth almost $6,500, a $2,250 watch and a lion skin rug worth $1,200. He also reported losing his 2002 Super Bowl ring with the Bucs and his 1991 national championship ring from the University of Miami.
   I don’t know what it’s like to play a sport professionally. I can only guess that it takes hard work, dedication...and on some level, it’s fun. I can say that the “game of life” isn’t really a game and if you live it like one you run the risk of ending up in similar positions that these two ex-athletes have. All I can take from these stories is an affirmation of what I already know and practice: Take care of your children and live today with a plan for the future.


  1. wow that's amazing

    id like to have the same initial problem though

  2. I have a family member who unexpectedly came into a large inheritance several years ago, and so far it's cost him nothing but anxiety and headaches.

    1. It's easy for me to comment from the outside looking in...and I'm sure everything is different when you actually have to deal with a situation like that. Still...I have confidence I could manage, whether or not this is true remains to be seen.