Friday, May 02, 2014

The legacy of Allen Iverson & Latrell Sprewell

Allen Iverson – who earned over $154 million in salary plus a $50 million lifetime endorsement contract from Reebok – filed for bankruptcy in 2012 reportedly in $3.6 million debt.

“As much as I admired Iverson as a player and guiltily enjoyed his inimitable, incorrigible bad boy charm, it is still tragic that someone, anyone, in his expansive network of takers, enablers, handlers, and sycophants did not at some point pull the 11-time All-Star aside and be a genuine financial friend. And I don’t mean the lecture that all rookies receive that 60% of NBA players are broke within five years of leaving the game. That lecture is obviously not working. A genuine financial friend would have spoken ongoing, unvarnished, personal truth: lose the lottery mindset, dump the hangers-on, drop the traveling hair stylist, and, instead, start saving and investing wisely. A bona fide financial friend would have done the difficult thing and gotten the league or the players union to hold Iverson’s paychecks in escrow.”

“Moreover, an NBA that cared more about its personnel and brand would have required that Iverson, as well as all players, pass a yearly financial planning and retirement course before they were allowed on the hardwood (including how to read a financial statement, why to run from promises of a “guaranteed” return, and how a rock-solid prenup, living will and family planning can prevent you from getting soaked by a gold-digging ex).”

And what of former NBA All-Star Latrell Sprewell?  “Sprewell, whose NBA career spanned 13 years, made headlines in 2005 after he turned down a three-year, $21 million contract extension from the Minnesota Timberwolves. He reportedly demanded more money, saying that the amount offered would not be enough to support his family.  Sprewell owed the state of Wisconsin "unpaid income taxes in 2011 to the tune of $3.5 million." His house was also reportedly foreclosed in 2008.”


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