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Young, Broke, Fat, and in Debt

Now what?

In 12 years, Antoine Walker(notes) made more than $110 million playing professional basketball moderately well.

It always seems to happen.

Whatever the details, it was a big chunk of change, which, amazingly, wasn’t enough.

These guys seem to wind up in debtor’s prison or the poor house, or both. It’s a shame, in a way, to see all that money wind up gone, but at least these guys stimulate the economy, right? I mean, that money didn’t just vanish; it just moved from his pockets to everybody else’s.

I’m really surprised that the professional sports leagues haven’t really come up with a solution to this widespread problem. Why haven’t they employed the likes of American Express, Fidelity, or some of the better-known financial institutions to not only teach these guys how to manage their money, but why not even do more than that?

Don’t you see a very lucrative niche here? I guess much of this is handled by the athletes’ agents. But maybe therein lies the problem.

Why not employ financial planners? Why not, instead of giving them x percent (10 percent, is that the going rate for “talent?”) on the front end, give them 7 percent on the backend?

If I make you money as a financial guru, give me a piece of it when it’s bigger? Then, there is an incentive for both parties to utilize my services?

What am I missing here?

Is it that these guys are so toxic that nobody wants to touch them? Are the sports agents so powerful that nobody can “break in” to this aspect of an athlete’s life?

Why aren’t the players unions more involved? Or are they in on the money grab, too?

Just think what a really talented money manager could make out of an NBA star? It boggles the mind how much better off he could make not only the athlete, but the athlete’s community. And all without the extreme sadness experienced by the once highly-sought after athlete, once he is put out to pasture.