Athletes That Have Had Babies And Come Back To.Their Sport Why Athletes Go Broke

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Why Athletes Go Broke

The “real deal” failed.

Former heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield is playing a real-life game of Deal Or No Deal. His $10 million estate in suburban Atlanta is reported to be in foreclosure, the mother of one of his children is suing him for unpaid child support even though he appears to have repaid that debt. A consulting company from Utah went to court claiming that the boxer did not pay back more than half a million dollars in landscaping. Just another high-profile athlete who has to scale back his lifestyle to the level I’m used to. Why is it that athletes who seem to have it all are often unable to control anything when it comes to finances?

We all played our violins to death when we heard about Latrell Sprewell’s financial troubles. On Halloween 2004, Sprewell, who was in the final season of a five-year, $62 million contract with the New York Knicks, said he was offended by a contract extension offer from the Minnesota Timberwolves that was reportedly worth between $27 million and $30 million. in three seasons. Sprewell stated, “I have to feed my family.” That quote became a national byword for the public perception of athletes as greedy, out-of-touch individuals. Apparently, Sprewell still can’t feed his family. His yacht was recently repossessed and his multi-million dollar mansion is about to be repossessed.

While there is certainly a stereotype of the financially irresponsible NBA athlete, no professional sport is immune.

Let’s take a look at some financial stories of high-profile athletes over the years:

1. No one my age can forget Jack “The Ripper” Clark, the Boston Red Sox star who filed for bankruptcy in 1992 in the middle of his second year of a three-year, $8.7 million contract with Boston; he listed $6.7 million in debts. Jack was a master of financial planning and judicious acquisition of assets. His bankruptcy filing lists assets such as 18 cars, including a 1990 Ferrari valued at $717,000 and three 1992 Mercedes Benz cars valued between $103,000 and $143,000. He owed money on 17 cars and was responsible for about $400,000 in federal and state taxes. He also lost about a million dollars in a racing venture. Sounds like Jack would be more at home in the NBA. You can read about it here Mike Tyson’s Bentley

2. Johnny Unitas, the Baltimore Colts’ Hall of Fame quarterback, filed for bankruptcy in 1991, citing numerous failed business ventures in his petition. These failed sections included bowling alleys, land deals and restaurants. He filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 1991.

3. Mike Tyson The name speaks for itself. Mike’s bankruptcy was a big hit. Despite making hundreds of millions during his boxing career, Mike kept it simple. His bankruptcy petition simply stated, “I can’t pay my bills.” According to federal court records, his liabilities amounted to about $27 million. You can read that story here.

4. Dorothy Hamill, gold medalist in women’s figure skating at the 1976 Winter Games, filed for bankruptcy after a series of financial setbacks. Hamill said she experienced financial problems as a result of poor advice and management of financial investments.

These are just some of the many sportsmen’s tales of woe. It’s not a phenomenon limited to professional sports – just ask MC Hammer. Before he declared bankruptcy, it was publicly reported that his daily living expenses far exceeded his $33 million income. If I’m going to turn to celebrities, I definitely have to mention Kim Basinger and Michael Jackson.

When the Toronto Star published an article stating that a shocking 60 percent of NBA athletes are “broke” five years after retirement, didn’t we all pull out that very tiny violin we reserve for such occasions? The NBA players’ union and the NBA disputed that claim. The article goes on to talk about how all the people are exploiting and “cheating” these athletes. While I have no doubt there is some truth to this, I can also understand how such a generalization would make the NBA uncomfortable. It gives the impression that 60 percent of NBA players are not only financially incompetent but idiots in general. This is simply not true. While good business sense is often lacking, I believe many of their mistakes are more mistakes of trust, credibility and lack of life experience than anything else. Smart, busy people who can afford it hire people with targeted expertise to help them. This allows them to focus on their expertise. Sometimes mistakes are made and poor judgment is used in who we hire and associate with. It’s not unique to the NBA or professional sports. This happens to everyone. That’s life. It happens all the time. It just doesn’t make the front page when we screw up. If there’s any question at all about how screwed up we as the general public are, just look at the personal bankruptcy filing statistics.

To get an inside perspective, I reached out to Jordan Woy, a highly respected sports agent and principal at the sports marketing/management firm Schlegel Sports. Jordan has represented numerous high-profile athletes

Here’s what Jordon had to say:

I think there are several reasons why so many athletes go broke. First, whether they are a lottery winner, an athlete, or a star entertainer, if they are not equipped with the knowledge of how to earn and save money, they are in trouble. When they haven’t earned it through disciplined business practices and don’t have those skills, they usually pass it quickly. Most lottery winners or athletes make a lot of money in a short period of time. They start spending it on things that only depreciate (cars, jewelry, parties, escorts, etc.) and start to evaporate the money they have. They can carry it until they stop making big money. That’s when the trouble starts. It’s hard to believe that MC Hammer, Mike Tyson, Evander Holyfield and now Ed McMahon are broke. These are people who have made hundreds of millions over time and it’s gone. The lavish spending and entourage were probably the downfall of the top three for sure.

Most athletes play for four to ten years if they are lucky. After paying taxes (can be 40 to 50%) and agency fees and buying their first homes, cars, clothes, jewelry (plus cars, clothes, and jewelry for friends and family), they have very little left. When they first “get rich”, all their longtime friends and family expect help. Most athletes initially feel obligated to help everyone, and then wise up. They also want to keep up with their teammates. If one buys a Bentley, one must buy it; if someone buys a $75,000 watch, they have to buy it to keep the look. Then, of course, when the career ends and they still live in a multi-million dollar house, drive 3 expensive cars (and insurance), travel on private jets, and take a limo when they go out on the town, reality sets in. the money dries up very quickly.

However, if athletes educate themselves, learn money management skills, and invest smartly and safely along the way, they are usually in very good shape. After representing athletes for over 20 years, we call this our “life plan”. We take clients on off-season working vacations to places like Las Vegas, Cancun and cruises to the Bahamas to learn business networking. We have people from industries like real estate, oil and gas, financial planning, credit repair, asset protection/estate planning, etc. they come to educate the players and their wives so they can learn about these jobs and also determine if they are interested in any of these industries for life after sports. One of the financial planners that comes always says that most people die going down Mt. Everest, not rising. The goal is for these athletes to reach their Mt.Everest and come down safely.

So what do you think? Are the financial mistakes athletes make any different than yours or mine? These are surely mistakes made with a bigger downside. When we hear these stories, can’t we just understand that someone could have so much money and spend it all? Can we learn lessons about how to live our lives from their publicized financial gaffes? Do we even care?

With all due respect to Latrell Sprewell, we have our own families to feed…

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