Riches to Rags : Where Are They Now?

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What do Kenny Anderson, Scottie Pippen, Latrell Sprewell and Antoine Walker all have in common? At first glance, not much. Pippen is a legend, the gunman watching Michael Jordan’s back, while Sprewell was a polarizing, eccentric personality. Walker was a player with speed and power, with not as much drive as people originally thought he would have, while Anderson was a solid guard. But all of these players have made bad decisions, money-wise, and watched their fortunes vanish in front of their eyes.

We’ve written before about NBA players and their sometimes shaky financial situations. Players feel pressured to keep up a certain lifestyle, and even with all those millions coming in, they rack up debt after debt until it deposits them into the poorhouse. We’ve seen more than a few bright stars flare up and then fade away into obscurity. Consider players like former Knicks captain Ray Williams, who had transformed from a man who had averaged 15 points a game into a man living on the streets.

But then again, Williams pulled himself back together, with the help of Larry Bird and Kevin McHale, which means not even the worst case scenario is the end.

But how does that happen? And where are these players now? What do you do after you’ve been on top on the world?


Kenny Anderson

 

 

Anderson’s story follows the traditional arc of triumph, tragedy and rebirth. A No.2 draft pick in 1994, the former guard lost his $60 million fortune via over-spending, over-gifting and a financially-rough divorce. He filed for bankruptcy in 2005, and left the NBA homeless, penniless, and without an education. Anderson had fallen the way of some NBA players before him, making his savings disappear and finding himself in dire straits. But luckily for us, his story has somewhat of a happy ending.


So Where Is He Now?

As of this writing, Anderson has graduated from St. Thomas University in Miami and put his life back together. He runs a basketball academy near his home and now coaches for a private school. It may not be NBA levels of stardom, but it’s working in the field of the game, and it’s putting food on the table.

Scottie Pippen

 

How did Pippen lose it all? There was a time where he was on the top of the world. He had signed a long-term deal with the Bulls during one of their peak periods, and he was latching on to every endorsement he could. He was a six-time champion and an all-time leader in assists and steals.

And while he was considered Michael Jordan’s sidekick, overshadowed as he was by Jordan’s presence on the Bulls, you have to agree that he was one of the most versatile players in the NBA. With that kind of juice and that kind of pedigree, you’d think Pippen would have retired in glory, like, say, Moses Malone, who is currently sitting rich and happy in a sunny suburb of Houston, Texas.

Instead, Pippen lost $120 million in bad business plans and financial decisions. His $4 million Gulfstream Jet was ravaged with problems needing expensive repairs, and a series of costly lawsuits helped hammer the nail into the coffin.

So where is he now?

Oh, Pippen’s still with us, just in a diminished form. He recouped a relatively tiny amount of his fortune in a lawsuit, and he played in the 2011 Celebrity All-Star Game. You don’t become someone like Scottie Pippen only to vanish into the ether when your financial situation turns south. He’s currently the team ambassador for the Bulls, and last April he was immortalized at the United Center with a bust.


Latrell Sprewell

 

These days, Latrell Sprewell is best remembered for his famous dismissal of a three-year contract of $21 million, saying it was not enough to feed his family.
 
Sprewell was one of the more eccentric figures in league history, at one point attempting to strangle coach P.J. Carlesimo and threatening Jerome Kersey with a two by four. But things didn’t go too well for Sprewell after he defaulted on his mortgage. His $1.5 million house went into foreclosure and the state seized his $1.5 million yacht. Which, understandably, ladled huge heaping helpings of irony on Sprewell’s earlier comment.



So where is he now?

Sprewell is enjoying a career as the number one delinquent taxpayer in Wisconsin, just edging out No.3, the former Bucks power forward Anthony Mason.

Antoine Walker

 

Walker had come into some hard times. The former Celtics forward lost almost all of his $110 million, filing for bankruptcy due to gambling and bad real estate investments. In 2009, he was arrested in Miami on suspicion of drunk driving, and then later that year for writing bad checks in Las Vegas casinos. He currently owes the casinos $800 000.

Where is he now? Bad decisions aside, Walker still has some clout, having played on championship teams in both college and the NBA, netting himself a championship ring with the Miami Heat. That means he’s a shoo-in for playing in the D-League. That’s where he is now, trying to make it back into the NBA. He has a long way to go, but when basketball is your life, that’s where you’ll be.

COMMENTS

Jayde at 14 Jan 2012

AFAICT you've covered all the bases with this aneswr!

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