Words by Phlip
It is becoming increasingly rare to hear good news as it relates to what a former professional athlete has done with their money when projected by the media. The going statistic is that many are dumb broke within 5 years of retirement, with bankruptcy filings and silly court proceedings that would simply not happen if they had properly managed their moneys. Antoine Walker came to mind when I typed that last sentence. Google his name and you’ll see what I mean, as apparently his downward spiral began while he was still in the league.
Another name that comes to mind via rumors, not necessarily confirmed reports/public record is Scottie Pippen. He even went as far as to suing the news outlets who reported he was broke as an ironic means of proving that he was not broke.
A corollary to their plights would be a 4-year league flameout named Harold Miner, who managed HIS money well enough from his 4 mostly uneventful years to have not needed to work a regular job in the 16 years since. Hats off to him.
And then there is tale of those who did SUPREMELY well after their playing days ended, and the king of that – in my opinion of course – is on Jamal Mashburn, he of 11 years in the league with one All-Star appearance and very respectable 19ppg average.
Mash is in the news this week for being among the (apparently very few) interested parties in buying the N.O. Hornets from the NBA, a team for which he once played.
[Phlip note – THAT is what makes this post relevant to current NBA events, lol]
It comes into question how does a player who was always pretty good in the league, but never a megastar get the money that one would need to lead a group of investors in order to own a professional sports franchise?
And that is the very reason for today’s post. See, Mash is said to have made about $75million while in the league, plus whatever Fila paid him to play in their shoes which may or not have cost him and Grant Hill some years on their knees. While it was on, I NEVER heard his name in any immature nonsense, no extraneous paternity suits, and not even silly jewels and tattoos. With that in mind, when it was all over, he went into the business of making his fortunes work for him so he would never have to again. His portfolio is said to include 34 Papa John’s, 37 Outback Steakhouses, a couple or few car dealerships and a real estate company around the state of Kentucky, where he is a bit of a local legend based on his college basketball career at the university.
Needless to say, if we were hats off to Harold Miner for stretching his millions to last and provide a good life without having to work, we need to stand and give Mashburn a standing ovation for…
1. Not being the stereotypical black athlete and screwing off his blessing.
2. Taking that blessing and multiplying it.
3. Doing it legally.
Players in past times played for less money than is currently available, both on and off the court, so (to me, at least) it seems almost understandable that some might need to lean more heavily on their pensions than others, even if they DIDN’T do stereotypically “black” things with their money on the way through it. It really is, however, one hell of a feel-good story when we can look at one of the ones who made it through, made it good without having to resort to anything that might find them on TMZ, Mediatakeout or WSHH.
Anyone heard from Starbury lately? I hear the Knicks need a PG!