The NBA Players’ Association met with the Toronto Raptors recently to discuss financial prudence among players and during that meeting cited a statistic that scared the heck out of most of the team. It was said that 60% of NBA players go broke after only 5 years of retirement! Are you kidding me?!? That statistic however is said to be an educated estimate and some players actually have a hard time believing it. The statistic could be used as a scare tactic, but it is definitely something these players should be paying attention to.
“Sixty percent is a ballpark. But we’ve seen a lot of guys who’ve really come into hard times five years after they leave the league,” said Roy Hinson, the former NBA forward who’s a representative for the players’ association. “The problems are, for a lot of guys, they have a lot of cars, they have multiple homes, and they’re taking care of their parents. They’re taking care of a whole host of issues. And the checks aren’t coming in anymore.”
“Sometimes you can stop the bleeding, and other times you can’t stop the bleeding,” said Hinson, who added that many players associate with “too many ‘yes’ people.”
We’ve all heard the stories of NBA players owning 15 cars and 5 vacation homes. The sad part is most of these players lack educations and support outside of their posses and families. Most of these players could use some legal guidance as well as financial guidance but seem at times to not be so willing. The players’ association has continually proposed a financial firm that offers players free 2nd opinions on their financials, but getting these players to act has been a challenge.
Back in October, Jason Caffey, who made an estimated $29 million during his eight-year NBA career, was in bankruptcy court seeking protection from his creditors, among them the seven women with whom he fathered eight children.
Shaquille O’Neal of the Miami Heat was in the news recently with a court document representing his annual income as well as his annual and monthly spending. The “Diesel” pays $156,000 a month just in rent and mortgages on the various properties he owns or leases and another $1500 just for his cable TV bills! Of course Shaq is on another level than most other NBA players with the simple fact that he pulls in $20 million a year in salary but this still shows you a great example of the kind of money players are capable of spending.
Remember former Chicago Bull, 6 time NBA Champion, Michael Jordan running mate and top 50 player of all-time Scottie Pippen? Just 2 years removed from retirement, Pippen was back in the news looking to make an NBA comeback to a team that was a title contender. NBA teams laughed at a Pippen return which was later rumored to be based on his poor financial standing. The rise and fall of Pippen was so drastic that he was seen overseas playing 2 games for Finnish powerhouse, Helsinki ToPo to make a little cash.
Besides the fact that players fork out all of this dough for houses, cars and cable bills you still can’t forget that many of them have multiple children from multiple women. This is yet another expense that must be accounted for and child support is one of those bills that doesn’t go away for at least 18 years. Again, you can see how 5 years removed from an NBA career with 2-3 child support payments a month and you could run out of millions pretty damn fast.
Jason Kapono of the Toronto Raptors expressed his thoughts after the players’ association presented their materials. “Going above and beyond isn’t worth it. I don’t want to be a part of that 60% that’s in trouble five years down the road. It’s a short career and I’m blessed to be earning a great salary playing basketball. But if it ended, my contract only takes me to age 30. Life expectancy is 80-plus. So I’ve got another 50 years. Do I really need to buy another car?”