Most Filipinos are passionate about basketball.
Regardless of social status and dialects, we’ve been updated about what’s happening amongst NBA’s greatest players. Michael Jordan. Stephen Curry. LeBron James. Kobe Bryant. Ray Allen. Kevin Durant. You named them. Basketball is more than just a sport, it is a way of life.
Today, I’ll be talking about an NBA drafted from the University of Kentucky who played in the NBA from 1996 to 2008.
Because of his athletic ability, he was selected by the Boston Celtics as a top pick in the 1996 NBA Draft and became a basketball superstar.
His name is Antoine Walker — and he had it all.
From NCAA to NBA
At 19 years old, Antoine Walker led his team, Kentucky Wildcats, to Championship-winning in the NCAA men’s division.
Later on, he was named to the NBA All-Star team three times and won the top prize in pro basketball with the Miami Heat in 2006.
Over the next decade, he became an NBA Live cover athlete and the recipient of over $108 million in contract money.
Do you know how much that in our present currency?
It’s about Php5.6 billion! That’s huge amount of money, right?
In other words, he’s a multi-billionaire athlete. But his on-the-court success is not an assurance of financial success.
Unfortunately, like many professional athletes who experience a sudden explosion of wealth, it was all disappeared in an instant.
His financial downfall started in 2010, two years after he played his final NBA game.
Reasons for bankruptcy
Do you know the reason for his financial collapsed?
The main cause of his bankruptcy is that he created a very expensive lifestyle for himself. Instead of thinking about the future, he spent lavishly on expensive cars.
Also, he spent his money on buying clothes, jewelries and homes. Truth be told, he would never wear the same suit twice and owned more cars than he could count on one hand.
He also lost large sums of money because of gambling.
That’s incredibly insane!
His financial downfall got even worse when he ventured off into real estate.
When the recession hit in 2008, he made a financial mistake by being the personal guarantor of the real estate company in order to get loans.
In other words, Walker had unwisely put up his personal financial portfolio as collateral. Consequently, he ended up being forced to pay back about $20 million to banks.
Given his humble beginnings, Walker wanted his friends and family to enjoy his wealth as well. And I think there’s nothing wrong about it as long as you know how to set the limit.
He gave cash to many of them—often without holding them accountable. In addition, he gave them whatever they wanted and spoiled them.
In other words, he became like an open ATM throughout his career.
Financial lessons from his life
When Antoine Walker was interviewed by CNN, he gave two simple pieces of advice.
Firstly, get the word “no” in your vocabulary when dealing with friends and family and be prepared to use that word a lot.
Helping is great, but you’ve got to do it in the right perspective where people will not take advantage of you.
For instance, teaching a person a useful financial skill can be more beneficial in the long run than filling a need temporarily.
There is wisdom in saying, “Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”
Secondly, think about the future, not just the here and now.
You can still enjoy your life to the fullest, but you’ve got to prepare and preserve some of that wealth for your kids—and for their kids.
We’ve heard a lot of stories of famous athletes, actors and actresses who have reached the peak of financial prosperity yet they suffered financial collapsed in the end.
You may not be a famous athlete like Walker, but you could learn some lessons from him—manage your finances wisely and learn to say “No.”
Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans. –Proverbs 16:3
PS: Follow the author Mr. Jun Amparo to get to know more about how to properly manage your finances at RichlyBlessedToday.
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