Could you imagine being a millionaire in your 20s? It's hard to imagine the types of trouble you would get into, and the wild different things you would spend such money on at such an age. Well the 15 players on this list did just that, they earned millions of dollars while barely being able to drink, legally. Some of the guys on this list made much much more than a million dollars, some of these guys reached hundreds of millions earned and still lost it all.
Occasionally a player who goes broke after he retires is still able to live off his fame, however, most guys listed today were not so lucky. After going broke most of these guys had to go find regular day jobs. Their bank accounts were empty and all they had left were memories from a much more comfortable life. With that said, it is easy to see how under-educated young men could make so many mistakes with their money. The NBA lacks greatly in its effort to help these young men with the assistance and advice they greatly need in regards to money management. As you will see there are many ways a millionaire can end up going broke in a short period of time.
15 Shawn Kemp
Total Career Earnings: $91 Million
Shawn Kemp is a legend in Seattle, having helped lead the SuperSonics to their first NBA Finals appearance in nearly two decades. He made the all-star team every year for six seasons and averaged over 18 points and 10 rebounds per game from 1992-1999. Due to weight issues as well as drug and alcohol problems, he quickly declined after the 2000 season and was forced to enter rehab his first year with the Portland Trail Blazers. His decline continued after his career was over until he finally hit rock bottom in 2005, when he was arrested in Washington in relation to a drug possession investigation. Kemp was busy paying court fees and lawyers during all of his legal troubles, but what hurt him most was the child support payments he was obligated to pay for all seven of his children.
These days Kemp has somewhat cleaned himself up. He still lives in Seattle where his eldest son in a member of the University of Washington Husky basketball team. Kemp was recently forced to close the doors of his bar in Seattle because of financial reasons, but it appears he is still on his feet.
14 Darius Miles
Total Career Earnings: $62 Million
Miles seemed poised for a long and successful NBA career. After being named Illinois' Mr. Basketball as a high school senior in 2000, he became the highest-drafted high school player at the time the Los Angeles Clippers chose him third overall. Things didn't work out as planned for Darius but he was able to earn himself a large sum of money over his seven year career.
Miles filed for bankruptcy in June of last year with assets worth $460,000+, and liabilities totaling $1.57 million. Miles reported lost over $100,000 when he investing in a real estate deal with rapper Nelly, and former Rams running back Marshall Faulk. As Miles has just recently filed for bankruptcy he has been spending most of his time in court and looking to scrape together any cash possible. He recently sold several items of value including some firearms, a LeBron James signed jersey, and five VHS players (which he received $21.50 for).
13 Eric Williams
Total Career Earnings: $39.8 Million
Williams was a serviceable player during his 12 years in the NBA. He was never an All-Star but he found ways to have impact on the court, usually being a spark off the bench. Perhaps his biggest basketball related claim to fame was when he was traded, along with Alonzo Morning, and two first round picks in exchange for Vince Carter.
Williams is now broke and claims to be homeless despite having earned nearly $40 million over his career. He is regularly on the popular TV show, Basketball Wives, as he and his ex-wife continue to play out their real life drama on television for the world to see. Surely they are putting on for the cameras, however it does get funny at times. Williams went as far as to throw a drink in his ex's face on one episode. The funniest line came from Tami Roman, also a "basketball wife", when she weighed in on Williams current financial situation she said , “God don't like ugly.”
12 David Harrison
Total Career Earnings: $4.4 Million
David Harrison was a first-round pick in the 2004 NBA draft by the Indiana Pacers. Nine years later, things had gotten so bad financially that he had to take a job working at McDonald's. Harrison is probably best known for his role as a rookie in the "The Malice at The Palace" brawl involving Ron Artest and other members of the Pacers. Harrison played four years for Indiana and made slightly more than $4.4 million. However, the 7-footer struggled in the NBA, and after averaging just 5.9 points and 3.5 rebounds per game.
In 2013 his credit card was rejected while trying buy his son a Happy Meal at a McDonald's. The manager recognized Harrison and helped him get a job, but that job lasted just three weeks as customers kept recognizing the former player and it was becoming a distraction. Harrison says he now makes some money trading stocks but that he can't find a job. He is still eyeing a potential return to basketball but he is also busy raising his son.
11 Derrick Coleman
Total Career Earnings: $91 Million
Sports Illustrated once wrote of Derrick Coleman that he “played just well enough to ensure his next paycheck.” Well, apparently he didn’t ensure enough of them, as Coleman’s $91 million in career earnings dwindled thanks to a slew of failed business ventures in – stop us if you’ve heard this one before – Detroit, Michigan. Despite business interests that included ownership stakes in a Hilton hotel and various fast food chains, Coleman filed for bankruptcy in 2010, owing $2.19 million to between 50 and 100 creditors.
Once a number one overall pick, Coleman is now doing whatever he can to earn some cash. Since going broke Coleman has bounced back to become somewhat of a success story. Coleman along with longtime friend Tim Ferguson, a college football standout who became a Detroit Public School teacher, partnered to establish an first rate high school basketball league aptly called the DC Elite. This program enables inner city kids the chance to get exposure with the basketball world. It also works to keep kids off the streets and directs them to a more positive lifestyle.
10 Kenny Anderson
Total Career Earnings: $63.4 Million
Credit Kenny Anderson, earner of $60 million over a 14-year NBA career, for being budget conscious. He did, after all, allocate a mere $10,000 per month, which was earmarked as “hanging out money.” That ‘budgeting’ still didn’t make it easy to juggle the expenses of eight cars, a Beverly Hills mansion and child support payments for his seven children. His finances also took a hit after his divorce from Tami Ronan, who celebrated her court-awarded funds by buying a car with a vanity license plate that read “HISCASH”.
Since experiencing his financial hardship, Anderson has somehow managed to emerge out the other end still intact. He is by no means wealthy, or even rich, but he does have a home. He also has been seen in public a lot as of late. The reason for his presence around NBA circles is to promote the new documentary in which he is featured. The film, called "Mr. Chibbs" chronicles the ups and downs of Anderson's life.
9 Rick Mahorn
Total Career Earnings: $7.6 Million
Rick Mahorn did an awful lot for the city of Detroit, helping with an NBA title as part of the Bad Boy Pistons in 1990, becoming a broadcaster for the team upon retirement and even making investments on property in the city. If only the city did a lot for him. Those investments went belly up alongside Motown’s economy, leaving him in dire financial straits and forcing him to hawk his championship ring while filing for bankruptcy in 2010. As embarrassing as it is, his money owed includes $55 worth of late fees to a local library.
After hitting rock bottom, Mahorn had to fall back on his basketball knowledge to save himself. He was able to land a job in the WNBA ultimately becoming a head coach. More recently he has found a place on radio and television in Detroit. He is currently a radio analyst for the Detroit Pistons and works as a co-host/analyst on SiriusXM NBA Radio.
8 Eddy Curry
Total Career Earnings: $70 Million
The future seemed so bright for high school star Eddy Curry when he was drafted fourth overall by the Chicago Bulls in 2001. Although $70 million in career earnings is nothing to scoff at, it hasn’t helped him avoid financial ruin in the years since. Curry reportedly had major financial commitments to a number of extended family members and purchased 12 cars for various friends and family. There were also a series of ill-advised quick fix solution attempts, such as a substantial personal loan from Allstar Capital that came with a whopping 85% interest rate, yet another reason the NBA should require its youngsters to take financial planning and money management classes.
These days Curry is relegated to celebrity basketball leagues, and giving speeches to talented amateur athletes about the potential potholes in the road as a promising young athlete. During his speeches he emphasizes the importance of attending college and enjoying the processes of growing up. He was recently quoted saying, "my only regret was not attending college and participating in the rites of passage, like living in a dorm, or experiencing the growth and maturity so many NBA players received as college athletes."
7 Jason Caffey
Total Career Earnings: $34 Million
A career NBA journeyman most famous for his time with Michael Jordan's Bulls in the mid 90's, Jason Caffey lost his $34 million career earnings through a different kind of excess than many on our list. On top of personal issues that include an anxiety attack and an assault charge while he was still playing, Caffey has fathered 10 children by eight different mothers. This deadbeat dad tried to file for bankruptcy in 2008, but the claim was rejected by a judge. In 2007 Caffey was arrested for failure to make child support payments. Go hard in the paint, keep it raw in the bed, leave the game penniless; the plight of an NBA benchwarmer. In 2010, he was named the head coach of the Mobile Bay Hurricanes of the American Baseketball Association.
These days Caffey is still struggling to make ends meet and is still egregiously behind on his child support payments. He is working where he can, but it appears prospects are slim for the ill-tempered ex ball player.
6 Antoine Walker
Total Career Earnings: $108 Million
$110 million is a lot of money, but it can run surprisingly thin when it’s being used to fund 70 family and friends, in addition to a very expensive auto hobby. Antoine Walker went broke while supporting an entourage of 70 people and treating himself to a car collection that included two Bentleys, two Mercedes, a Range Rover, a Cadillac Escalade, a Hummer and his prized Maybach. Gambling losses of almost $700,000 also created problems for Walker, who hit rock bottom with a Las Vegas arrest in 2009 for writing fraudulent checks to casinos, all the while being pursued by numerous creditors.
These days Antoine can be spotted in varies documentaries and short films about the fall from financial grace. He played a major role in the ESPN 30 for 30 ""Broke" he also was the star of a lesser know piece produced by Netflix. As the poster child for money mismanagement, Walker has actually helped himself get to a place where there may be light at the end of the tunnel, but with an addictive personality and temptation always around it will be interesting to see how he finishes his story.
5 Latrell Sprewell
Total Career Earnings: $97 Million
Latrell Sprewell was a three-time NBA All-Star, but he will be best remembered for infamously choking then-Golden State Warriors head coach P.J. Carlesimo and explaining his rejection of a three-year, $21 million contract offer by saying, “I’ve a family to feed.” That quote rings a little more true now, as failed payments have led to foreclosures on two million-dollar mansions that he owned and forced him to auction off his prized luxury yacht. Even after making nearly $100 million, his lavish lifestyle quickly caught up to him after retirement.
Spree has now been reduced to doing anything he can for a little cash. Last season he was rumored to have been paid off by Knicks owner, James Dolan, to simply show up to a game with James and pretend to be his friend. It is no secret that Latrell has a problem with authority, but for the right price it appears Spree has no problem disregarding his own self respect.
4 Dennis Rodman
Total Career Earnings: $26.9 Million
When you make nearly $27 million over your playing career and find yourself struggling to pay bills soon thereafter, it’s time for pride to go out the window. That’s why court documents filed by the lawyer of the eccentric Dennis Rodman in 2014 acknowledged that The Worm was “extremely sick and broke," making it impossible for him to fulfill his required child support commitments. At the time, Rodman owed $808,935 in back child support while allegedly struggling to handle his own living expenses. It appears he may have been living beyond his means during that crazy decade of the 90s.
Nowadays Rodman may be living in an even crazier world that he was back in those wild 1990s. In July 2015, Rodman endorsed Donald Trump for president, tweeting, "Donald Trump has been a great friend for many years. We don't need another politician, we need a businessman like Mr. Trump!" Dennis also astonishingly enough, has a seemingly very good relationship with notorious North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un. Rodman even visits North Korea frequently to visit his friend Kim.
3 Scottie Pippen
Total Career Earnings: $109 Million
Perhaps the greatest "Robin" (to Michael Jordan's "Batman") in sports history, Chicago Bulls legend Scottie Pippen doesn’t carry the attitude problems, checkered legal past or personal struggles of some other entries on this list. That being said, he still wasn’t all that bright when it came to money decisions. Exhibit A, he once bought a $4 million jet that didn’t even work. He then, not so wisely invested another million into into the jet in an attempt to fix it. It ended up being a $5 million show piece. He also long enormous amounts of his earnings in real estate and commercial investment.
Pippin however, was lucky enough to find his feet and bounce back from the potentially life ruining situation he was headed towards. Up until recently he was stabilized and even thriving financially, but in recent months he and his wife have been battling in court over the estate as they finalize their divorce. Pippen was rumored to have had his wife removed from his bank account, and for all intents and purposes, leaving her without access to any of their money.
2 Vin Baker
Total Career Earnings: $97.3 Million
Retirement hasn’t exactly been blissful for Vin Baker since his 13-year NBA career came to an end in 2006. After losing most of his $97 million in career earnings through a series of poor investments and tax woes that left him forced to pay over a million dollars in back taxes, Baker sued the financial firm Brodeur & Co. Certified Public Accountants for what he felt was negligent management. While Baker may, indeed, have misplaced his financial trust, but a reckless lifestyle that included alcohol abuse problems and a 2007 DUI arrest probably didn’t help.
After fighting through the tough times of the late 2000s, Baker somehow crawled back to his feet. In 2015 he was the store manager of a Starbucks in Old Saybrook, Connecticut. More recently he has landed a job with Fox Sports as a basketball analyst.
1 Allen Iverson
Total Career Earnings: $154 Million
Former NBA scoring champ, and league MVP, Allen Iverson always had a flair for the dramatic. LeBron James called him the greatest pound for pound player to ever play, but he had his off court issues. A man who earned well over $150 million in his life was reduced to standing in a courtroom during 2012 divorce proceedings and pulling out his pockets, exclaiming that he didn’t even have enough money for a cheeseburger. Iverson’s descent came just about every way imaginable, with a 50-person entourage, a severe gambling addiction, legal fees, alcohol troubles and a thirst for excitement drained his $160 million in earnings.
Iverson says he is no longer broke, and that he has earned much of his money back. That is hard to believe, especially since he is currently participating in a gimmicky 3v3 basketball league hosted by Ice Cube. While Ice Cube's creation may not get Iverson's riches back, AI did do one thing right as a player. His deal with shoe company Reebok has a $30 million trust fund for Iverson that he can’t touch it until he turns 55.
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