By Marbeya Garcia-Bermudez
We tend to envision athletes as mega-stars who live life among movie celebrities, but this perception is right for only some athletes during a certain amount of time. In fact, the NBA Players’ Association has recently claimed that 60 percent of pro basketball players go broke within 5 years of their careers. Athletes earn money in large amounts very quickly, but then when they stop playing the money dries up.
There are a few athletes who invest their earnings and are able to thrive even after their careers, but this is uncommon. There are many well-known athletes who have lost everything in a matter of years after retiring.
You might remember Latrell Sprewell, who played with the Golden State Warriors. In 1997 he choked his coach and earned a 68-game suspension. He did, however, earn $100 million throughout his career. He later famously denied a three-year contract from the Minnesota Timberwolves worth $30 million because he “ha[d] a family to feed” and felt he should’ve been given more money because otherwise his kids would be on commercials for deprived children. As a result, the Timberwolves refused to offer him any more money and in 2007 his yacht was repossessed.
Additionally, Mike Tyson, who managed to make over $400 million, lost his momentum after being convicted of sexual assault. He filed for bankruptcy and claimed debts of $27 million. Many people believe that athletes have it easy and once they retire they are still reaping the benefits, but in reality, retiring as an athlete is a complete change of lifestyle.