Antoine Walker made $108 million in his 13-year basketball career, but two years after his retirement in 2008 he had to file for bankruptcy.
Now, Walker is helping educate athletes on how to not make the mistakes he did, as part of a program put on by financial services giant Morgan Stanley.
Walker made more than four times what the average player makes in his NBA career, which lasts almost five years. But Walker’s lavish lifestyle, poor money management and generosity with family and friends left his fortune in ruins.
"I came into the league at 19 years old, getting drafted so young and having a lack of education of how to handle situations and how to deal with money," Walker told FOXBusiness.com. "I didn’t really have a concept of a dollar and when I get to the league, there was a lot of things I wanted to do personally, as far as taking care of my family, brothers and sisters, mom, putting them in better living situations. I had a host of things I wanted to do but didn’t know how to do it and didn’t know the right way to do it."
Now 39, Walker is working with Morgan Stanley’s Global Sports and Entertainment division to counsel players on how to budget and invest their money, pick financial advisors and investments wisely, and above all avoid going broke like he did.
Walker’s problems are shared by other retired athletes, though the extent of them are subject to debate. A 2009 Sports Illustrated report claimed 60 percent of NBA players go broke five years after retiring, however the NBA denies it.
"We have not found any kind of research or fact based on that number. In fact, we refute that it’s true," Greg Taylor, the NBA’s senior vice president of player development, told FOXBusiness.com. "What we do say is, if any player ends up in that situation — and we do know that there are players who do end up in that situation — any more than one is too many."