Antoine Walker, former NBA player for the Miami Heat and Boston Celtics turned to bankruptcy for help in 2010. Before he was 20 years old, Walker was a basketball superstar due to his NCAA success and being a top NBA draft pick in 1996 for the Boston Celtics.
Walker grew up in a poor neighborhood in Chicago. Despite making more than $108 million during his career, he ended up in a chapter 7 bankruptcy in 2010. Walker recently told CNN Money “I thought I was set for the rest of my life.” Walker goes on to say “I created a very expensive lifestyle.” He was not simply selfish with his wealth. He spent money spoiling his family and friends with things they could not afford. This lifestyle, coupled with some bad gambling debt and the downturn in the real estate market prior to 2010, eventually forced Mr. Walker to seek refuge under bankruptcy protection.
With his bankruptcy filing behind him, he is now trying to educate young athletes on the financial pitfalls of success. According to the CNN Money article, he is even working on a documentary called “Gone in an Instant” that will tell his personal financial story. Walker recently spoke to a group of up and coming athletes at Boston College and the Seattle Seahawks about his financial experiences. He has two pieces of advice that he would like to instill in these young sports star hopefuls, “Get the word ‘No’ in your vocabulary when dealing with friends and family. Be prepared to use that word a lot.” and “Think about the future, not just the here and now. You can still enjoy your life to the fullest, but let’s preserve some of that wealth for your kids – and for their kids.”
Anyone can get in a situation similar to Walker’s. For some, it can be helping family and friends, for others it can be a divorce, job loss or medical illness. Everyone’s situation is different and personal. If you would like some assistance with your financial burdens, please call our office nearest you for a free consultation with one of our attorneys.
Amy K Tanner is a shareholder in several of the Bond & Botes Law Offices. She holds a Bachelor of Science from Auburn University at Montgomery, and a Juris Doctorate from Thomas Goode Jones School of Law. She focuses primarily on consumer bankruptcy law in the Huntsville and Decatur offices.Read her full bio here.