Ex-NBA Player Benoit Benjamin owes 500k+ in Child Support
Benoit, 45, was a 1st Rd 3rd Overall pick of Clippers in 1985 draft and ended up playing 15 years in the league for 9 different teams(career stats). His basketball career is safe to say was uninteresting at best. Highlight of playing days was probably news that his car was taken at gunpoint by a man half his height. Yeah, sad…His post NBA life is something of interest though. According to Youbeenblinded, in 2008, Benajmin was involved a domestic altercation with a female in his residence. When cops went to enter residence he resisted and was arrested on simple battery and resisting arrest. He was released on 4k bond. There is no follow-up on case or news if was his wife, but there is a mugshot.
Now for real reason for article. The child support payments. TheNewsStar.com has details. This child support issue began a long time ago, while he was still playing. He was orderer to pay 3,500 a month in chid support. Why so much? Maybe because he was a professional athlete and according to his NBA.com player bio, he and his wife Zina had four children. Those are a lot of mouths to feed. In any case he was paying regularly until 1997. I wonder why that is? Off to basketball-reference.com for some possible answers…
We see he made almost 22 mil in his career also noted was one of the first NBA million dollar players (CLICK THIS, old Jet mag with cool pics). Not bad. We see a gap though from 96-00. Hmmm…funny. B-R.com details contracts terms of missing years…
October 11, 1996: Signed as a free agent with the Toronto Raptors.
November 12, 1996: Waived by the Toronto Raptors.
March 11, 1998: Signed the first of two 10-day contracts with the Philadelphia 76ers.
March 30, 1998: Signed a contract for the rest of the season with the Philadelphia 76ers
February 24, 1999: Waived by the Philadelphia 76ers.
September 28, 1999: Signed as a free agent with the Los Angeles Lakers.
October 28, 1999: Waived by the Los Angeles Lakers.
November 1, 1999: Signed as a free agent with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
November 18, 1999: Waived by the Cleveland Cavaliers.
He played a total of 27 games from 96-00 season for not so big contracts. Might be reason why child support payments began to stop. 42k in child payments a year can’t be good for living life of NBA player with no major income. In any case, he was taken to court in Washington back in 2003. The payments never came and finally a case descison was made in 4th Judicial Court in Monroe, his hometown. He was ordered to pay $517,200 in back child support, ouch. Brenda Howell the ADA on the case commented on the decision:
“It’s pretty monumental”
Howell said she has been involved in cases involving football players where the amount has been $200,000 or $300,000, but never $517,200. “It’s the largest amount in arrears I’ve seen” in 20 years of law practice.”
Come again? She was involved in mutiple cases with football players where amount awarded has been 200-300k? If anyone knows how to find child support claim cases persued by ADA Howell please let me know ASAP. Need to find these players. And yes, arrears is a word. Its a legal term for overdue payments. Benjamin did have a response when told judegement, he said:
“That can’t be correct,” Benjamin said. “$517, …?”
Yea, I think we’ll all react the same way. Now math time. He used to pay 3,500 a month in support or 42,000 a year. Its been 11 years since he allegedly stopped paying at all. Lets just add a year for more accurate measure since he began skipping payments in 97. 12 years x 42,000 per year payment = $504,000 in total missed payments. So judgement is about in the ballpark. Will wife and grown kids ever see full 500k, who knows? No information is given on Benjamin’s finances or employment. The ADA mentions that judgment could be issued against his property if no payment is made. We’ll see where this road end. I could tell you a couple of things though.
He really wishes he had played in today’s NBA. Brian Scalabrini made 3.4 million last year and made $17,545,252 in his career to sit on bench until all players fouled out or teams is leading by 25 in 4th quarter. Adam Morrison made close to 10 million to sit on bench last two years for champion Lakers. Then again, that might mean higher child support payments. Nevermind…
What I do know is that somewhere down the road another athlete, most likely Antonio Cromartie, is going to face a similar fate, except it will be far worse. For now, Godspeed Mr.Benjamin….
Full disclosure, 2 hours ago I didn’t know this man existed. So I will leave you with a few thoughts on Mr.Benjamin from a few people who do.
Autsin Burton of Dimemag wrote about best and worse Sonics players, Benjamin was included in worse and here’s how he described him:
“Benoit played basketball with all the enthusiasm of a man who’s been holding his wife’s purse at the mall for three hours. I’ve had kids at Subway make my sandwich with more fire in their belly.”
If thats not bad enough, now listen to the game commentator take a shot on Benajim.
Written by Jovan. You can follow me on twitter for Yankees/Knicks/NFL news/Interesting links…