You shouldn’t be surprised, especially if you have read BSO for a while. But if you need anymore proof on how an athlete making millions of dollars can end up broke, read this story from an agent courtesy of Bleacher Report.
I know a former player who was a first-round choice before the current rookie salary cap. His signing bonus alone was north of $10 million.
That player had grown up hard, and his family didn’t have a lot in terms of material positions. To him, that bonus was more money than he would ever spend in his lifetime. So he did what any 21-year-old would do: He blew through a million dollars in a month.
He flew girls into town from all over the country. He ate out every night and took eight to 10 people with him. He bought clothes, shoes and hats in triplicate. Instead of renting an apartment or buying a home, he decided to stay at the Ritz for his entire rookie season.
The crazy part about ripping through those million dollars in a month was that—later, when he was telling me the story—he said he had nothing to show for it except receipts, and sometimes those were hard to come by.
He didn’t name the player, but I am sure it has happened to plenty. When you are young, you want to live the Jay-Z life “Money, Cash, Hoes”, not realizing Jay-Z made a lot of sound investments along the way.
I always remember the comedic skit from Eddie Murphy talking about “HALF”. He was using Johnny Carson $300 million as an example. Doesn’t matter how much you got, if you blow through quickly, it hurts. If I have $1000 for the next two weeks and spend $500 today, that’s a problem.
These kids think they can play forever, but the reality is no matter where they are drafted their shelf life is brief, so spend accordingly.