Walker Opens Up About Being Broke on 30 for 30

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NBA star Antoine Walker blew through the $110million he earned in a successful basketball career so quickly that he was forced to file for bankruptcy just two years after he retired. 

Walker, who was forced to come out of retirement and play in the obscure development league, says bad real estate deals, gambling debts and 14 years of living the high life have left him all but broke today.

 

It is a far cry from his glory days in the NBA, where he was named to the all-star team three times and won a championship in 2006.

Walker's story is just one of several highlighted in a new ESPN documentary 'Broke,' which tracks to financial failure of professional athletes who once raked in millions as professional sports stars.

Walker earned $110million as a star forward for the Boston Celtics, the Miami Heat and several other teams between 1996 and his retirement from the NBA in 2008.

 

The 6'9" forward was a rising star when he was picked sixth overall by the Celtics following two years at the University of Kentucky - where Walker led the team to its 1996 NCAA championship.

'You create a lifestyle for yourself,' he told ESPN. 'You're spending a lot of money as you're living through a 13-year NBA career.'

But in May 2010 he filed for bankruptcy - declaring $12.7million in debts and just $4.3million remaining from his fortune. 

That same year, he tried to return to the NBA, but failed to make a team. 

He briefly played with the Guaynabo Mets in Puerto Rico in 2010 before latching on to the Idaho Stampede in the development league, where he played for two years before calling it quits in 2012.

He said his downfall is partially due to the housing bubble.

'Personally, I was involved in a lot of real estate projects with the banks where I was the personal guarantor of the loans,' he said. 'And when the recession hit back in 2007 and 2008, the banks went really hard after the money. 

'There's probably like 7 to eight banks that we had loans with. And it kind of hit me all at once. I had to pay back the money.'

But bad real estate investments were not the only things that drained Walker's finances. 

Walker was twice the victim of armed robbery in Chicago - once in July 2000 in a parking lot and again in 2007 at his home.

In the 2000 robbery, he was waiting for a South Side restaurant to open with fellow NBA player Nazr Mohammed when they were approached by three men demanding cash and valuables, including Walker's $55,000 watch.

In 2007, several thieves gun-toting thieves raided Walker's home as he arrived with an assistant, stealing his car, cash and some jewelry.

 

 

In 2009, he was arrested at Harrah's Casino in South Lake Tahoe, Nevada on charges that he wrote more than $800,000 in bad checks to cover gambling losses at Caesar's Palace and two other Las Vegas casinos.

Walker admitted he had lost a 'significant' amount of money while gambling, but that it wasn't a major drain on his finances.

He also said he had spent $2million on friends from his inner-city Chicago neighborhood. 

He bought cars and invested in businesses and paid for them to travel with him, he said. 

The documentary aired on ESPN at 8pm on Tuesday.

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