And that money can vanish faster than a politician’s iron-clad pledge, whether it is through athletes giving gifts, cash outlays, or through athletes going into the seemingly, apparently, "less risky" ventures of co-signing or guaranteeing a loan without fully recognizing the liabilities and risks involved.
There are other reasons for sports stars sinking to nothing while swinging at everything when it comes to dollars: bad money managers; awful agents; terrible luck; rancid macro-economic conditions; pitiful timing; plentiful floozies; gambling on a John Daly or even a Charles Barkley level; lousy decision making...leading some into businesses like bars or restaurants - where the Adonis thinks their name and shape alone will make the venture profitable; bad ideas conjured at 4 in the morning fueled by intoxicants; intoxicants, and their abuse, leading to legal and financial penalties; rehab costs - thanks to those intoxicants; divorce; child support – with the latter ably demonstrated by Big Poppas like Evander Holyfield who, it is believed, helps try to fund 11 kids via 8 women; spending the same kind of bucks after the career is over to the same tune when the career was on; having supposedly hellish parents of the Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario variety...
Or bath tubs. Mike Tyson reportedly spent 2 million on a pure gold tub for wife number 1 and reported his state of bankruptcy in 2003.
Back to Barkley. Besides being pretty much a tub himself, Charles is great copy. He will say anything on almost anything. He’s blunt. He offends not only those with thick skins like us normal souls, he offends airy-fairy-snow-flake groups - most recently exhibited by folks who were pissed that the Pope said communion wafers aren’t, or may not be, gluten-free - - - so when Barkley blathered that some blacks were unintelligent because they favored lingo of the street over language of the educated, some folks went bat crazy. Point being: for barbs such as that...people either like him or loathe him.
But he does have a point when he avers that sports stars don’t owe family or friends anything - porous and/or poor profit-plans notwithstanding? (Ok, maybe these A-One participants owe parents a tithe for the efforts, time, and monies they put forth in getting the kid to practices, games, and tournaments - and buying equipment - and purchasing extra off-season training for the discipline(s) of their choice – and sacrificing their own wants and wishes in the doings - - - and perhaps the friends and family who supported the star - - - before the star became a star - - - deserve financial rewards - but that’s about it.)
Obviously an athlete, with a few million or more, would be cold hearted and emotionally dead to ignore seriously serious and sincerely sincere plights of poverty and problems – but clearly helping those less fortunate can make everyone, even star athletes - eventually, into beggars. Charles, in his inimitable manner and means, says he had to spend a lot of money getting rid of hanger-ons - and that the dough was well spent in the doing.
Perhaps Antoine Walker, who earned over 100 million in his career, and lost it all, now shares Charles’s sentiments. And Walker can partially blame himself and the approximately 30 family-friends for his bankrupt state. And perhaps now, and in the future, we can analyze why boxing, which wielded warriors like Tyson and Holyfield, is particularly prone to its A-listers going bereft, bust, and broke.
Of course, as one wise old owl told me, and probably as smart an old fogey told you...
just because those in your life, who count themselves as friends or family, doesn’t mean they can’t be total jerks.
So, if you want to clean up your life and muck out your stall from the clutter and crap which is your half-assed friends and full-bore family boobs...by all means lend them a few hun or a couple of thou. For sure, weasels that they are, they’ll amscray out of your life PDQ, and though you’ll be down some dollars, you’ll be up in harmony and happiness.
As for whether Charles is correct asserting that 60 to 70% of pro athletes go broke, who knows? Whether Barkley is bang on, or a bit off, it is astounding that so many high profile professional athletes have gone belly up, given the huge amounts of monies they squired up to squander later. Charles Barkley has certainly put the spotlight on the fact that sports stars ARE HUMAN - and can mess up just like the rest of us. They are not infallible. They do stupid things. They should not be role models. They should be treated and analyzed, as the individual they are, with their whole gamut of pluses and minuses factored in.
And as for you and me? Let’s not go ostentatiously overboard like so many a sport hero has done.
Ok? That way Charles Barley, and his bark, won’t have a handy reason to bite his bankroll opinions of