Tag Archive | "basketball"

Why Derrick Coleman Went Broke

Tags: , , ,

Why Derrick Coleman Went Broke


“DC” is broke. Despite earnings tens of millions of dollars during his playing career the former NBA No 1 draft pick is just another name in a long list of current and former high profile athletes who can not seem to create the same magic with their finances that they did during their playing careers.  Coleman’s “end-game’ list of assets in his bankruptcy petition consisted of  a Seadoo watercraft, his NBA pension, 1957 Buick convertible, worth $20,000; a 1970 Chevrolet Nova, worth $5,000; and a 1997 Bentley convertible, valued at $50,000 and some fur coats.

Just one more high profile athlete having to scale back his lifestyle to the level to which you have I have been accustomed.  Why is it that athletes who seem to have everything are often completely unable to control anything related to finances? While Derrick’s financial demise has been attributed in part to public interest investments gone sour, is that all there is to it?  It seems like an all to familiar story-line.

We all played our violins to death when we heard of Latrell Sprewell’s financial troubles. On Halloween 2004, Sprewell, who was in the final season of a $62-million five-year contract with the New York Knicks, said he was insulted by the Minnesota Timberwolve’s offer of a contract extension that was reportedly worth between $27 million and $30 million for three seasons. Sprewell stated, “I’ve got my family to feed.” That quote become a national moniker for the public perception of athletes as greedy, out of touch individuals.  While there is certainly the stereotype of the financially irresponsible NBA athlete, no professional sport is immune.

Let’s take a look at some high profile athlete financial sob stories over the years:

1. No one my age can forget Jack”The Ripper” Clark , star player for the Boston Red Sox who filed for bankruptcy in 1992 in the middle of his second year of a three-year, $8.7 million contract with Boston; he listed $6.7 million in debts. Jack was a master of financial planning and prudent asset acquisition. His bankruptcy petition listed assets such as 18 automobiles, including a 1990 Ferrari that cost $717,000 and three 1992 Mercedes Benz cars costing between $103,000 and $143,000. He owed money on 17 of the automobiles and was liable for about $400,000 in Federal and state taxes. He had also lost about $1 million in a drag-racing venture. Sounds like Jack would have been more at home in the NBA. You can read about it here

2. Johnny Unitas, Hall of Fame quarterback for the Baltimore Colts, filed for bankruptcy in 1991 citing numerous failed business ventures in his petition These failed bits included bowling alleys, land deals and restaurants. He filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 1991.

3. Mike Tyson The name speaks for itself. Mike’s bankruptcy was highly publicized. Despite earning hundreds of millions during his boxing career, Mike kept it simple. His bankruptcy petition simply stated: ” I am unable to pay my bills”. According to federal court records, his liabilities totaled about $27 million. You can read that story here.

4. Dorothy Hamill, the women’s figure-skating gold medalist in the 1976 Winter Games, filed for bankruptcy after a series of financial setbacks. Hamill said she has experienced financial setbacks as a result of poor financial investment advice and management.

5.  Antoine Walker Despite earning a reported $110 million over the course of his 13-year NBA career, former player Antoine Walker is apparently broke. According to the Boston Globe the 33-year-old 6th overall draft pick of 1996 was in trouble, accused of  writing bad checks to different casinos, totaling $1 million. The Globe is also reported that Walker owed more than $4 million to his creditors.

These are just a few of many athletes’ tales of woe. It is not a phenomenon limited to professional sports — just ask M.C Hammer. Prior to his declaring bankruptcy, it was made public that his day to day living expenses far exceeded his income of $33 million. If I am going to veer off to celebrities, I certainly have to mention Kim Basinger and Michael Jackson.

When the Toronto Star ran an article alleging that a shocking figure that 60 percent of NBA athletes “go broke” five years after retiring, did we not all pull out that very tiny violin we have reserved for such occasions?  The NBA players union and the NBA have both disputed that figure. The article goes on to talk about all the people taking advantage of and “scamming” these athletes. While I have no doubt there is truth to this, I can also understand how such a generalization would make the NBA uncomfortable. It leaves you with the impression that 60 percent of NBA players are not only financially inept but also idiots in general. This is simply not true. While good business sense is often lacking, I view many of their mistakes as being more mistakes of trust, credibility and lack of life experience than anything else. Smart, busy people who can afford it, hire people with targeted expertise to help them. This allows them to focus on their expertise. Sometime mistakes are made and bad judgment is used in who we hire and hang out with. That is not unique to the NBA or professional sports. This happens to everyone. That is life. It happens all the time. It just does not make front page when we screw up. If there is any question at all as to how badly we as the general public screw up, just look at the personal bankruptcy filing statistics.

In order to get a perspective from the inside, I contacted Jordan Woy, a highly respected sports agent and a principal in the sports marketing/management firm of Schlegel Sports. Jordan has represented numerous high profile athletes

Here is what Jordon had to say:

I think there are several reasons why so many athletes “go broke”. First, whether it is a lottery winner, an athlete or a star entertainer, if they are not equipped with the knowledge on how to make and save money they are in trouble. When they didn’t earn it through disciplined business practices and they don’t have those skills they usually go through it quickly. Most lottery winners or athletes make a great deal of money in a short period of time. They start spending it on things that only go down in value (cars, jewelry, partying, entourage, etc) and start to evaporate the money they do have. They can carry this off until they stop earning big money. This is when the trouble starts. It is hard to believe that MC Hammer, Mike Tyson, Evander Holyfield and now Ed McMahon are broke. These are people who earned hundreds of millions over time and it disappeared. Lavish spending and entourages were probably the downfall for the first three for sure.

Most athletes play for four to ten years if they are lucky. After they pay taxes (can be 40 to 50%) and agent fees and buy their first homes, cars, outfits, jewelry (plus, cars, clothes and jewelry for friends and family), they are left with very little. When they first “strike it rich” all of their longtime friends and family expect help. Most athletes feel obligated to help everyone out at first then they wise up. They also want to keep up with their teammates. If someone buys a Bentley, they have to buy one; if someone buys a $75,000 watch, they have to buy one to keep up the appearance. Then, of course, when the career ends and they are still living in a multi million dollar house, driving 3 expensive cars (and insurance), traveling in private planes and taking Limo’s when they go out on the town, reality sets in. The money dries up very quickly.

However, if athletes educate themselves, learn money management skills and make smart, safe investments along the way, they are usually in very good shape. After representing athletes for over 20 years, we call this our “life plan”. We take out clients on working vacations in the off season to places like Las Vegas, Cancun and on a cruise to the Bahamas to learn business networking. We have people from industries such as real estate, oil and gas, financial planning, credit repair, asset protection/estate planning, etc come to educate the players and their wives so they can learn about these business and also determine if they are interested in any of these industries for life after sports. One of the financial planners who comes always says most people die coming down from Mt. Everest not going up. The goal is for these athletes to get to their Mt. Everest AND to get down safely.

So, what do you think? Are the financial mistakes that athletes make any different than your mistakes or mine? They are certainly mistakes made with a higher downside. When we hear these stories are we just unable to comprehend that someone could have that much money and spend it all? Can we learn lessons on how to live our lives from their highly publicized financial gaffes? Do we even care at all?

With all due respect to Latrell Sprewell, we have our own families to feed…

Posted in sportsComments (2)

Love And Basketball

Tags: , , ,

Love And Basketball


westernconftrophyThe  2009-10 NBA regular season is here!  A season of new hopes and  players will soon be here.  But on the social scene in Dallas, “singles season’’ never ends.   In preparation for the new season of after-game bars, clubs, see and be seen sports douchebaggery, I recently roamed the streets of Dallas after the Mav’s home opener, checking out various nightspots while contemplating what will hopefully be a great Mavs season. I wandered about, contemplating how we would make the playoffs, play deep in, and hopefully challenge again for that elusive Larry O’Brien NBA Championship Trophy.

At the same time, I was stunned by a similarity between singles scene as the NBA:

Life imitates art. Basketball imitates life. Especially in social interactions.

I saw all kinds (as I often do), not all of them enviable kinds. There were the 30K Millionaires, the Cougars, the GoldDiggers and the MackDaddy D-bags, and I saw all kinds of similarities between the social interactions I witnessed out on the singles scene and the great game of hoops.

Let’s lace up those high-tops for a walk onto the hardwood court of Dallas (and note that I believe it’s largely the same for any big-city nightlife where a basketball season is played out). There are no points for second place. The winners hit nothing but net while the losers head home alone and whine the next morning about how they gave their best. The only way you can only get a “clear path” to the basket” view of all this is if you are living outside the 3-point line.diagram

To watch this game – and to maybe be more than a baseline season-ticket-holder — I had to re-learn all I knew about basketball and how it applied to the nightlife scene. Once I had finished learning the rules and different offensive (sometimes very offensive!) and defensive sets, a night out in Dallas became more entertaining than watching the NBA Finals.

Well, almost

In order to see what I saw and know what I know you have to have a basic understanding of basketball “terminology” as it applies to both the NBA and the nightclub scene. Once you have this understanding you will never look at a bar or nightclub in the same light. Here are some of the terms you need to understand:diagram4

“Palming”: The act of adjusting oneself in a nightclub right in front of your buddy/wingman and the hot girl you are talking to. This is a change in possession foul and you must now transfer possession of the hot girl to your buddy.

“Slam-dunk”: The last drunk girl in the bar at 2 a.m.

“Full Court Press’’: Within 15 minutes of meeting a girl in a bar you have given her your phone number, certified financial statement, recent HIV test and two round-trip tickets to Vegas for the next day. You’ve even sent flowers sent to the girl … while still in the bar.

“Flagrant Foul”: At the very moment the hottest girl in the bar is handing you her telephone number, your best buddy, say, picks his nose. This is a two-shot foul. You retain possession. Your buddy must buy two shots of any drink you choose for you and any girl you want the rest of the night.

“Double-Double”: You figure it out…

“Triple Double”: U DA MAN!

“Clear Path Foul:’’ You picked up the hottest girl in the club. She has told you how much she wants you. You are on your way back to your place. She pukes all over your car.

“Fast Break”: You’ve just arrived, you have not even valeted the car yet and your buddy is coming out of the nightclub, hot girl on his arm.

“Traveling”: You live in Dallas. She lives in Fort Worth. This is a change-of-possession foul – but only if your buddy doesn’t care where she lives.

“24-Second Violation’’: You meet a hot girl. You spend the first 25 seconds talking about your millions in the bank, new Maserati, your listing on the Forbes 400 and your Gulfstream while your three roommates look on. This is also known as a “30K Millionaire Violation.” It is a turnover – she turns herself over to the next guy in the bar who actually owns a Maserati or Gulfstream.

“Double Dribble”: You forget to tie your shoes. Just as you are about to hand your girl her drink, you trip and spill both drinks on her. This is a change-in-possession foul as your buddy because your buddy uses it against you. She agrees and goes home with him.

“Back-Court Violation”: Your posse is in the club. You have drink in hand when you realize your driver was denied entrance because he wore tennis shoes, thus violating the dress-to-impress code.

“Alley-Oop”: Your buddy generously hands off to you that last drunk girl in the bar at 2 am. You are hoping to convert to a “slam dunk.’’

“Moving Screen”: Your buddy is not getting near that girl. She is going home with you!diagram3

“Blocking Foul”: Just as the hottest girl in the club is handing you her phone number … this is gonna be good. … your buddy approaches and and is nice enough to report that he found your wedding ring on the floor.

“Offensive Foul”: You had Italian for dinner. You’re about to kiss your girl goodnight — on the cheek, because you’re a gentleman — when you burp just a little. Is that a piece of spaghetti that’s landed on her cheek? Another turnover. To anybody. As long as it’s not you.

“Technical Foul”: She told you she was 21 when you bought her a drink. This is an ejection. A one-game suspension. And a timeout. … maybe to be spent in a 4×6 with bars.

“Offensive Rebound”: It is not your fault your buddy can’t close.

“Tip Off”: You spy something on her neck. It is suspicious. It appears that the attractive woman you are looking at has an Adam’s Apple.’’

“Two-Minute Warning”: It’s last call. You struck out. Your designated driver has left and you have no cab fare. Time for more “traveling.’’ Because you’re walking home.

There’s the rules of the game. And unlike the NBA regular season, which must come to again, in the nightlife scene, every weekend brings a new season!

Brian Cuban is a Dallas-based attorney who serves as the Executive Director of the Mark Cuban Foundation and is currently administering The Fallen Patriot Fund. He blogs at The Cuban Revolution and can also be contacted and followed at Facebook.

I originally wrote this piece for Mike Fisher and DallasBasketball.com.  Thanks to Fish for letting me republish it on my blog. Please be sure to check it out for Mavs news and great sports  insights from Fish!

©2009 Brian Cuban

Enjoy this piece?  Be sure to join the Cuban Revolution Fan Club and/or subscribe to my newsletter to stay abreast of future posts and live celebrity interviews on The Revolution Rant

Posted in humor, sportsComments (3)

Jews Can Play Basketball?

Tags: , , , , , ,

Jews Can Play Basketball?


Before the ADL and JIDF put a hit out on me, I am Jewish.  I know for a fact that I can’t play basketball.  You could make good money by wagering that I could not hold a dribble from one end of the court to the other completely unguarded.   If I told any team that I was not going to play on the Sabbath, the laughing wouldn’t stop until sundown of that next Friday.  Is this the Jewish curse?  If there were basketball courts in the time of Moses would we have been doomed to play hoops for 40 years rather than wander through the desert?  Would Rameses have said “not only will I not let your people go but you can’t drive to the hoop?”

There are many of the Jewish faith who play basketball.  Local Jewish Community Center and and B’nai Brith leagues are full of great “J Hopes”.  While I know we are certainly represented in European basketball the pickings are slim here in the USA.  Are there any Jews even currently playing in the NBA? (David Stern and Mark Cuban don’t count). I did some research and I was able to find the following Jews currently playing in the NBA:

Jordan Farmer of the Los Angeles Lakers.  Jordon played just over 20 minutes a game last year averaging 9.1 ppg.  Not to bad for a tribal representative.  He however will not be getting any  simchas for his 3 point shot or lackluster free throw percentage.  A little Kabbalah string serenity may help on the line or in the alternative an affair with Madonna. In fairness to the Jordan and the other chosen, there are noteworthy  Jewish NBA ballers going back through history.  It appears however that we are much more adept at owning sports franchises than playing for them.

You are not going to see too many conservative or orthodox Jews playing in professional sports.  If the guy sucks it’s no big deal but if he is any good and observant, he is not going to be that amenable to helping the team out from sunset Friday to sunset Saturday.  Moral of story.  If you are going to recruit a Jew, be sure he/she is a reform or have your designated gentile for play those big Sabbath games.

It is actually not all that uncommon to read about Jews missing big weekend games due to observance of the Sabbath.  Now and then there is controversy. You have the competing interests of the schools, fans, teammates all of which put an enormous amount of pressure on those with strong religious convictions.   There was a recent controversy involving a Jewish high school basketball team who refused to play  a championship game on the Sabbath. The Herzl/Rocky Mountain Hebrew Academy team ultimately never had to face the religous dilemma. They fell one win short of qualifying for the championship game. The governing body had however already ruled against them so they would have forfeited the game had they advanced.

I actually found just this subject discussed on the website ABOUT.COM. The question was whether Conservative Jews can participate in sports on the Sabbath. Here was the answer give by Rabbi Barry Dove Lerner:

Thanks for writing. First, I encourage you to speak with your Rabbi about this matter and other matters of Jewish law.

Please understand that I share your own sense of the importance of sports. In high school and college I participated in sports and I am still – to the best of my knowledge – the only Rabbi ordained in North America to have held a national championship and record in a NCAA sport – archery! And I taught archery at Camps Ramah for seven years to literally hundreds of campers of all ages. I encourage the children to both get involved with their school teams AND to respect Jewish holidays and Shabbat. So I share your enthusiasm for the self-discipline, the physical fitness, etc. that sports participation can bring one..

However, please understand that Conservative Judaism as such will not invalidate Shabbat and Jewish law simply to facilitate our wants and desires. Family activities are wonderful, but I would start now to begin to offer alternatives before the real confrontation between parents and children might arise. Lastly, once again, turn to your Rabbi for advice and guidance on what is and what is not appropriate for your children within the community programs.”

Ah yes, that is the ticket to the future for all Jewish athletes. ARCHERY!  There is your answer.  Excel in archery and the Sabbath is yours!  You can pretty much put an arrow in something any day of the week so why sweat the weekend.  He talks about offering alternatives to your children. The next Jewish Pele? 

As The Good Book Says… ” Tis better to own to than to dribble”

I think I need to pull out my Fiddler On The Roof DVD to get some guidance from Tevye on this.

SO LET IT BE WRITTEN, SO LET IT BE DONE!

Posted in humor, sportsComments (7)

Living Outside The Three Point Line

Tags: , , , , ,

Living Outside The Three Point Line


The NBA season is upon us.  I attended the Dallas Mavericks first exhibition game.  I then took an unusual step for me.  I roamed the  streets of Dallas checking out various nightclubs contemplating the  hope filled start of the Dallas Mavericks season.  I wandered aimlessly from bar to bar contemplating what I hoped was the start of a very successful season ending in a championship.  It struck me that there were many similarities between the social interactions I witnessed out on the singles scene and the great game of hoops. It made me realize that while life imitates art, basketball can imitate life.  If you don’t believe me put on your high-tops any weekend and step onto the hardwood court of Dallas or any big city nightlife where an entire basketball season is played out on any given night. There are no points for second place. The winners hit nothing but net while the losers head home alone and whine the next morning about how they gave their best.  The only way you can only get a “clear path” to the basket” view of all this is if you are living outside the three point line. I stared in awe as a baseline spectator of the same game all over again on a different court.  There different players, different rules and the winners and loser some times much more subtle than the fourth quarter sore or determining the defensive or offensive set. To watch this game I had to re-learn all I knew about basketball and how it applied to the nightlife scene. Once I had finished learning the rules and different offensive (sometimes very offensive!) and defensive sets, a night out in Dallas became more entertaining than watching the NBA Finals.

In order to see what I saw and know what I know you have to have a basic understanding of basketball “terminology” as it applies to  both the NBA and the nightclub scene.  Once you have this understanding you will never look at a bar or nightclub in the same light. Here are some of the terms you need to understand.  You can find the actual NBA definitions for many of these terms here.   These  are in no particular order:

Palming”  The act of adjusting your crotch in a nightclub right in front of your buddy/wingman and the hot girl you are talking to.  This is a change in possession foul and you must now transfer possession of the hot girl to your buddy.

Slam-dunk”  The last drunk girl in the bar at 2 am

Full Court Press ”  Within fifteen minutes of meeting a girl in a bar you have given her your phone number, certified financial statement, recent HIV test, two round trip tickets to Vegas for the next day. You even have flowers sent to the girl while still in the bar.

Flagrant Foul”  At the very moment the hottest girl in the bar is handing you her telephone number, your best buddy picks his nose.  This is a two shot foul. You keep the ball. Your buddy must buy two shots of any drink you choose for you and any girl you want the rest of the night.

Double-Double”  You figure it out…

Triple Double”   U DA MAN!

Clear Path Foul:   You picked up the hottest girl in the club.  She has told you how much she wants you.  You are on your way back to your place.  She pukes all over your car.

Fast Break”  You have not even valeted the car yet and your buddy is coming out of the nightclub, hot girl in hand.

Traveling”    You live in Dallas. She lives in Fort Worth.  This is a change in possession foul if your buddy doesn’t care where she lives.

24 Second Violation:    You meet a hot girl.  You spend the first 25 seconds talking about your millions in the bank,  new  Maserati, listing on the Forbes 400 and your Gulfstream while your 3 roommates look on. The is also known as a “30k Millionaire Violation”   It is a change in possession violation to any guy in the bar that actually owns a Maserati or Gulfstream.

Double Dribble”  You forget to tie your shoes.  Just as you are about to hand your girl her drink, you trip and spill both drinks on her. This is a change in possession foul as your buddy calls you a clumsy idiot stating that he would never be so stupid.  She agrees and goes home with him.

Back Court Violation”  Your posse is in the club. You have drink in hand when you realize your driver was denied entrance because he wore tennis shoes.

Alley Oop”   Your buddy hands off to you that last drunk girl in the bar at 2 am.  You are hoping to convert to a “slam dunk”.

Moving Screen”  Your buddy is not getting near that girl.  She is going home with you!

Blocking Foul Right when the hottest girl in the club is handing you’re her phone number and your buddy comes up and says he found your wedding ring on the floor.

Offensive Foul”   You had Italian for dinner. Your about to kiss your girl good night on the cheek (because you’re a gentlemen) when you burp and a piece of spaghetti lands on her cheek.  This is a change of possession foul.  She does not care who gets the ball as along as its not you.

Loose Ball Foul”   No clean underwear and an unknown hole tear in your pants.

Technical Foul”   She told you she was 21 when you bought her a drink.  This is a ejection from game foul and a minimum one game suspension to be spent in a 4 by 6 with bars.

Offensive Rebound”   It is not your fault your buddy cant close.

“Tip Off”     You spy something suspiciously looking like an Adam’s Apple on the hot “girl” you are talking to.

“Two Minute Warning”   Its last call. You struck out.  Your driver has left and you have no cab fare.

You now have the rules you need to step into the hoops arena of Dallas Nightlife  or any big city club scee where unlike the NBA, every weekend brings a new season..

Posted in humor, sportsComments (2)

Follow Me



Who’s Reading Shattered Image?

Newsletter

Sign up for The Revolution Rant! Stay up to date on the great guests and provocative topics on my weekly web-cast!
Viva la Revolucion!


powered by MailChimp!

Related Sites

  • NightcapTV Catch The Cuban Revolution Every Thursday at 9pm(CT) On NightcapTV!