Antoine Walker blew the $110 million dollars he earned in 13 years of NBA service. It seems impossible, but there are levels of
stupidity that defy logic.
“When you make the kind of money that I’ve been able to make throughout my career, it should last you forever,” Walker admitted because it’s absolutely, undeniably true.
Walker, who, like every other basketball star, also made millions off the court in endorsement deals is not sure how much money he has left, which means he likely never had an accountant this whole time.
Just like MC Hammer, he sees himself as the millionaire who kept on giving, treating his wealthy teammates to expensive dinners and sparing no expense on his entourage of mooching friends.
“When I was younger I used to travel with probably eight or nine guys, which is a very expensive lifestyle to live because you traveling the world. That’s eight, nine rooms. That’s eight, nine flights.” With such impressive math skills, it’s a wonder to see how someone like Walker could go broke.
Antoine Walker has not only failed financially. His whole world collapsed over a short period of time. He was busted for a DUI in Florida fourteen months ago, which was just before he got busted in July in Nevada for bouncing a million dollars’ worth of checks to three Vegas casinos, which was just before his investment properties in Chicago went down with the rest of the housing market. Three strikes… no, that’s another sport.
The story from July is that Walker surrendered himself to authorities at Harrah’s Casino in South Lake Tahoe, because he could not cover his losses. He was charged with bouncing ten checks totaling a million dollars. Meanwhile, back in his home state, more than five financial institutions in Illinois have been pursuing him for unpaid debts that, at one point, totaled nearly $7 million. To avoid jail time, Walker agreed to pay back the million dollars he owes the casinos in three years. He doesn’t know how to do this, so he may have someone write a book or something for him. Or perhaps he’ll start an escort service.
To add insult to injury, Walker, of course, has to make monthly child support payments of nearly $7,000 to two women.
One of those women, Margaret Johnson, has known Walker since childhood, when they conceived. “He has a big heart,” Johnson said, before deciding that money and fame were his downfall. “He became addicted to gambling, and he ran through millions taking care of more than fifty people who are nowhere to be found now that he needs the help.”
“It was very hard for me to say ‘no’ to people when they come ask me for something,” Walker, apparently a pushover, said. “A lot of
friends I grew up with would have a business venture and hit me with a sob story and I would say ‘yes,’ and I got burned a lot of times that way. People say ‘I need to borrow $200,000 for this deal and I’ll give it back to you,’ and then I never hear from them.”
Walker, apparently, felt no need to have any knowledgeable support for these “business ventures” where his friends blatantly ripped him off because it was just so damn easy to. No contracts? No lawyers? No ability to decline a scam? One can only guess how much money he sent to Nigeria over his lucrative basketball star years.
“I was a big gambler. I mean, I would bet a couple thousand dollars a hand playing blackjack. I betted big. I won big at times and I lost big,” Walker explained, implying that he lost big. Running through so much money so quickly without a drug problem is impressive. Gambling, however, can be as costly as drugs without any of the fun.
He’s been ordered to pay nearly $1 million in fines to the city of Chicago for violating building codes from running his apartment buildings into the ground. Walker invested over $10 million in investment properties in the South Side neighborhoods he was sentimentally attached to. He entrusted his portfolio to an old friend, a hustler named Fred Billings.
“We spent a lotta time together. Hanging out. He was kinda like a part of the crew,” Walker explained. Yeah, so a guy who was “kinda like” part of the crew and probably doesn’t even have a resume let a lone credentials was on the receiving end of a $10 million deal.
Obviously, Billings did not pay the mortgages. He hired untrained workers to make illegal repairs and is now awaiting trial in Cook County for his alleged involvement in a mortgage scam. He has been charged with over a dozen felony counts of fraud, forgery and theft.
Walker acknowledges that he knew little of Billings’ history even though he’s known him for a decade. Walker blames himself because it was his boneheaded move. What he did was take a bunch of miserable people in the ghetto and let them get completely screwed over even more than they already were.
“One thing I did is I helped a lot of people that can’t help me,” Walker said, as if he was Father Teresa with bad luck, “and that’s huge for younger guys that’s coming into the league. It’s OK to help people, but you can’t help everybody, because a lot of people can’t help you.” The more you know!
“He should’ve been a lot smarter than he was,” said Rick Pitino, who coached Walker at Kentucky, “because he’s street-smart and he’s book-smart.” In related news, Rick Pitino has no idea was the terms “street-smart” or “book-smart” mean.
At the peak of his career, Walker signed a maximum contract in 1999, a six-year, $71 million deal with Boston. At the time, Rick Pitino was the Celtics president, and declared that, “[Antoine Walker] will never have to worry about money again in his life.” This should’ve been true, but Rick Pitino failed to recommend any lawyers, accountants or managers for the power forward.
“I didn’t factor in poor investments. I didn’t factor in gambling. I didn’t factor in recklessness of spending,” Pitino admitted. His bad.
“I know it’s not going to be pretty,” Walker acknowledged. “I know my lifestyle is going to change dramatically.” Yes, that’s what he’s learned here.
Now Antoine Walker can be found in the Puerto Rican Basketball Association playing for a team called the Guaynabo Mets, who have not guaranteed his contract beyond the end of this month. At most, he can earn $150,000 in four and a half months.
The Mets finished 7-23 last season. The team signed Walker hoping he could lead them to more victories than the New Jersey Nets. But so far, not so good. Although Walker is averaging 13 points per game and leads the team with 10.6 rebounds, Guaynabo expected more out of one of the league’s highest-paid players.
“Given how much we are paying him,” Guaynabo general manager Marcelino Garcia explained, “he has not been productive, and he is only now working his way into game shape.” Just like with money, Walker doesn’t seem to care much for change.