It was 5 am, Friday in Houston, Texas when I woke up and read what former Houston Rocket Josh Smith said about taking less money to play for the Clippers next season.
“At the end of the day, you know, I do have a family,” he told reporters. “So it is going to be a little harder on me this year. But I’m going to push through it, you know?”
I did my best Homer Simpson impersonation and then thought the following things:
1. The local H-Town media is going to go off on Smith who has earned over $97 million (pre taxes) from his NBA contracts.
2. Social media is going to be even more brutal to the man who just signed with LA for $1.5 million.
3. W.W.S.T.S (What would Slim Thug say) about the player who will be paid $5.4 million by the Pistons to not play for the Pistons?
4. Somebody is going to setup a Go Fund Me page for the straight out of high school player who signed a $12 million deal with Adidas in 2004.
I was right about the H-Town media. I was right about social media where the hashtag #PrayForJoshSmith was started. Slim Thug hasn’t mentioned Smith yet but he did tweet “broke n****s you ain’t even my customers!” And I was right about the Go Fund Me page which only lasted a few hours until the crowd funding site took it down.
WHERE IS LATRELL SPREWELL
Then I started thinking about one of my favorite players of the 90s: Latrell Sprewell, who is more remembered for saying “Why would I want to help them win a title? They’re not doing anything for me. I’m at risk. I have a lot of risk here. I got my family to feed,” when he rejected a 3-year deal worth $27 million back in 2005, than he is for being a 4 x NBA All-Star who once went 9 of 9 from the 3-point line in a game.
What has the creator of the Dada spinner shoes been up to since his finals day in the NBA back in 2005? According to an article published earlier this month in Financial Juneteenth,
In 2007, Sprewell left that “family he had to feed” and was sued for $200 million. That year, his yacht was repossessed, he defaulted on his $1.5 million mortgage and Milwaukee went after him for $3 million in back taxes. Two years later he lost his other mansion.
During the course of his career, Latrell Sprewell made over $100 million. Today, Celebrity NetWorth reports that he has around $50,000 and lives in a modest rental.
Well damn! Add that story to Antoine Walker’s story about him living at home with his family now and relying on them to give him rides because he doesn’t own a car or his 2006 NBA championship ring anymore and you just want to choke somebody the way Sprewell choked his former Warriors’ coach and yell “how the hell is it possible to blow through so much money.”
There was a Richard Pryor movie in the 80s called “Brewsters Millions” about a guy who had to spend $30 million in 30 days to inherit $300 million; it seemed like an impossible task for the average man but a fun and reasonable challenge for some pro athletes. Actually, forget the $30 million, some ballers might be able to spend the whole $300 million!
OK, spending millions in 30 days is unrealistic for even a gambler like Walker or somebody like Eddy Curry who owns my personal favorite “How To Go Broke” story: Back in 2008, he took out a 5-month loan for $570K at an 85% interest rate! 85%! That’s so insane that it’s only legal in Las Vegas. That’s as insane as former Bull Jason Caffey having 10 children with 8 different women and ending up in jail for not paying child support.
Well, at least we can say Josh Smith is taking care of his family – even if it will be a little bit of a struggle.
Photo by Getty