Will they never learn? Carmelo Anthony, a professional basketball star in Denver, is suing his former business manager, alleging that the employee misappropriated more than $2 million of Anthony’s assets.
The lawsuit alleges that the business manager breached his duties by transferring $1.75 million of Anthony’s money to a company formed by the manager. Another $265,500 was discovered to have been invested in third parties without Anthony’s knowledge or consent between 2005 and 2008.
Thus another brash sports superstar who should have been more careful about whom he trusted now is having serious financial troubles. It all reminds us of our national financial meltdown, where too many people stood by and let disaster develop.
The Anthony case is another matter of young people getting too much too soon. They are overwhelmed with lucrative contracts with enormous salaries and benefits, trust people they should not, get involved in divorces and paternity suits, and often wind up on the floor of bankruptcy.
A recent Sports Illustrated survey showed:
l By the time they have been retired for two years, 78 percent of former National Football League players have gone bankrupt or are under financial stress because of joblessness or divorce. Crooked aides and relatives figure heavily in their problems.
l Within five years of retirement, an estimated 60 percent of former National Basketball Association players are broke. (So far former Kansas University players who’ve gone pro seem to have dodged this bullet, but some who are still active need to be alert and watch their backs).
l Numerous retired major league baseball players have been similarly ruined, and the current economic crisis is taking a heavy toll on active players as well.
Among the many “heroes of yesteryear” who encountered serious problems are such hall-of-famers as Brooks Robinson, Rollie Fingers and Tony Gwynn in baseball, John Unitas in football and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in basketball. Judgment? Ex-pitcher Catfish Hunter once invested almost $70,000 in an inflatable raft that would sit under furniture in flood-prone areas — so the furniture would be lifted and stay dry.
We can laugh about overpaid athletes who make poor decisions, get bad advice and plunge into serious financial trouble, but we need not shift the spotlight very far to find many people in the world of finance who are just as foolish, gullible and idiotic about the paths they take and the people they blindly trust.