By Victor Ochieng
Darius Miles, a former NBA player who earned millions of dollars during his professional career, has filed for bankruptcy. The former Los Angeles Clippers star enjoyed a successful 9-year career out of which he earned a whopping $62 million. Sadly, all that is gone, and it’s just difficult to comprehend how someone can spend such money so quickly.
Unfortunately, Miles isn’t alone. A Sports Illustrated article noted that up to 60% of former NBA stars end up completely broke within just five years after retiring from the association. The other sordid reality is that within just 2 years into retirement, 78% of NFL players have either applied for bankruptcy or are going through serious financial stress. According to the outlet, the two most common reasons why this happens are poor investment choices and medical challenges.
Miles’ case was that of bodily injuries, bad investment decisions and legal problems. Now, Miles owes $20,000 in child support; IRS is demanding $282,041 from him; and he lost $100,000 in a California real estate deal that went bad. The former NBA star listed that most of his debts aren’t consumer debts but business debts, a factor that shows he actually made wrong investment choices.
Miles retired from the NBA in 2009 and things haven’t been getting any better for him financially. He sold his home two years ago for $500,000.
From Sports Illustrated reports, Miles isn’t the only one among sports personalities who’ve run out of cash soon after retirement. Several other celebrities who’ve gone broke after earning millions are Mike Tyson (Boxing), Kenny Anderson (NBA), and Derrick Coleman (NFL), just to name a few.
This worrying trend has prompted both the NBA and the NFL to launch programs meant to provide players with financial management education. It all remains to be seen whether these programs will bear fruits and help improve the financial management skills of NBA and NFL athletes.
Miles was drafted by the Los Angeles Clippers, coming in as the No. 3 overall pick in the 2000 NBA Draft. Multiple reports say the now 34-year-old had his star rising and appeared to have a healthy and solid financial future. And indeed things went very well for him, suiting for several other clubs, including Cleveland Cavaliers, Boston Celtics, Portland Trail Blazers and Memphis Grizzlies.