Although it’s been a while since he’s touched professional hardwood, Antoine Walker was a capable NBA player during his day. The forward spent most of his career with the Boston Celtics before eventually winning a championship with the Miami Heat. These days, however, his bankruptcy has taken center stage.
Walker, however, didn’t shy away from telling his story. In fact, he even appeared in a documentary explaining how he lost everything. During a recent episode of the I am an athlete podcast, he explained the heartbreaking reason he felt compelled to share.
Antoine Walker recalls how disappointed he was when ‘the OGs’ never called him
At this point, Walker’s financial history is well documented. The former forward opened up about his story and detailed how he went from earning over $100 million playing basketball to filing for bankruptcy. During a recent interview, however, he gave some insight into the personal side of losing your fortune.
“So when I go bankrupt, that’s what I’ve learned,” he explained on the I am an athlete Podcast. “I had been bankrupt for two and a half years. It’s a long time. So, going through the process, I learned a lot about where my funding is going and where my money is going. And, through a good friend of mine, Anthony Holt, he said to me, “Man, you should put your story in a documentary and tell your story.” But you know why I had to film a documentary? It was the most disappointing thing. The OGs, my teammate, my brother, everyone who, when I got it, we were partying, when I called, they came and went. They disappeared.
Although this explanation is sufficient to convey real human pain, Walker continued.
“It hurt so much because I was like, ‘Man, this guy was really my teammate, my friend, but now I’m in a tough spot.’ I used to have four phones. They used to pick up. … Those phones kept ringing. Now no one’s calling me. I’m talking about, it could have been simple like, ‘Are you okay? I’m reading what ‘there’s in the log, I’m reading what’s happening to you. Are you ok? I’m not getting any of them.
Antoine Walker is another reminder that athletes are people too
Under normal circumstances, the reminder that “athletes are people too” comes when a relatively benign situation makes headlines, such as the rumor that Dougie Hamilton rubbed his teammates the wrong way by visiting a museum instead. to join them for lunch. The situation of Antoine Walker, however, shows the other side of the coin.
When you hear about an athlete going bankrupt, it’s easy to point fingers. If someone is wasting hundreds of millions, common logic dictates they must be doing something wrong or making a series of stupid decisions along the way. While Walker didn’t throw any punches at the choices he made, it’s impossible to hear his story and not feel human pain.
Even putting aside the part about abandoning his friends, the former striker’s interview contains many painful nuggets. At the start of the podcast, for example, he talks about how he overlooked taxes and overspending during his rookie year. If you listen to the story of where that money went, it’s not like he went out to buy boats and throw parties. Although there are cars and clothes involved, Walker explained that a large part of his expenses go towards buying a house for his mother. While it’s not the wisest decision, it’s hard to blame someone trying to take care of their family when they overestimate the amount of money coming their way.
Sharing your difficulties is never easy. Antoine Walker, however, is helping to change the narrative around professional athletes and financial literacy by continuing to tell his story.
How to get help: In the United States, contact the National Problem Gambling Council helpline at 1-800-522-4700.
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