During his playing days, Antoine Walker built multi-million dollar homes for each of his family members, owned expensive cars, refused to wear the same designer suit twice, and he had lost over $600,000 gambling with other players.
According to Yahoo! Finance, Walker lost a total of $110 million.
Walker filed for bankruptcy in 2010, with a debt of nearly $13 million and assets of just over $4 million. At one point, Walker had to liquidize assets, like his 2006 championship ring. He was finally cleared of his debt two years later, after his credit cards were cancelled and his bank accounts were frozen.
Now, Walker has a book and documentary coming out next year in which he details his financial trouble and his advice. Walker told Yahoo’s Jeanie Ahn, his no.1 piece of advice for young NBA players:
“Get the word ‘No’ in your vocabulary. You’re going to have to say no to a lot of people that are very important to you. Stick to your financial plan and don’t invest until you’re done with your career when you’re able to be hands-on.”
One of Walker’s biggest mistakes was making real estate investments as a player, when he couldn’t give it his full attention. Despite having a financial advisor, Walker says “being ignorant to a degree and being stubborn” caused him to often make his own decisions, despite his advisor’s recommendations.
Now, Walker lives in a Chicago home with all of his family. He doesn’t own any of the cars, and has to rely on his family for rides or take a cab.
Walker says sharing his lessons of bamkruptcy is no longer embarrassing to him, and he hopes to be a voice of reason to young players.