Saturday, February 16, 2008

Basketball Star Got Bankrupt

In one of the forums that I frequently trade discussion with, a question was raised by one member why a great (really great) segment of the Philippines is poor. Answers flooded but most of us ended up with a consensus that attitude (towards life, future, money, family, etc) is the main culprit caused even more by financial illiteracy. These are the people who have the one-day-millionaire attitude. Don’t worry about tomorrow, what is important is that we are full today. When these people have money, they buy signature clothes, different gadgets, the latest of mobile phones, appliances, go vacation, treat their friends, give money to their relatives, buy cars and so on and so forth, just so many for me to enumerate.

This is not only the case with people who were born poor and die poor, even passing their torch of poverty to their next generation; this is even truer to people who were poor and got rich but ended up once again to where they came from.

I have an Uncle who earns really big bucks as a captain of an international sea vessel. However, his wife is a spender. Whatever new things she sees in the mall or in her neighbors’, she will immediately buy. She does not mind how much; her trade mark is, name the price. When my Uncle stopped from his job because of illness which stopped him from continuing his work, their finances went down in a spiral. And to make the long story short, my Uncle ended up homeless. (A submissive jobless man to a domineering and materialistic wife is useless).

A very timely news popped up also in relation to this worth reading about the once great NBA player Latrell Sprewell whose ego has become bigger than his head.

“Former professional basketball star Latrell Sprewell, who three years ago rejected a $21 million contract offer, calling it insulting and saying he had a family to feed, had his 70-foot, $1.5 million, Italian-built yacht repossessed Tuesday.
Armed with an order from U.S. Magistrate Judge William E. Callahan Jr., a federal marshal seized the vessel in Manitowoc, where it sat in storage.

Callahan is presiding in a court case filed by a New York bank that claims the yacht's owner, a company run by Sprewell, has defaulted on a mortgage loan.
The firm, LSF Marine Holdings, hasn't made monthly payments of $10,322 on time and hasn't maintained the necessary insurance on the vessel, North Fork Bank alleges.
It wants the yacht, "Milwaukee's Best," sold to pay off the $1.3 million it says is remaining on the loan. Sprewell has guaranteed the loan personally, a contract filed with the court shows. He could not be reached for comment on the repossession.

A Milwaukee native, Sprewell, 36, played for 13 years in the NBA. He was known for a slashing style, steely intensity and a fierceness that sometimes got him in trouble - most notably when he was suspended during the 1997-'98 season for choking his coach.
Sprewell last played in 2004-'05 for the Minnesota Timberwolves. At the beginning of that season, he spurned the team's offer of a three-year, $21 million contract extension.

In the midst of Sprewell's acrimonious negotiations with the club, a reporter with the Star Tribune in Minneapolis asked him if he would be interested in playing out the final year on his existing contract, trying to win a title and then becoming a free agent.

"Why would I want to help them win a title?" the paper quoted Sprewell as saying. "They're not doing anything for me. I'm at risk. I have a lot of risk here. I got my family to feed. Anything could happen."

That sealed the end of his career with the Timberwolves, prompted a rebuke from NBA Commissioner David Stern and made Sprewell a symbol of fans' frustration with highly paid athletes divorced from everyday economic realities.
The four-time all-star played out the season, earning a reported $14.6 million, but hasn't returned to the league.

Sprewell's boat was built in 2001 by Italian firm Azimut-Benetti, a world leader in crafting so-called mega-yachts - ships that, at roughly 80 feet and up in length, can dwarf even "Milwaukee's Best." Documents filed in court indicate Sprewell bought the boat in 2003.

Sprewell, who owns a home in River Hills and has moored his yacht here, had to have the vessel freed by a tugboat last summer after running aground near Atwater Beach. He also has popped into the news at other times while afloat, including an occasion off Milwaukee in which he broke a hand about a month before the 2002-'03 season.” (news courtesy of

What a waste! Indeed the ball is round; sometimes you are on top, sometimes you are down. And he forgot that only a basketball can be dribbled well if filled with air. A basketball player filled with air sucks! Airhead!

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