Former NBA Player Josh Childress Explains Why So Many Athletes Go Broke

Why do athletes go broke? Is it the lavish spending? Is it unsound financial advice? Is it family and friends running their bank accounts dry? Former NBA player Josh Childress says it’s a combination of all those things.

In an interview with Grit Media, Childress details some of the things that NBA players go through when signing a contract. In 2004, the 21-year-old was the sixth pick in the draft, and he signed a four-year, $11 million deal with the Hawks.

“That million-dollar house you bought, that just got very expensive.”
“Most of the guys buy their mother a house or a car.”
“Veterans spend more than others. If those are the guys taking you under their wing, that’s what you get used to.”

The interview comes on the heels of a column in the Wall Street Journal about bankruptcy among NFL players. According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, “15.7 percent of players file for bankruptcy within 12 years of retiring from the league, with little difference based on career length or earnings.”

It’s a serious subject and one that doesn’t get touched on enough. Kudos to Childress for being honest about it.