For a young black athlete, hearing horror stories about what can happen if you blow through your million-dollar salary will probably resonate a lot better if the person dishing out the financial advice can attest to that reality firsthand.
That's what the executives over at Morgan Stanley were probably thinking when they hired Antoine Walker, a former NBA player for the Miami Heat and Boston Celtics, to work as a consultant in their new Global Sports and Entertainment division, Inc. reports.
And boy, can Walker school these young whippersnappers about the perils of blowing their cash on jewelry, cars, mansions, groupies and horrible investments that "friends," distant cousins and piss-poor financial advisers pitch. According to Inc., Walker made and lost $108 million during his career as a professional athlete.
In 2010 he declared bankruptcy.
He's not the only one. Many young black athletes don't fare very well in the money department once their sports careers end. It's not entirely their fault: Many of them don't come from money, so they often don't know how to manage it when they do get it. They often feel obligated to take care of their family and friends, oftentimes doing much more than they can afford.
Walker once told CNN Money that he couldn't say no to the 30 or so people who were close to him.
"I gave them whatever they wanted and spoiled them. You can't do that. It ended up being an open ATM throughout my career," Walker explained.
That's why it'll be such a jarring wake-up call when Walker—as well as former NFL star Bart Scott—is sitting across from young athletes and encouraging them to put away some money and make conservative decisions with their millions. Morgan Stanley got it right with these hires.
Diana Ozemebhoya Eromosele is a staff writer at The Root and the founder and executive producer of Lectures to Beats, a Web series that features expert advice with scarily insightful people. Follow Lectures to Beats on Facebook and Twitter.