Since the advent of free agency, professional sports stars have been handed bundles cash for their performances on the field.
And just like hitting the lottery or any other financial windfall, the money attracts people looking to help the new millionaire spend it. Unfortunately, not all of those people have the athlete’s best interest at heart.
Former journeyman infielder Julio Lugo recently made news by being swindled out of roughly $1.2 million dollars.
Football star Dwight Freeny was allegedly relieved of $2.2 million by his financial advisor.
These kinds of stories are almost endless. Whether it’s Pete Rose pimping himself out to make ends meet, or Ryan Leaf allegedly burglarizing houses for prescription drugs, we’re constantly inundated with stories of millionaire sports stars wasting the kinds of money most of us can only imagine.
By contrast, NBA Hall of Famer Magic Johnson now owns a large stake of the Los Angeles Dodgers organization.
So what’s the difference?
Fellow NBA Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar recently profiled Magic’s financial success while relating a few stories of his own financial ups and downs. The difference between the Magic’s and the dozens of now broke former stars is sound financial advice and money management.
If professional sports leagues and players unions learn nothing else from the swindling of Lugo, Freeny or all the others, it should be to get these guys financial advisors that will help them become the next Magic Johnson in the financial sector even if they can’t match his performance on the court.