He has lived a lavish lifestyle which can be considered envious to many who have been profiled by Robin Leach. Over a thirteen year career he became one of the more recognizable figures on the game. His play elevated him to an All Star level and he reached the NBA’s highest achievement. But, Antoine Walker just cannot seem to catch a break anymore. His personal life, style, flash, and money issues are more similar to that of MC Hammer than to that of most former NBA players. Walker’s signature shuffle only draws further comparisons to Hammer. However, Walker has absolutely no reason for a celebratory dance right now, and he hasn’t for some time. His lifestyle has finally begun to catch-up with him. Rampant gambling, women, fast living, and an uncontrollable taste for the finer things in life usually do. Currently, he is at his lowest point (or at least very close to it) and the list of problems keeps growing longer. He has been robbed at gunpoint for his Rolex, he had a DUI, he had millions of dollars in bounced checks to three different casino in Las Vegas, his investment properties have crumbled and dramatically lost value, he has put Miami home (worth $3.1 million) up for sale, his $4.1 million Chicago condo is also for sale, he has monthly alimony payments to two women totaling $7000. Ouch, ‘Toine, ouch. That fall from the top must smart.
Walker is now playing in Puerto Rico for the Guaynabo Mets trying to make his way back to some semblance of financial responsibility and a normal life. That is, of course, if a person who lived the life that he led could ever have what can be considered a normal life. His salary with the Mets, however, is not guaranteed and the Mets win about as much as their New York namesakes who play baseball. Ouch, ‘Toine, ouch. This isn’t really the best way to revive a career and pay down debts but it is a start.
With Walker’s downward spiral seeming only to be accelerating, I figured that I could suggest a few things at could help him make some spare change here and there which could help pay off all those debtors that keep knocking on this door. Help is on the way!
- Sell your NBA championship ring. You didn’t deserve it. Your team didn’t deserve it, the refs handed you the series. Everyone knows that. Can you actually cling to a memory and championship that was rigged? Hey, if O.J. had to give up his Heisman then you have no reason to hold onto that ring. What you need now is cash not a tainted ring.
- Become and aerobics/jazzercise instructor. The patented Walker shimmy shake and shuffle is famous and I’m sure it burns a few calories. This is the easiest way to recoup some of your money. All this would take is a little more input and steps and you could have the most popular workout since the Pilates craze swept the paid programming airwaves.
- Along the same lines as the above suggestion, you could become a dance choreographer. Just think, you turn on MTV (maybe they won’t be showing the Hills) and you see the new Beyonce and Lady Gaga collaboration video and they are both doing your signature shuffle while wearing outrageous clothes. The dance would sweep the nation with those two powerhouse pop icons performing it. Ca-ching!
- Dancing with the Stars. This is the most obvious choice for you. Your dancing prowess is legendary throughout the NBA. I bet Shaq stole your idea and moves when he entered the All Star game with the Jabbawockeez in 2009. Plus, when you think about it what other celebrity reality show would really suit you? The Surreal Life? I don’t think so. You were never a child star befallen with drug and alcohol problems later in life. The Celebrity Apprentice? Ha, yeah right! All your personal finance issues don’t bode well for you on this show. You’re fired. The Biggest Loser? Well, you could stand to lose a few pounds (you could have stood to lose a few while you played in the NBA too) but I’m not really sure if the name of the show is good for your image. It doesn’t have a good ring to it especially considering your circumstances.
- Team up with J.J. Redick and make a new instructional video for Better Basketball. This time the video will be an instructional three-point shooting demonstration. Redick will show viewers the proper form and procedures for becoming a successful shooter from downtown. Your role in the video will be to demonstrate how not to shoot the three ball. This would be perfect for you. You wouldn’t have to work on your shot at all, just stand in the corner and throw ‘em up. Boom, easy paycheck.
- Become a valet at an upscale restaurant or club. The pay might not be a fraction of what you used to make in the NBA but look what you did with that money. Base salary aside, the tips should be pretty generous. We both know that the real perk to this job, for you, would be getting to drive all the cars you previously owned. Now, don’t get misty eyed and nostalgic for days, and cars, gone by; you have a job to do.
Hopefully these suggestions will help you turn your money problems around and get you back on your feet. The last thing this country needs is another story of a wealthy athlete squandering their fortune for no reason other than to support an unrealistic lifestyle. That’s been played out, both in sports and in the corporate and financial world. I’m pulling for you, ‘Toine. May your future someday be filled once again with champagne wishes and caviar dreams.