San Antonio Spurs are one of eight NBA teams to never have a player file for bankruptcy

Bankruptcy rate among professional basketball players is six times higher than regular US population, report says

San Antonio Spurs guard Manu Ginobili (20), of Argentina, talks to Spurs guard Tony Parker, right, of France, and Spurs forward Tim Duncan during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Atlanta Hawks, Saturday, Nov. 28, 2015, in San Antonio. San Antonio won 108-88. (AP Photo/Darren Abate)

SAN ANTONIO – NBA players may accumulate vast amounts of wealth over their playing careers but that doesn’t make them immune to poor financial choices.

A report recently released analyzed the names of drafted players from 1970 onwards against available records and cross-checked lists to find NBA players known to have experienced financial challenges.

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While many notable professional basketball players have seen their finances disappear after their careers are over, the San Antonio Spurs are one of only a handful of NBA franchises that have not yet had a former player file for bankruptcy, according to the website Oddspedia.

Oddspedia found that the personal bankruptcy rate among professional basketball players is 1.2%, or six times higher than that of the regular U.S. population. On average, an NBA player’s bankruptcy occurs within seven years of retirement.

The website said that the NBA teams who have produced the most bankrupt players include the Boston Celtics, Brooklyn Nets, and Chicago Bulls. The Spurs are among a group that includes the Memphis Grizzlies, Indiana Pacers, Orlando Magic, Phoenix Suns, New Orleans Pelicans, Toronto Raptors and Utah Jazz who have never had anyone file for bankruptcy.

Some former recognizable players who have filed for bankruptcy include former greats Allen Iverson and Scottie Pippen, along with other high-level players like Latrell Sprewell, Antoine Walker, Vin Baker and Gilbert Arenas.

Iverson, a former NBA MVP and 11-time All-Star most notably with the Philadelphia 76ers, made $154 million during his playing career but had to file for bankruptcy one year before he even finished playing, according to Oddspedia. Scottie Pippen, who won six NBA titles with the Bulls, also had to file for bankruptcy before his career ended. Oddspedia said he made $110 million during his NBA career as a seven-time NBA All-Star.

San Antonio Spurs players, however, have been a little more fortunate.

Back in 2018, retired San Antonio Spurs great Tim Duncan settled his lawsuits against his former financial adviser, getting back $7.5 million that the adviser defrauded the NBA legend.

The Oddspedia report also said that players often leave college early without completing a college degree, leaving them fewer employment options if they lose their NBA earnings.

About the Author

Ben Spicer is a digital journalist who works the early morning shift for KSAT.

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