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For Pro Athletes, Money Can Be Easy Come, Easy Go

Times have changed. And yet, they remain the same.

As the No. 1 pick in last year’s NBA draft, Ben Simmons will earn an average annual salary of approximately $6 million — double that earned by David Robinson, the first player drafted in 1987, the year I was selected by the Cleveland Cavaliers.

At last look, an estimated 60 percent of former NBA players go broke within five years of departing the league. And by no means are these financial problems confined to the NBA. A reported 78 percent of former NFL players have gone bankrupt or are under financial stress just two years after retirement.

As the salaries of professional athletes across all sports grow larger, so too does the number of individuals seeking to prey on their successes and wealth. The reality is, they’re targets the day they sign those contracts.

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