Monday, March 22, 2010

How Winners Lose...

I'm not going to bother with a self-righteous rant about personal and fiscal responsibility, and how pro athletes who live the lifestyle of the rich and famous should know better than to blow through their fortunes shortly after they leave their respective sport. I will post this video so that everyone can just see it. I don't pity Antoine Walker but I won't get on his ass either because it's not completely his fault. He had plenty of help getting to where he is right now, which is playing in the Puerto Rican League for peanuts on a non-guaranteed contract.

The point is his family, friends and business associates must share the blame. Young black men who have the opportunity to make money as professional athletes are targets everywhere they turn. From prostitutes/groupies posing as girlfriends to con artists posing as businessmen to their own network of parasitic friends and family. The pressure to give in and let everyone eat off what they make is enormous. No one can judge unless they've been there.

I find it hilarious how people get on their soapboxes and start talking about what they would do if they had such-and-such amount of money and how they would tell everyone of their friends and relatives "NO". Yeah right. Funny how fast typical losers who make shit money, live paycheck to paycheck and have nothing to show for the little money they DO make suddenly morph into E.F. Hutton when the thought of handling big money pops into their heads.

I know the ghetto mentality and how dysfunctional, poor people think. They live in a universe devoid of practicality, manners, common sense and impulse control. There are three ways these type of poor people believe they'll come into some life-altering money, and not one involves getting an education and establishing a white collar career for themselves or their children. Here is the list-

1) Hustling-involvement in some type of illegal activity that will net a windfall of loot in a short span of time, because their attitude is if they can't have it right away they don't want it. The short-sightedness boggles the mind when you think that living big for some of these cats involves having a $75,000 car parked in front of the projects and enough money to buy everyone orders of General Tso's chicken to be washed down with a cold, refreshing malt liquor of their choice...

...and don't forget the obligatory Blunts!!!

2) The lottery. Go into any poor, urban neighborhood on lottery day. These people have their sets of numbers and lottery tickets organized in little books, and they spend big money in a futile attempt to hit that imaginary jackpot so they can build a mansion and retire in the same piece-of-shit, crackpot third world country from whence they slithered out of. Suddenly the shit hole country they were so desperate to leave, the one they vowed never to return to, turns into paradise when the thought of lying on the beach with a cold beer in one hand and an underage prostitute in the other without a care in the world becomes a possibility, regardless of how remote.

3) Lawsuit settlement against the city/state. Example-some idiot who works parking cars in a municipal lot has a child who was in an accident where the opportunity to sue the city presented itself, and next thing you know when the kid turns 18 he becomes Mr. Moneybags. All of his relatives line up and treat him nice just so they can hopefully get a check to open up that bakery, hair salon or just to buy brand a new car so they can finally floss like big-time ballers in their impoverished neighborhoods.

Back to Antoine Walker. Suffice it to say that surrounding oneself with broke, jive-ass leeches from the old neighborhood and comping their lifestyles to match that of yours is something that is fiercely ingrained into many athletes who come from such backgrounds. The ghetto pounds it into their heads that they somehow owe the people and community they grew up in something when they turn pro at their chosen sport. It's part of the "Keepin' It Real" mantra that is espoused by people who have no idea what it really means. Being down-to-Earth and humble is one thing. Having to constantly prove this with misguided loyalty to a bunch of lowlife ghetto sea urchins is another. And to think a few short years ago, this was him celebrating a World Championship with the Miami Heat-

Some of these characters, the ones so many athletes surround themselves with as part of their "posses", are lazy, shiftless bums who don't want anything unless someone is giving it to them. And as in Antoine Walker's case, they soon disappear once the money dries up. This man generated tons of cash in his career, enough to make a difference in the lives of his children and their children.

It's called "Generational Wealth", wealth that if invested wisely is enough to break the cycle of poverty so many of these athletes come from. I know how hard it is for a fact. How in a dingy, typical inner-city apartment you can have three generations of the same family all living not with each other, but on top of one another. The dysfunction breeds like a fungus, infecting and polluting even the most well-intentioned person who wants to work hard towards a better future. This stranglehold is so powerful, toxic and detrimental it's a marvel that anyone makes it out in one piece. I'll give it to anyone who comes from such a negative and deprived atmosphere and manages to make something of themselves. Under such circumstances even getting a job at the Post Office could be seen as a victory few cam claim, and definitely nothing to scoff at. Fuckin' A you gotta start somewhere.

Antoine Walker is not the first nor will he be the last pro athlete to lose his money with the help of unscrupulous business associates, parasitic friends and opportunistic family members who shame these guys into giving them things just because they are blood relatives. It is a symptom of a sick and twisted mindset that exists everywhere, but nowhere does it hurt more than when the athlete is from a deprived background.

As for their "posses", these same moochers are the ones who not only help pro athletes spend and lose their money on stupid shit like cars with hooked-up stereos and spinning rims, but many times ruin their careers by advocating a lifestyle detrimental to their athletic success. No way Antoine Walker is out of the league at the age of 33 if he had people around him helping him stay in shape and working on his game. These enablers are too busy blowing smoke up these athlete's behinds, telling them that once they sign that long-term contract their work is done, when the reality is it's only just begun.

Yes, Antoine-I'd look sad too if I were you right about now.

Antoine Walker is said to have had somewhere in the realm of 50-70 friends, family members and assorted hoochies on his payroll at any given time during the course of his career. Apart from the egregious and obscene amounts spent on gambling, cars, trips, parties and houses this is what really broke his back financially.

So for all you pro athletes out there who don't have a clue, a posse should look like this...

...NOT like this.

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