Latrell Sprewell made close to $100 million in his NBA career, according to his cumulative salary page on Basketball Reference.
The last of that money was made in the 2004-05 season. On the eve of that year, the Wolves were talking to Sprewell about a contract extension. He didn’t think it was enough money, and he infamously uttered this quote: “Why would I want to help them win a title? They’re not doing anything for me. I’m at risk. I have a lot of risk here. I got my family to feed. Anything could happen.”
He played out the year with the Wolves — a disastrous one in which Minnesota went from the Western Conference Finals the year before to firing Flip Saunders and missing the playoffs in 04-05 (never to return to the postseason since).
And Sprewell? Well, things went downhill for him as well. He never played another NBA game after that season. He lost his yacht. He lost homes. It was reported in 2015 that he had roughly $50,000 to his name and was living in “a modest rental.”
When it comes to the poor choices — at least financial — that an athlete can make, Sprewell is the poster child.
And he knows it — and isn’t afraid to make fun of it.
At least that’s how it appears based on a new Priceline.com commercial set to debut over the NBA All-Star weekend. In it, Sprewell pokes fun at his own history of bad choices. Whether motivated by self-awareness, the need for a paycheck or a little bit of both, Sprewell’s turn is quite funny. (Still image at the top of the page and video via Priceline.com).
His key line: “Success is just failure that hasn’t happened yet.”