Latrell Sprewell averaged 18 points per game and played in four All-Star Games during an NBA career that spanned 13 seasons.
But when you think about Sprewell these days, you are likely to remember three things:
1) That he choked head coach P.J. Carlesimo during a practice with Golden State in 1997.
2) That the Timberwolves were talking to Sprewell about an extension on the eve of the 2004-05 season. He didn't think it was enough money, and he said: "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 2004-05 (and every year since). Sprewell, meanwhile, never played another minute in the NBA after that season.
3) That although he made close to $100 million in salary during his NBA career, he wound up essentially broke years after he played his last game. A report from 2015 indicated that Sprewell had roughly $50,000 to his name.
That seems to be a rough trifecta from which to gain redemption, but we are a nation of second, third and fourth chances. And it has been proven time and time again: If a person is willing to have a dose of humility and even self-deprecating humor about his or her circumstances, the chances are even better.
That seems to be Sprewell's most recent play. When it comes to the poor choices that an athlete can make, Sprewell is the poster child. 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.
In the spot for Priceline.com, a father books a hotel in San Antonio so he can take his daughter to a Spurs game. While there, they get to meet Spurs legend David Robinson, who gives her the advice that the key to success is "hard work and a great attitude."
The scene then shifts to what would have happened if they didn't take the trip: They watch the same game at a restaurant and encounter Sprewell. He tells the little girl: "Success is just failure that hasn't happened yet."
Life advice from Sprewell. When all the crying is done, laughs will work just fine.