Learn from my mistakes, says Andre Rison
By GARY PETERSON | The Mercury News | Published: May 7, 2018
SAN JOSE, Calif. (Tribune News Service) — For my money, Andre Rison’s finest hour as a Raider came in an impromptu chat at his locker in the team’s training facility.
“I always liked the Raiders,” he said. “Whenever we played Nintendo, I was the Raiders. I always wanted to be the quarterback — what’s his name? — Harmonica.”
Kinda/sorta rhymes with Lamonica.
Oakland was Rison’s final stop in a 12-year pro career. It’s where he cashed the final $440,000 of the (reported) $20 million he earned from the NFL (give or take a Lamborghini). Now, at 51, and with an estimated net worth of $50,000, he aspires to a more altruistic finest hour: According to TMZ Sports, Rison wants young athletes to learn from his mistakes.
What mistakes, you ask?
“I guarantee you, I spent a million dollars on jewelry,” Rison said on the ESPN 30 For 30 documentary “Broke.” “Chains, crosses, you name it. How much is that one? It doesn’t matter, just get it.”
Then there was the time that his girlfriend, the late rapper Lisa (Left Eye) Lopes torched his Atlanta mansion.
Ignorance came at a steep price. “The first time I got my check and I saw there was a big chunk taken out of it, I went (to the team office) and that’s when I found out about taxes and everything,” Rison said.
The $300,000 in back child support? Ouch.
Thing is, Rison is just one cautionary tale among many. Here are five for-instance examples of the genre:
1. Former Cleveland Browns quarterback Bernie Kosar blew through the $19 million he earned from the NFL. Receiving bad advice was part of the problem for Kosar, according to complex.com. So were the 60 cell phone bills he paid for others.
2. Former Warriors guard Latrell “I’ve gotta feed my family” Sprewell earned an estimated $100 million during his NBA career. Per compex.com, that didn’t save him from having his $1.5 million yacht seized by U.S. Marshals.
3. Former outfielder Torii Hunter isn’t destitute, but you can bet he’d like to have back the $70,000 he invested in a company that produced large rafts that sit under furniture and can be inflated in the event of a flood. The company asked Hunter for an additional $500,000, according to GQ, but Hunter refused.
4. According to Sports Illustrated, former Carolina Panthers receiver Muhsin Muhammad formed an entertainment company. When it was sued by Wachovia Bank for overdue credit card payments he was forced to put his mansion up for sale on eBay.
5. Also from SI, Hall of Fame quarterback Johnny Unitas found himself $3.5 million in debt long after his playing days were over. He cited failed investments in an air freight company, a prime rib restaurant, and an electronics company. In addition to that, a friend of Johnny U’s said, “He had faith in his fellow man and a tendency to trust people until he found out he shouldn’t.”
Which brings us back to Rison.
“Remain loyal to the people that helped you get to that point, no doubt,” he told TMZ. “But you don’t owe anything to anybody, really.”
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