While not quite as staggering as the NFL's 78% bankruptcy rate among ex-players within two years of retirement, Christian Laettner is trying to avoid meeting the NBA benchmark of 60% of ex-players winding up penniless within 5 years of retirement. Laettner, who retired after the 2004-5 season, went into business with former Duke teammate Brian Davis and embarked on a series of real estate development projects whenever and wherever there was somebody foolish enough to lend to them. Now Laettner and Davis (who used to dream about being "the black [Donald] Trump") are being sued for $6 million by lenders and former associates for a variety of payments that slipped their mind.
Among the duo's accomplishments that must make Coach K beam with pride are failure to pay a $1.5 million loan from Chevron, not abiding by the terms of a $3 million loan from a company Shawne Merriman runs, and failing to pay close to $700k to an ex-Lehman guy who left LEH to join their Ball Street Ventures development company. But the black Donald wants people to know that all those unpaid loans are simply labors of love for him and Christian.
"We actually have said 'no' to a lot of things. But we've said 'yes' to things that we love. And we're going to continue doing that. The lesson is, 'keep it simple, and just work.'"
Laettner might as well start filing the Chapter 13 papers now.
Business lawsuits vex ex-hoops stars [Charlotte Observer]