Antoine Walker has certainly seen better days. He’s magically misplaced his $110 million earnings and battles with over $4 million debt. Recently, the Chicago Tribune reported that Walker’s two real estate companies held numerous properties with slum conditions. These dilapidated buildings caused their tenants sicknesses while some had to move out since it was so bad. The city has issued summons to Walker to take responsibility for the situation.
The whole thing sounds like a big fiasco. Real estate can be a smart move. However, it sounds as if Walker had the right intentions, but he didn’t have the knowledge to execute things properly. We saw a few red flags about the situation in an article by the Chicago Tribune:
In Friday’s interview, Walker said his intention was to start a real estate venture that would help him ease into post-NBA retirement. He chose to focus on his native South Side community, he said, out of hope that he could help revive some long-struggling neighborhoods.
“I wanted to be part of restoring the neighborhood. I’ve always been passionate about the South Side,” he said, expressing regret that he did not wait to invest until after he retired and “had more time to be directly involved in the company.”
Walker has left day-to-day operations of Walker Ventures to one of the company’s two other members, Frederick G. Billings, 44, who Walker said had been a friend for 18 years.
Billings, who has owned construction and tax consultant companies, is out on bond after being arrested in March on charges of running a mortgage scam in Chicago that netted him more than $700,000 in illegal loans, court records show.
As part of that case, he faces felony counts of fraud, forgery and theft, and in another case, he is accused of fraudulently collecting $10,000 in federally subsidized rent payments, though those actions are not connected to Walker Ventures or AW Realty.
Antoine Walker has had to learn things the hard way, as he has definitely made a lot of unwise decisions along the way. We’ll highlight the ones we deem most important:
1. Education: You NEVER go into any business/investment without learning the rules of the trade. Otherwise, you’re just asking for trouble. If you don’t understand the business, you should seek the services or counsel of professionals in the business. As a famous athlete, there’s no excuse, because you had access to the best of the best resources.
2. Giving Your Boys Control: There should be a thick line between friendships and business relationships. Just because you believe your friend to be the best friend in the world (which he wasn’t because he ruined your real estate companies and left you hanging), that doesn’t qualify someone to run your business endeavors. It turns out that bringing in your friend was the worst decision ever.
3. Taking Responsibility: Once again, you should never allocate your personal responsibilities over to someone else. If your businesses are in your name, then it is your reputation on the line. You should always take a look at what’s going on underneath your name. If you don’t have the time, then don’t bother getting into business.
4. Clean Up Your Mess: Antoine has altered a lot of tenants’ lives by neglecting the properties he willingly bought. He shouldn’t rest peacefully until he’s resolved the lawsuits against him, relocated people to better housing, and repaid his debts. This way, he could learn first-hand the devastation his mistakes caused people.
Antoine, you too have flunked for the year 2009. We’ve read that you’re trying to sign with another team probably in hopes of a big fat check to clear yourself of the debts owed. However, you’ve got a bigger lesson to learn called responsibility. Whether you’re lucky enough to get another contract, we don’t know. What we do know is that you need to cut back on your lifestyle and gambling. Your life as it is just isn’t sustainable. Furthermore, take your current situation of unemployment to EDUCATE yourself on investing and volunteer at homeless shelters. These actions will empower you and possibly keep you from repeating these horrible mistakes in the years to come.
*Image courtesy of the Boston Celtics.
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