Ex-NBA star went from $108 million to bankruptcy

Thanks to his on-the-court success, Walker made more money playing the sport he loved than he could even dream of when he grew up in a poor Chicago neighborhood. The economic chaos caused the implosion of Walker Ventures, his Chicago real estate firm.

But first Walker had to figure out how he went from fat NBA paychecks to financial rock bottom.

“I gave them whatever they wanted and spoiled them. Instead of thinking about the future, he spent lavishly on cars, jewelry and homes.

But like many professional athletes who experience a sudden explosion of wealth, it was all gone in an instant. “It ended up being an open ATM throughout my career.”

He also lost large sums of money gambling, although Walker insists this wasn’t the main cause of his financial collapse and that media reports are overblown. He estimates he helped about 30 people move to “better situations.” He gave cash to many of them — often without holding them accountable.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, Walker had unwisely put up his personal financial portfolio as collateral.

As part of his gig with Morgan Stanley, Walker recently spoke to athletes at Boston College and the Seattle Seahawks about his mistakes.

Walker filed for bankruptcy in 2010.

CNNMoney (New York) First published July 24, 2015: 9:29 AM ET

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Before the age of 20, he had won the NCAA basketball championship and was selected by the Boston Celtics as a top pick in the 1996 NBA Draft. Despite pulling down more than $108 million during his career, Walker filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in 2010, just two years after retirement.

“I created a very expensive lifestyle. “Be prepared to use that word a lot,” he said.

Given his humble beginnings, Walker wanted his friends and family to enjoy his riches as well.

Related: Tiger Woods is THE worst highest-paid athlete

Real-life parables: Now that he’s out of bankruptcy, Walker is working to educate future sports stars. He was named to the All-Star team three times and won the top prize in pro basketball with the Miami Heat in 2006. Walker quickly became a basketball superstar.

“I thought I was set for the rest of my life,” Walker told CNNMoney.

Advice for today’s stars: Walker has two simple pieces of advice he hopes the younger generate walks away with.

The hope is that these “real-life parables” from Walker and Scott will educate the younger athletes, Drew Hawkins, head of Morgan Stanley’s global sports and entertainment division, told CNNMoney. “My story is sad. Walker didn’t serve jail time due to a plea agreement, but the former NBA star was ordered to pay off gambling debts. A year later he pleaded guilty to felony bad check charges, according to court filings.

“We got caught in the recession.

Related: Andy Roddick: Safe investments can be sexy

Real estate firm goes bust: The real catalyst, Walker said, was the Great Recession. It went bad.

“These individuals are forced to make decisions as teenagers and these decisions impact them for a long time,” said Hawkins. Walker and former NFL linebacker Bart Scott recently teamed up with Morgan Stanley Global Sports & Entertainment to bring real-life lessons to today’s players. He’s working on “Gone in an Instant,” a documentary about his personal boom-to-bust tale. That’s how you lose your wealth real bad at the beginning,” Walker said. He ended up being forced to pay back about $20 million to banks.

2) Think about the future, not just the here and now.

1) Get the word “no” in your vocabulary when dealing with friends and family. You can’t do that,” Walker said.

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. “You can still enjoy your life to the fullest, but let’s preserve some of that wealth for your kids — and for their kids,” Walker said. It’s sad to see other guys work so hard throughout their life — and then they just lose it in two or three years.”

That’s why Walker, now 38, is now working to steer young athletes away from the mistakes he made.

Related: Ex-NFL star: ‘I had to start over and pick up the pieces’

Cars, jewelry and homes: As with many other sports stars, instant wealth meant instant luxury for Walker. We had a ton of undeveloped real estate. The banks wanted their money back,” he said

Thing’s To Do In Vegas When You’re Wed

A little advice first though; make sure to take a couple of rolls of quarters and some single bills with you, as this will allow you to drink on the cheap. 

There is some fantastic daytime musical entertainment in the casino’s and bars that line the Strip, all of which are free for anyone to go in and watch. And then there are the chapels; hidden among the drive-thru wedding places and chapels that have fat Elvis marry you, there are a few real gems. Sure you may roll snake eyes every once in a while, but there is also the chance that you will find blue eyes that you would be willing to stare into until you draw your last breath.

A lot of huge celebrities visit Vegas regularly, especially on a big fight night, but by day your best chance of cozying up to a star is to get your picture taken with one of the look-a-likes. Folks in Vegas can’t resist a newlywed, and you’ll have no problem talking them down, especially if you gush about how beautiful your new wife is.. If you would like to have a drink while you dance, then hit the nearest slot machine, drop a few quarters, and wait for the waitress to come and take your order. There are Elvis’s everywhere, but keep your eyes peeled and you might just land a cool photo op that will fool your friends.

A Little Romantic TimeVegas by night.

If you are looking for a perfect way to get out of the desert heat for a bit, then it’s fun to explore the inside of the hotels. People tend to think of Las Vegas as a place that comes alive at night, with nothing to do during the daytime but sit and gamble. There are those who would choose to play it safe, and never take the chance at rolling the dice, but where’s the fun in that. This offers a great opportunity for you to test your haggling skills, as most shop owners are more than willing to negotiate a price on anything in their store. That doesn’t mean that the new happy couple should split whatever money they have left and go their own way. Instead, I recommend finding a slot machine game that is fun (Monopoly is my personal favorite) and then sitting side by side and playing together. 

The Vegas Strip looks totally different without the neon glow, but if you take your time to stroll up and down the street, you can see a lot of things you would otherwise miss at night. If you are looking to save time as well as money, then try to locate a chapel that is close to city hall, as you will have to take care of all your marriage licenses and paperwork, then drop it off at the chapel. Vegas vacation packages tend to either run from Thursday to Sunday or Monday to Thursday, with the latter costing much less. Gambling is a lot like love; you can’t win if you don’t take a chance.

A newlyweds guide to Sin City.

Las Vegas is a city that’s not exactly known for its romantic side, yet hundreds of thousands of people flock there very year to tie the knot. It’s amazing what you can find, and maybe you’ll even be lucky enough to find a great, affordable piece of art that looks just like your new bride. There are a lot of unique stores located inside the Las Vegas hotels, and they never ever seem to be crowded. It’s best to get down there a day or two in advance so that you don’t have to stress about it on your big day.

A Little Fun After The Wedding.Eat, drink & hang with the stars.

If you are heading to Vegas with the sole purpose of getting married, then you are missing out on a great opportunity to have some fun. That perception is generally spoken by people who have never been, or whom partied a little too hard at night and missed everything that the daylight hours had to offer.

It’s always best to wait until the last night to have some gambling fun, as you know exactly how much money you have left at that point, and it’s wise to never bet more than you can afford to lose. The hotel is beautiful in itself, but when the music starts to play, and the water starts to dance, it becomes a moment that truly encapsulates the romance of Vegas, and perhaps explains why so many are drawn there to wed.

A Little Gambling AdviceSave it till the end.

Heading to Las Vegas to get married is a wholly different proposition than going there with a bunch of the boys, or girls, and the goal becomes avoiding trouble rather than seeking it out. Best of all, they will put together a package that includes flowers, video, photos, a limo ride to and from your hotel, and even a live internet feed so that family can watch, no matter where in the world they are located. If you are not dead set on a weekend wedding, then you can save some money tight of the bat. Las Vegas hotels will up their rates for the weekend, which means that you can get a great hotel like the Luxor at an incredible price if you are willing to forego the weekend.

The magic of Las Vegas truly is at night though, and if you want a special moment with your loved one, where you can seem to feel as though you are the only people there, despite being surrounded by a throng of tourists, then I suggest the water show at the Bellagio Hotel. Booze is free as long as you are gambling, but be sure to give the girl a tip when she brings it. The show runs every 15 or 20 minutes, and the key is to get there early so that you can get a spot near the front. I understand that doesn’t necessarily make it free, but it’s a lot less than you would pay at the casino bar.

The same rules apply for flights, and a Monday departure will not come anywhere near as expensive as a Friday or Saturday flight. That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t enjoy some of the city’s sins, and the easiest way to do that is with a spot of gambling. Many of them have really cool little features inside, such as gondola rides at The Venetian, and an indoor thunderstorm at Planet Hollywood, but it’s actually fun to just take a peek into some of the shops. It may seem odd that a city that sells itself on sin should open its arms to those looking to make an honest woman out the one they love, yet they keep on coming, and when you really think about it, getting hitched in Vegas isn’t such a crazy idea.

A Wedding & Honeymoon All In One

Las Vegas is actually a great place to get married for the couple who are on something of a tight budget

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