For Sessions, a new regular feature, ESPN.com's Scoop Jackson sits down with the big names in sports for an in-depth interview about life beyond just the game. In the new documentary film, "Gone In An Instant," Antoine Walker exposes how he went from NBA All-Star and champion to the new poster child of how to lose $100 million. Scoop went to Walker's home in Chicago to talk about the film (which Scoop is in), how difficult it was for Antoine to finally face his truth and how losing everything forced him to discover who his real friends were.
Scoop: Is there a bigger message to this film than what you've been through, than it just being "the story of Antoine Walker?"
Walker: I think the bigger message honestly is that we all as athletes, myself and probably 80 percent of the league, come from the same walks of life. We all come from poor backgrounds, and when we make it, we all have that same mentality of what's important to us once we get our hands on some money. It's crazy, from my generation to the younger generation, we all -- the first thing we want to do is get the big house.
Bill Baptist/Getty ImagesAntoine Walker says young NBA players should be careful of overspending when they get a big payday.
Scoop: Even if it ain't for you!
Walker: Yeah [laugh], we want to get the big car, we want to get the nice watch. So those things are all things that we think about and create into our lifestyle automatically. Things that are very expensive, things that are going to eat up our income right away. We have to change that culture, that way of thinking. We can get those [material] things, but let's build. Let's wait until we have $10 million sitting in the bank before we go out and get a $50,000 or $100,000 watch. When we sign for a million, we don't need a $100,000 watch, but we do it backward. I think my story and this film will show them that, "Yeah, you are going to have access to all of those things, and those things are nice," but one day, it can add up and be very detrimental to you in the end.
Scoop: And you aren't the first person or the last athlete who is going to go through this.
Walker: There's a time and place for it. There's a time period where we all go through this first. We need to save early. It's different now. Contracts are not guaranteed, [NBA players] are only two years in guaranteed money. We're really like football players [without the signing bonuses] until you can get that max deal or that next big deal. And that's for basketball, but what I'm saying is for all sports. Start slow, build before you go out and spend. You can't spend it and get it at the same time. It's tough to do it that way.
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