How Latrell Sprewell’s career torpedoed after declining a $21M NBA contract

Abu Mubarik June 12, 2023
Beyond the court, Sprewell had issues that eventually led to the decline of his career. Photo credit: left and right photos via ballinspree08 (Latrell Sprewell) on Instagram

Latrell Sprewell was one of the highest-earning NBA players in his heyday. Between 1992 to 2005, he reportedly made $100 million in salary. In his active days, Sprewell played for the Golden State Warriors, New York Knicks, and Minnesota Timberwolves; and received four NBA All-Star selections within that period, according to BVM Sports.

Beyond the court, Sprewell had issues that eventually led to the decline of his career. He found himself in physical fights and other controversial comments that saw his value decline over time.

He became the most hated player in the NBA after physically attacking his head coach, P. J. Carlesimo, during a Warriors practice in 1997. Aside from physical assault, he also made questionable decisions that cost him a lot, BVM Sports reported.

At a press conference, he turned down a $21 million contract extension from the Timberwolves in 2004, claiming that the deal was not lucrative enough, and further explained that the offer was not enough to feed him and his family.

Dramatically lifting his youngest child onto the podium, Sprewell queried how he could feed his child if he was not getting a fair market price.

“See this cute little guy? He hasn’t eaten since yesterday, and he won’t eat another bite until I get my fair market value. Do I want him to starve? Of course not. I’m not some kind of ogre. I just want to be treated with respect by the T-Wolves front office,” he noted.

Sprewell wanted twice the offer that was being made to him by the Timberwolves, however, the two parties never saw eye-to-eye until his contract expired. Though given multiple opportunities to move to different teams, the offers he received were also not satisfactory to him. He eventually had no choice but to retire from the NBA in 2006.

He soon faced several challenges after retirement, as he struggled to make the millions he was earning while playing in the NBA. His assets were seized, including a boat and his multi-million dollar home. His wife filed for divorce and was granted custody of their four children by the court.

From earning millions, Sprewell now has only a fraction of it left. In 2021, reports suggested that he even created a GoFundMe page to raise $35K for his granddaughter’s leukemia treatment.

As of the time of this report, Sprewell states on his Instagram profile that he is in community relations with the Knicks and MSG. It is speculated that he has a net worth of $150,000, according to Celebrity Net Worth, however, Face2face Africa cannot confirm this.

Last Edited by:Sandra Appiah Updated: June 13, 2023


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