Spree's road to financial recovery starts here   

Updated: May 14, 2008

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Latrell Sprewell's suburban Milwaukee home was foreclosed on Monday in what is just the latest financial setback for the former NBA star.

His yacht has been repossessed.

He owes more than $72,000 in unpaid taxes.

Latrell Sprewell

AP Photo/Ann Heisenfelt

Latrell Sprewell has more reasons than ever to grimace these days.

And his company, Sprewell Motorsports, hasn't paid its credit card bills since September.

In an attempt to help the embattled strangler, I would like to offer Mr. Sprewell these 10 tips for recovering his financial freedom. (If this were four years ago and that contract offer from the Timberwolves were still on the table, I would have had only one tip -- "accept it" -- but now things are a bit more complicated.)

1. Dig up that disrespectful contract offer
You remember -- the one in which the Timberwolves offered you $21 million for three years? The one you turned down, never to play in the NBA again? Yeah, that one. Find it. Find as many copies as you can. Yes, the very contract you found insulting is now important to your survival. You must burn its pages to keep warm during those cold Wisconsin nights.

2. Make use of your old basketball shoes
You once had a lucrative shoe contract with Converse. Lucky for you, they were modern leather sneakers and not the old canvas Chuck Taylors. Why is that lucky? Because leather provides far more nutrition when eaten than does canvas.

Try this Leather Shoe Soup recipe:

1 part leather shoe (remove the rubber sole and set aside)
3 cups water (if water is too expensive, simply capture all the sweat you produce when creditors call)
A dash of salt (dried flop sweat works)

Boil until the leather is tender like a soft neck. Use the sole as a ladle.

3. Strangle wild game
It is not possible to survive on Leather Shoe Soup alone. Thankfully, you have an applicable life skill other than basketball: strangling! But considering you were unable to kill large game like P.J. Carlesimo, avoid targeting deer, bears and the like. Focus your energies on small creatures such as squirrels and rabbits. You will find their throats easily crushed. Be sure to eat them quickly, however. If they spoil and you get sick, you will not be able to afford your medical bills.

Latrell Sprewell

Rocky Widner/NBAE/Getty Images

Hmmm. Maybe I could've fed my family on $21 million after all.

4. Embrace being a cautionary tale
You are the athlete poster child for poor financial decision-making. Go with it. Speak to NBA teams and young athletes in every sport about how they need to set money aside for the future. Have them set the money aside. Then grab it and run.

5. Ask old teammates for help
Your career spanned 13 years and three franchises. You played with some great players. And many of those players -- guys like Chris Webber and Allan Houston -- managed their money well and could give you advice. Or just follow ex-Knicks teammate Patrick Ewing around and pick up all the singles he drops.

6. Seek re-employment in the league
You are broke. You haven't played in three years. And you'll turn 38 this year. It might be time to swallow your pride and take whatever some NBA team offers. Isiah Thomas is no longer around to offer you twice what Minnesota did four years ago. But there are still many general managers in the NBA who are nearly as incompetent at their jobs as you are at managing your finances. Seek them out.

7. Hire Keith Van Horn's agent
Some people have figured out how to make millions of dollars while not playing in the NBA.

8. Think back on the good old days
It's not all bad. You still have your health. And you have many great memories from your career to distract you from the gnawing hunger pains. Remember when you led the Knicks to the 1999 NBA Finals? Remember making your first All-Star Game in 1994? Remember going off on Carlesimo when he asked you to "put a little mustard" on a pass? Mmmmm … mustard.

9. Buy Milwaukee's Best
No, not the 70-foot, $1.5 million Italian yacht you named Milwaukee's Best that was repossessed last year. The beer. It's really, really, really, really cheap. And if you drink enough of it, you might briefly forget the situation you are in.

10. Feed your family
Remember: Their health and wellness is the most important thing. So whatever food you do have should go to them. That way, they'll stay plump and juicy for you to eat if things get worse.

DJ Gallo is the founder and sole writer of the sports satire site SportsPickle.com. He is also a regular contributor to ESPN The Magazine and has written for The Onion and Cracked. His first book: "SportsPickle Presents: The View from the Upper Deck": is on sale now.


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