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Latrell Sprewell is a cautionary NBA tale; where is he now?
Golden State Warriors forward Latrell Sprewell in action against Chicago Bulls guard Michael Jordan. (Credit: Photo By USA TODAY Sports (c) Copyright 1996 USA TODAY Sports)

Latrell Sprewell is a cautionary NBA tale; where is he now?

MILWAUKEE (BVM) – Former NBA star Latrell Sprewell made $97 million in salary during his playing years in the NBA from 1992-2005. Considering inflation as of May 2022, that same salary is equivalent in purchasing power to about $170 million when compared to inflation rates halfway into his playing career in 1999 (per U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics). Today, his net worth is $150 thousand according to Celebrity Net Worth

Sprewell lost out on the high chance of becoming a household name when he retired in his early 30s. It’s been 17 years since his retirement. So what is Latrell Sprewell known for and what’s he up to now? 

Sprewell’s history in the NBA 

Sprewell played for the Golden State Warriors, New York Knicks and Minnesota Timberwolves and received four NBA All-Star selections. In his rookie season, he averaged 15.4 points a game with the Warriors. He averaged 21.4 points a game in his last season with the team in 1997-98. 

Over his next five seasons with the Knicks, he averaged 17.7 points a game. He even helped lead the team to the 1999 NBA Finals and averaged 26.0 points per game in the Finals.

New York Knicks forward Latrell Sprewell (8) in action in a 1999 game against Orlando Magic center Danny Schayes (24). (Credit: RVR Photos-USA TODAY Sports)

He played his final two years in the NBA with the Timberwolves, averaging 16.8 and 12.8 points a season, respectively. Over the entirety of his career, he averaged 18.3 points a game. 

But Sprewell also had his name in the headlines for other reasons. He often found himself involved with a different type of court because of family troubles and for physical fights he’d get into during practice. 

No one can forget when he became one of the most hated players in the league when he attacked head coach P. J. Carlesimo during a Warriors practice in 1997. Assistant coaches had to physically rip Sprewell’s hands off of Carlesimo and drag him away. 

From assaulting to being insulted, the questionable decisions didn’t stop there. He sparked a media frenzy during a 2004 press conference after turning down a three-year, 21-million contract extension from the Timberwolves. Sprewell took to the stands to vocalize exactly how unhappy he was with the offer that just wasn’t lucrative enough for him. 

“I told you I needed to feed my family… If [owner Glen] Taylor wants to see my family fed, he better cough up some money.” 

Although some wanted to believe it was just a joke, it didn’t help that Sprewell was relentless in his shameless bargaining. With three children at the time, who were between the ages of 6 and 12, he lifted his smallest child up to the podium and said: 

“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.” 

Reports say he was looking for a deal double the Timberwolves’ final extension offer. The two parties never saw eye-to-eye and so his contract expired.

Sprewell said he saw his value in being able to help the team win an NBA Championship. Interestingly enough, the last time the Timberwolves came close to winning a title was in 2004 (Sprewell’s first season with the team), but they lost in the Western Conference Finals against the Lakers. 

In a 2017 interview posted on the New York Knicks’ YouTube page, Sprewell answered some questions about his time as a player.

“We haven’t seen you much since the retirement,” said the interviewer. “You’ve been out of the spotlight, have you missed any of that?”

Sprewell’s immediate answer: “The thing I miss the most is the playoffs.” 

Although Sprewell was given several other chances to sign with another team – including the Dallas Mavericks and San Antonio Spurs – Sprewell had no other option but to retire by 2006 because he couldn’t come to terms on the measly millions that were offered to him.

Sprewell’s financial struggles 

Sprewell ran into many financial issues soon after retiring from his 13-year career. After a controversial playing career and having not signed with a team, it wasn’t a surprise that he was shy of finding other ways to keep up with the millions he was spending on his lavish lifestyle.

Many of his assets were seized including a boat and his multi-million dollar home. The mother of his four children and ex-wife, Candice Cabbil, eventually sued him for $200 million for failing to provide for the family. Within a few years of retirement, the man who had millions to his name found he had only a small fraction of it left. So little in fact, that in 2021, reports show that he created a GoFundMe hoping to raise $35K for his granddaughter’s leukemia treatment, but the post was quickly taken down. 

Where is Latrell Sprewell now?

Sprewell sits courtside during a 2016 New York Knicks game against the Memphis Grizzlies. (Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports)

Chances are, you can find the now 51-year-old lurking around downtown Milwaukee. Reports say he lives in a modest rental home without Cabbil or his children in the picture. Those children Sprewell once used as a bargaining token ended up in full custody of Cabbill in 2007. The court granted that he could, “speak to his children only by phone, e-mail or text message,” according to the News-Times.

His children are all over 18 now, and although it’s unclear if there’s any additional type of communication today, his Instagram page shows no photos of him with his children.

Today, his Instagram bio reads: “Retired Athlete GSW, Knicks and Timberwolves. Currently doing community relations with Knicks and MSG media personality.” He often posts photos smiling with other basketball players and even celebrities like Trevor Noah and Ellen Pompeo at Knicks games.

More than likely, he wishes that he didn’t turn down all those offers to play because he definitely isn’t making a million dollars with his current career. Fortunately, he’s still making enough to feed a family. Sprewell goes down in history for not only his tremendous talents, but also as a cautionary tale for up-and-coming NBA players who may get themselves into legal trouble, are stubborn in negotiations and blow through their money without a backup plan post-career. 

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