It's mind-blowing how many stories about former superstar athletes involve bankruptcy. An estimated 60 percent of former NBA players are penniless within five years after hanging up their sneakers. But this is the tale of a one-time NBA star who has built his riches.
Jamal Mashburn earned more than $75 million before his career was cut short by a serious knee injury. But he has put together a powerful post-basketball business dossier which includes 37 Papa John's pizza restaurants, 30 Outback Steakhouses, two car dealerships and a real estate company in the state of Kentucky.
Mashburn and former Kentucky coach Rick Pitino (who is now at Louisville) are partners in Ol Memorial Stable, which owns Kentucky Derby prospect Buffalo Man, along with Outback Steakhouse co-founder and Kentucky grad Chris T. Sullivan.
"For me, being in business is always something I wanted to do. When I was a kid riding on trains in New York, I saw older people carrying a briefcase. I was always curious what was in them. That's probably my original inspiration," Mashburn told China Daily.
"I had talent as a basketball player, so I used it as a vehicle to open doors and meet people. I am not a guy who wants to be a one-night wonder. I want to continue my legacy as a businessman. It gives people a chance to see me as more than just a former pro athlete."