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Long fall from riches to rags for ex-NBA player Vaughn

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posted on Oct, 31 2009 @ 11:11 AM

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - David Vaughn knows the adulation of NBA crowds. He also knows the humbling task of maneuvering his 6-foot-9 frame into his Chevy Impala to sleep.

Less than a decade after the end of a four-season NBA career, the former power forward spent six months on the streets of Orlando, Fla., having run through the $2.2 million he earned in the league. These days, the 36-year-old Vaughn is looking for a job in Orlando, where he spent two seasons playing for the Magic.

Now, this story should be a wake-up to all, regarding, our recession or what many believe is a depression. My home page is affixed to MSN and I only briefly see it from time to time, before heading over to ATS or other internet destinations. However, when I saw the headline, I was somewhat intrigued, to say the least. What struck me was the title, "From NBA to homeless."

So, I proceeded to read more. From what I gathered, it is a story of a young kid with bulging pockets following a successful induction into the ranks of professional sports. Now, apparently, he has higher education, because it said he was drafted out of the University of Memphis. By chance, did his professors or coaches teach him about the real-world and what to expect when the sweat dries? Apparently, not, because he is destitute and homeless with nothing left from his employment as a professional athlete. Now, some would judge the man as being frivolous about his wealth and reckless spending.

However, we all are aware of how dense professional athletes are when it comes to instant fame and treasure, and this is not a bash piece, but one, of a somber tone. It shows that everyone is vulnerable, and when misfortune befalls us, and we are rock bottom, those friends that were around when times were good, walk away. We are left with ourselves and the demons we have acquired along the way. Its sad but true.

As people of the United State box up their belongings awaiting forceful extraction from the only place they called home, or that person about to rip their hair out with bills piling up and descending into the ever deepening abyss of credit oblivion, or that person who has gone to the employment office 5 days out of the week, sipping burnt coffee, awaiting for that opportunity that never comes, they can look at this former master of the universe and his downward spiral into the very ranks of those that reveled at his prowess on the hardwood.

His story is also uplifting as well, because he saw what TPTB wants us to think is important and paramount in our lives, but I think he found more in life, now, than what he had in the superficial world of fast cars, fast money, and palatial estates. If he would have remained in that sphere, he would have further dehumanized himself from the rest of us. Here is what Vaughn found after the dust settled of what used to be his life.

Before long, his marriage deteriorated and last year he was living out of his 2000 Impala on the streets of Orlando. He took showers at the Salvation Army where he got free meals. He'd go to a fitness center to get a shower and do stretching exercises so he wouldn't feel so cramped in his car.

"It was a very lonely situation," he recalled.

Vaughn recently reconciled with his wife and rejoined her and their two sons, aged 11 and 8.

"Basically I knelt down and said a long prayer," he recalled. "Later I read all of the New Testament, and it gave me strength."

Said wife Brandie: "Even though we may not have material things, we have the love of God which is more priceless than that."

But he's still "looking for work," just like millions of Americans. He was laid off over the summer by a furniture store that employed him as a warehouse worker and delivery man.

Now, as he looks for employment as many are right now, hopefully, we can walk away from this tale of triumph, defeat, and redemption, with one simple premise, that even when we find ourselves in the darkness corners of what this world has to offer us, there is always a resurgence and rebirth. He is going through it as we all are, to some degree. Now, I know some will scoff at the references to the "Almighty," peppered in throughout the piece, as the source of their strength and re-emergence, and that is to be expected. However, that is besides the point, perhaps, he was just a resolute person who crawled out from the cellars of human depravity? People find strength through many mediums, whether it be, loved ones, nature, religion, philosophy, literature, or other escapes from society. However, all those are good, but we must remain resolute within ourselves, because that is all we have when everything is gone. How strong are you? Poverty and depravity is an equal opportunity employer, and does not segregate.

[edit on 31-10-2009 by Jakes51]

posted on Oct, 31 2009 @ 11:21 AM
He may of upset the wrong person, and people in sports like that have access to people in mind control tech areas. If they target you your *snip* for life.

One of the things they do to people, is try to get them to destroy themselves and end up on the streets.

Who knows if this is the case here?

Plus do not even say, that mind control does not exist.


Mod Edit: Profanity/Circumvention Of Censors – Please Review This Link.

[edit on 31-10-2009 by GAOTU789]

posted on Oct, 31 2009 @ 11:25 AM
Most jackpot winners end up back working after 5 years of winning millions. Why? Because people don't realize being rich aint about spending the money. its about keeping it, using it wisely, to someday create a virus and own the vaccine to make billions. these are what we call, newbs.

posted on Oct, 31 2009 @ 11:32 AM
reply to post by andy1033

Perhaps, you are correct that he found the wrong company as a result of his ascension to wealth and fame. Of course, those circles have seedy individuals around every corner, looking to pick one's bones clean of any semblance of human dignity. It is a sadistic game to them, and when they finished with one unsuspecting host, they move to another. I like to think of those seedy people as, vultures, waiting with anticipation for one to fall, and they swoop down to pick the bones clean of what used to be their lives, leaving nothing, but a skeleton in their wake. Now, I am in agreement with you about mind control, and it show itself in many different ways. Mind control is very real. Perhaps, he was manipulated into wasting his fame and fortune to fatten the pockets of those, whom, he trusted at the time.

[edit on 31-10-2009 by Jakes51]

posted on Oct, 31 2009 @ 01:49 PM
I know from personal experience what it is to be both homeless and to live on and off the streets. It’s a humbling and thought provoking and an introspective period as you seem trapped on the outside and fringes of society looking upon what you once knew and enjoyed and experienced and took for granted.

It’s an experience that opens your eyes to a lot of things, the injustices in the world, the indifference many people suffer, they folly of their ways, the folly of your ways that led you to such an impasse.

It leads to asking a lot of questions not only about the world you live in but a lot of questions about yourself and how you fit in to the world, as well as how you could and can fit in to the world.

I wasn’t homeless and out on the streets quite as much by true necessity but true pride and stubborn determination.

There were places I could have gone and people who loved me enough to want to help.

Yet I wanted to be in the geographical location I was, not in the geographical location those people were. I wanted to be in the philosophical location I was and not in the philosophical location those people were.

I wanted to find my own path, and simply put I decided the only way to do that was on my own.

Yet no person is an island and as I worked a part time job a few hours a day a few days a week and went to vocational school to develop a career to enhance my fortunes and give my life stability a few hours a day several days a week it was ultimately with some help of other people who found something appealing in my struggles and efforts that helped make the transition from homelessness and being out on the streets to a stable and profitable more enriching, safer and healthier life and lifestyle.

Yet one thing remains, I nonetheless learned to survive in harsh conditions on my own terms and to learn a true self reliance and true self responsibility. I learned and incorporated those lessons and as difficult as the learning environment may have been I have always felt all the better off for learning those lessons.

Americans have in my humble opinion Jake become so dependent upon its corporations and government and religious institutions to sustain us and provide for us it has left us not just vulnerable, not just enslaved but totally hostage to those institutions whims. Those corporations and the government and the religious institutions have clearly demonstrated time and time again it is their own and each others interest that they place first and foremost and not the average citizen’s.

Tragically, frighteningly Jake people keep looking to the corporations and governments and religious institutions to change this. Instead of becoming less reliant upon these institutions and looking for ways to be self reliant and independent of these institutions they want more than ever to desperately play into the hands of these corrupt self serving institutions in the all to apparent unrealistic hope that these institutions are at some immediate point in the future are going to become responsive to and responsible for the citizens instead of themselves and one another.

People who are unemployed and failing and falling on hard times need to look more to them selves and to reinvent themselves in a way that allows them to be independent or less reliant, and dependent upon and subservient too these failed institutions that continually, willfully and callously fail the citizen without compunction as they strive to always serve their own interests and each other institution’s interest instead of the citizen.

People, who can’t find jobs need to learn how to create a business off of a product or service they can make, provide or render independently. The going might be slow and tough, but a little of something is better than a whole lot of nothing. People who can’t find homes or shelter or sustenance and work need to look towards those fellow citizens who truly care and we as citizens need to start caring more about those around us who are in need.

We need to break our dependence on and addiction to systems and institutions that fail and abuse us. Wal-Mart has saved people money, at the cost of a whole lot of American Jobs. In other words they haven’t saved this nation a thing, they have hurt this nation. They have earned and saved themselves a whole bunch of money by pandering this illusion. The other big corporations and banks have done the same. The pennies in saving and the seconds saved through convenience haven’t served us well as average people, but served them well as mega-corporations that have driven out the small independent business person who offered an honest days wages for an honest days work.

Americans need to reinvent these small business and entrepreneurial spirit and enterprise driven into near extinction by the convenience of a slightly lower price, an easy place to park, easy credit terms and one stop shopping that has turned such monopolies into dictatorial and enslaving powers in their own right.

We can keep playing into the hands of these institutions by thinking our involvement with them on their terms and rules is going to change them for the better for us.

Or we can start shunning these institutions in our hours of greatest need who are in fact not there for us but simply to take advantage of us and profit off of us and once again become what Americans once were before big government and big corporations and a politically correct nanny state dominated the landscape.

Hard working, individual, self reliant, self determining people willing to create something of value from the fruits of our own thoughts and labors to offer to others on our own terms for our own individual and collective good is what America once was all about and had made it previously so great.

Necessity friend Jake is the mother of all invention. Never has the necessity been greater for so many Americans to reinvent themselves. To become self reliant, to become responsible, to return to thinking with common sense instead of political correctness for the benefit of themselves and the nation and all those who live in it is more than anything what these very difficult and disturbing times call for.

I know this can be done Jake as that is exactly what I did myself while sleeping on the cold ground, struggling to keep myself clean and presentable and fed, while focused on learning skills and capabilities that could make me more self reliant, without having a home of my own, or a warm safe place to hang my hat or bed down for the night.

I have worked for myself by myself in business for myself since 2003. The main reason I was tired of my fortunes being tied to the companies I worked for. When they went out of business, there went my paycheck.

Times are tough for me now like many other people, business is way down, but I still do business, and I can still rely on my business, because I control the quality of its output and product.

These are all things I have learned and come to believe in resolutely through my own long ago struggles with homelessness and poverty. I don’t lament that I had to learn these things in such desperate circumstances, in fact I celebrate the fact that I learned them, and what I learned I can share. We all should.

Great thread Jake, Star and Flag.

[edit on 31/10/09 by ProtoplasmicTraveler]

posted on Oct, 31 2009 @ 02:26 PM
reply to post by ProtoplasmicTraveler

Wow, I am honored that you shared your personal trials and tribulations with us as means to further humanize the perils of the person highlighted in this thread. I also like your view on homelessness as well. It is one, definitely, off the cusp, from what the mainstream would like us to believe about depravity and homelessness.

You made lemonade out of the lemons you were dealt, and I tip my hat to you. Instead of lamenting about your often perceived existence of being destitute and a vagabond, you used your situation and environment to your own personal benefit. By shedding the chains thrust upon us by the trappings of this world, you got to look at it from the outside looking in and decipher the fallacies fraught through out.

Now, don't get me wrong, I am in no way lessening the perils found in homelessness, because it is riddled with tragedy, and hopefully, no one has to walk that long rocky path. However, I like your outlook on the subject, it is very enlightening and uplifting.

On a personal note, I have been to the ledge you speak of, but miraculously, I was pulled away before falling. So, I have much empathy for the element of society you speak of, the voiceless and invisible. Hopefully, through the perils we are enduring at present, en masse, it will heighten our understanding of their plight as never before, because for far to long, we have taken them for granted. It is always a pleasure to read your replies. Keep up the good work, friend. I would give you flag if I could, but I guess a star would suffice in its absence. Well done!

[edit on 31-10-2009 by Jakes51]

posted on Oct, 31 2009 @ 04:28 PM
reply to post by Jakes51

Jake51, another well thought out and interesting thread.

I cannot claim to know much about sports, only what I've heard, had told to me, and as well picked up over a lifetime.

I am not a sports fan, and this is just yet another example of why I'm not.

I am ever grateful I never took interest in sports, and instead chose to study war, history, and Government, it has more uses for me than sports would ever have, ever.

I'm not going to cry over him losing his millions, I'm going to in fact laugh.

If he was stupid enough to not put some of that money aside for a rainy day, invest it in stocks, or even put it into the community he came from, then boo-friggin-hoo for him.

I have no sympathy nor empathy for sports stars, they whine about their million dollar contract extensions, and meanwhile the majority of the population was already where he's going now, or weren't too far off the mark.

Not many people can claim to have received the sort of money he did, but look not at where he is now, but where he was and what he didn't do with it.

He could have been building homeless shelters, given money to the community to build sports fields for the youth, not that I know he has or hasn't, just using that as an example of course since I did not follow his career.

I always hated hearing people come in talking about quitting if they won the lottery.

It has nothing to do with jealousy, I just do not get jealous, it has instead to do with the fact that they want something for nothing, and then are going to do nothing with that something they did nothing to get to begin with.

If I won the lottery, just as if I had become a billion dollar sports figure, I'd have built up my local economy, invested money in it, made jobs for others, investing my money to make more money, to permanently secure for myself what others never get a chance to have, and as well spread the wealth around not through giving hand-outs but by giving opportunities, unlike any Presidential Administration has ever done.

Then again, I'm a responsible adult, and I cannot speak on this sports stars what if's.

Good thread, Jake51, keep up the good work.

[edit on 31-10-2009 by SpartanKingLeonidas]

posted on Oct, 31 2009 @ 05:23 PM
reply to post by SpartanKingLeonidas

Thanks for the reply, and I shrug my shoulders in disbelief, that he virtually squandered his wealth over night. However, I still have sympathy for the poor chap. Any of us can lose everything no matter how hard we prepare for the tragedy ahead of us. Its unfortunate. He thought the gravy train would never end, but just as quickly as it began, it ended. Easy come easy go! The hubris of youth, I suppose.

However, lets not talk about the wasted opportunities or talent, for one moment, and look at his story as one that can happen to anyone. There are no guarantees in this life, but only the guarantee in yourself and abilities. He was able to transgress his situation and is on the path to making his life normal again. I see it as a story of a young and impressionable kid thrown into a world he had no understanding of. In that cauldron, he met some despicable people who fed off of his inexperience and sucked whatever wealth he had, dry. The con-men and scammers come out of the woodwork at the site of fresh fish. His only mistake was that he was naive, and most likely surrounded himself with individuals who didn't have his best interests in mind. However, he did try to give back, to a certain extent, as highlighted in the article. In addition to making some reckless expenditures, which the article mentions as well.

. . . invested in a construction deal that went sour.

"The money just exhausted itself," Vaughn said.

His financial advisers, he said, "never stepped in and never made anything last a lifetime; I was left to make my own decisions."

These days, there's a mandatory NBA rookie transition program designed to head off such problems.

So, as shown above, he tried to invest in a construction project which would have garnered jobs if it was in fact legitimate and panned out. However, his advisers got him into a lucrative money pit, as he emptied his pockets and they fattened theirs, nothing more nothing less. He was a young man with a lot money that burned a hole in his pocket. When we are young we think nothing can stop us, but as I said earlier, that mindset is the hubris of youth. Again, thanks for the reply, SpartanKingLeonidas.

[edit on 31-10-2009 by Jakes51]

posted on Nov, 1 2009 @ 11:06 AM
I am sorry his bad choices left him homeless.

I just have a very hard problem feeling TOO bad for someone who had 2.2 million and stupidly burned though it in a few years.

Had he been intelligent and saved his money, he would be living comfortably.

I know If I had 2.2 million, I would not be homeless in a few years.

posted on Nov, 1 2009 @ 11:24 AM
reply to post by mrmonsoon

Unfortunately, its pretty common among pro athletes and lottery winners. Most of them come from nothing and have absolutely no clue as to how to manage money once they get it, plus they overestimate just how talented they are and expect the checks to keep coming in forever. Not only that, but every family member and 'friend' that they've ever had comes crawling out of the woodwork looking for a piece of that person's success like the cockroaches that they are.

I don't know this guy's story, but in general, I do have a little pity for them. Most of them are just kids who aren't capable of handling that type of success at that stage of life.

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