It seems Latrell Sprewell is now able to laugh at his mistakes.
The Milwaukee native, who had a 13-season NBA career that was both highly productive and highly controversial, appears in a new television commercial that pokes fun at his poor monetary decisions.
Sprewell made more than $100 million during his playing days but reportedly blew it all on a lavish lifestyle. His career ended in 2005 after he famously turned down a three-year, $21 million contract offer from the Timberwolves, saying "I have a family to feed." Due to legal and financial troubles since retiring, he’s had two homes foreclosed upon and his yacht repossessed – the latter, named "Milwaukee's Best," after he ran it ashore near Atwater Beach.
In the Priceline.com advertisement, titled "Life Lessons," Sprewell is the economically irresponsible (but patently self-aware) foil to David Robinson, the longtime NBA good guy nicknamed "The Admiral." The spot will air on TNT during NBA All-Star Weekend, marking a sort of unceremonious return to the festivities for Sprewell, who was a four-time All-Star.
Ostensibly advocating prudent decisions – in this case, using the travel-related discount website to get hotel deals – Robinson signs an autograph for a young fan and says, "Remember little girl, the key to success is hard work and a great attitude."
But "if you don’t go" to Priceline, the ad warns, you could end up like a different professional basketball player.
"Anyway kid, I guess what I’m saying is success is just failure that hasn’t happened yet," says Sprewell, his signature dreadlocks looking neat and lacking the unsettling blonde highlights they’ve sometimes featured in the past, when the Jo-Cats Pub regular has been out on the town. Anything for a Priceline paycheck.
"And that’s life advice from Latrell Sprewell," the little girl’s dad says, as the former millionaire steals a French fry from off her plate.
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