Apr 10, 2010, 9:40 PM EST
This is not the story you think it is. This is not some guy who made more than $100 million and gambled it all away in casinos, then tried to make a desperate comeback to make a little money.
Not every NBA story is about hedonism. Some, no many, players try to do the right thing.
Derrick Coleman — the former number one overall pick, the 1991 rookie of the year who never quite reached his potential — was investing the $87 million he made playing basketball in development deals in Detroit, trying to turn around a city in need of someone willing to make big moves there. But no city has been hit harder by the economic downturn than Detroit.
Coleman’s desire to invest in the Detroit area after his playing career ended contributed to his financial problems, Coleman’s bankruptcy attorney Mark B. Berke said Friday.
Among Coleman’s ventures is a struggling Detroit development called Coleman’s Corner, an attempt to revive one of the city’s most downtrodden neighborhoods. Coleman defaulted on loans related to the mall last year.
“Mr. Coleman was focused on investing in various communities throughout the city of Detroit by developing real estate, creating jobs and revitalizing business opportunities,” Berke said. “Due to the state of the economy, including the decline in the real estate market, Mr. Coleman’s investments could not be sustained.”
Coleman, best remembered as a Net, has an NBA pension, which means he can live pretty comfortably for the rest of his life.
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