In Antoine Walker’s new documentary, “Gone in an Instant,” he uses a personal life lesson to hopefully prevent other young NBA players from making similar mistakes, he said.
“I think most athletes, we all kind of walk through the same walks of life and I think that they can relate to my story a little bit more,” he said. “They are dealing with that type of denomination of money.” Walker said that even though it’s for athletes, people from “all walks of life” will be able to grasp the message and use it.
In 2011, Walker, a Southside of Chicago native, turned former NBA All-Star, plead guilty to felony charges connected to a massive gambling debt. The former Boston Celtics’ player faced charges because of unpaid gambling debts that were more than $750,000. Originally, he plead not guilty to six felony counts, but he changed his plea the following year. Over his 13 year NBA career, Walker made more than $110 million.
The former Boston Celtics player holds nothing back in the documentary. Most people are familiar with the part of his life where he went from winning championships to facing felony charges, Walker said, but not everyone knows the trials he experienced. He said he wanted to create this documentary for a few reasons, one being that he was tired of people speculating what he spent his money on.
“It really bothered me and I felt like I was getting short-changed as far as in the world,” Walker said. Those emotions led him to want to “rebrand himself,” in the spotlight, as well as give financial advice to aspiring athletes, he said.
With those goals in mind, Walker began to share with the world the details of his rollercoaster ride.
The timeline begins in his early days, right when coaches were starting to recognize his talent. Walker talks about the first big career decision he made–selecting a high school.
The documentary highlights family values too. The importance of taking care of family is clear from the beginning, as Walker talks on camera about how he would be responsible for his younger siblings as a teenager.
From there, viewers experience the excitement of him graduating and moving on to college, where he helps win a championship for the team. He decides to not finish school at the time, but instead get drafted so that he can move his mother out of the inner-city and into the suburbs. The timeline continues and viewers eventually get a sense of how Walker was when he wasn’t taking care of his family, playing or volunteering his time with his youth foundation. The large sums of money he would spend on jewelry and clothes is shared.
It is clear from the documentary that Walker was extremely generous and enjoyed taking care of the important people in his life. Not being able to say no and lack of money management hurt him, he said.
Traveling with a small circle is one piece of advice he wants to pass down, he said. The others are watching your daily spending on the little things and just thinking of your future, Walker said.
The NBA put him and other rookies through a three-day transitional program, where they were given financial literacy information, Walker said, but it wasn’t enough.
“I think the program is great, but the change that needs to be made is that it needs to be continued throughout [an athlete's] career,” he said. Also having athletes like himself speak with new players will be helpful.
Walker said it was fun putting together the documentary and that he really hopes viewers get the message.
“I really want everybody to really understand that when you make a lot of money, it can go away fast so make sure you do the right thing when you have that [amount],” he said.
(Update:) There isn’t yet a release date for “Gone in An Instant.”