Living in a sports world where by now, everyone's seen 30 For 30: Broke, hearing stories akin to David Harrison's aren't unusual. Some professional athletes, often times brought up from poor socioeconomic situations, don't have the long-term financial planning that they dearly need to stretch a career's worth of earnings over the span of their entire lives. Harrison's another such case. He earned $4.4 million over his 4-year NBA career with the Indiana Pacers, but according to him, 95 percent of those savings are now gone.
Yahoo! Sports published a feature on Harrison, chronicling his up-and-down NBA experiences that eventually lead to him becoming a broke stoner who took a job at McDonald's five years after playing his last NBA minute. Harrison, the 29th overall pick in the 2004 Draft, was seen as a center with all the physical tools, but without the wherewithal to mentally coral his game. Described as a "deep thinker," by Pacers forward Chris Copeland, who played with Harrison in college, he was seemingly never able to escape his own mind. Speaking on the final seasons of his career, he pointed to his time under former Pacers head coach Jim O'Brien as "the worst time of my life."
"I literally had to smoke pot every day so I would not hurt him. I would avoid him. I'd come in early and stay late. It wasn't like he hit me; he verbally abused me. But what coach doesn't?"
By 2013, he had been officially out of basketball for a year, and was struggling to make ends meet. After his card got declined at a local McDonald's while trying to buy his son a Happy Meal, the manager recognized him and offered him a job. Harrison took the night shift, but couldn't stay long. Customers were too intrigued by his size, and some even recognized him.
"I took the midnight shift on purpose," he said. "I did two weeks of training. They told me I would be a distraction, because I was. Every time someone would order, it would take them 40 minutes to order because they were asking me too many questions."
Now, Harrison trades stocks for a living to provide for his two kids. He wants to finish up his credits at Colorado, but he can't afford school at the moment. More mature than he was during his NBA days, Harrison remains upbeat about his situation.
"I am confident in myself and I have the ability to succeed. I don't have much hope to play basketball again. But to support my family and myself, I have a lot of hope in that."
Be sure to check out the full feature at Yahoo Sports!. Harrison gives his first-hand account of the Malice at the Palace (he fought fans alongside Ron Artest) and gets more in-depth about why his NBA career didn't pan out.
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[via Yahoo! Sports]