Former NFL running back Clinton Portis wouldn’t have been the first player to have lost most of his career earnings.
But he came perilously close to making things much worse.
According to a story by Brian Burnsed of Sports Illustrated, Portis was considering killing one of his former managers who was responsible for losing millions of dollars.
Portis was sitting outside a building with a gun, and had to be talked out of shooting the man by a friend.
“It wasn’t no beat up,” Portis told the magazine. “It was kill.”
He added that if he hadn’t been calmed down before seeing the man: “We’d probably be doing this interview from prison.”
Portis made $43.1 million during his career with Denver and Washington, but most of it was either spent or lost through bad investments and alleged withdrawals from his accounts without his consent.
He’s filed multiple lawsuits against former financial advisers, and was caught up in a Ponzi scheme. He filed for bankruptcy in 2015, and acknoweldged that he spent too lavishly during his heyday.
“Portis was on a different level,” former teammate Santana Moss said. “He didn’t think about tomorrow.”
At least someone intervened before he made matters worse, or his tomorrows might have been spent behind bars. Portis is now living in an apartment in Virginia, where he does some television work for his old team.
“Most people would have offed themselves if they had to deal with what I had to deal with,” Portis said. “Life is so much clearer after coming out of that storm.”
The story features a number of disturbing details, and should serve as a cautionary tale to other players.