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[Celebrity Networth] Instead Of Going Broke Like Most Retired NBA Players, Junior Bridgeman...

Discussion in 'NBA Dish' started by RedEyesKirby, Apr 9, 2014.

  1. RedEyesKirby

    RedEyesKirby Member

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    Instead Of Going Broke Like Most Retired NBA Players, Junior Bridgeman Built A $400 Million Fast Food Empire

    Very interesting article

    Snippet

    Article for the lazy

    Pop quiz #1: In 1975, which newly drafted player did the Lakers trade away to acquire superstar Kareem Abdul-Jabbar? If you guessed Junior Bridgeman, you are correct. Pop quiz #2: As of April 2014, who is the second largest owner of Wendy's franchises in America? Once again, the correct answer is… Junior Bridgeman. As an NBA player, Junior Bridgeman had a moderately successful 12-year career playing for the Milwaukee Bucks and Los Angeles Clippers. To be completely honest, his NBA career was kind of unremarkable. So why are we writing about him on Celebrity Net Worth? Well, as you may know, retirement can be a very painful experience for many NBA players. According to a study conducted by Sports Illustrated, a staggering 60% of NBA players are completely broke within five years of retiring. Junior Bridgeman did not go down this route. Instead, Junior Bridgeman is a shining light of inspiration. A man who every athlete should admire and study…

    junior

    Ulysses Lee "Junior" Bridgeman was born on September 17, 1953 in East Chicago, Indiana. His father was a blue collar steel mill worker – a very common job in East Chicago during the era in which Junior Bridgeman grew up. He was a member of the undefeated (29-0) 1971 East Chicago Washington High School Senators basketball team that won the Indiana state high school basketball championship. His teammates included his brother Sam, Pete Trgovich, who went on to play at UCLA; and Tim Stoddard who would become a Major League Baseball pitcher.

    At 6'5″ Bridgeman played guard and forward during college at the University of Louisville, where he was also a member of the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity. After obtaining his bachelor's degree, Junior Bridgeman was drafted with the 8th overall pick in the first round of the 1975 NBA Draft by the Los Angeles Lakers, and, as mentioned, was then immediately traded to the Milwaukee Bucks for Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

    junior2

    In his 12-year NBA career (10 with Milwaukee, two with the Clippers), Bridgeman was mostly a sixth man. For nine consecutive seasons he averaged double figures in scoring. He holds the Milwaukee franchise record for number of games played at 711, though he only started in 105 of those games.

    Bridgeman was a good basketball player, solid and steady. His professional career lasted from 1975 to 1987, in the era just before players were paid crazy amounts of money. Players like Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson made the bulk of their money from endorsement deals, but still made a lot of money in the NBA – close to $100 million for Jordan. Bridgeman never saw anywhere close to that kind of money during his NBA days. His peak salary was $350,000 from the Clippers in 1985.

    Unlike most athletes, Junior was quick to realize that his window of time in the NBA would be relatively short. At some point the paychecks would stop coming in and he would need to find a new source of steady income. So, on a whim, Junior decided to purchase a franchise of his favorite fast food restaurant: Wendy's. While other NBA players hung out during the off season doing God knows what, Bridgeman was working in local Wendy's—learning his burgeoning business from every angle and building a foundation for the rest of his and his family's lives. By the time his playing days were over, Junior owned three Wendy's.

    THE WENDY'S COMPANY

    Over the next few years, Junior slowly expanded Bridgeman Foods INC. Three locations grew to six. Six grew to ten. Ten grew to twenty and so on. Business boomed thanks largely to Junior's highly dedicated work ethic. Instead of sitting back and collecting checks from a beach in the Bahamas, Junior was frequently seen behind the counters working at his own restaurants.

    Here's an amazing anecdote: One day, a customer recognized Junior in his Wendy's uniform making french fries. The customer was shocked and immediately called into a local sports talk radio show to say how sad it was to see a formerly great NBA player down on his luck, forced to work in fast food asking people "do you want fries with that?" Oh, the irony!

    Junior and Chauncey Billups
    Junior and Chauncey Billups
    After nearly 25 years in business, Bridgeman Foods INC operates more than 160 Wendy's and more than 120 Chili's franchises in America today. Bridgeman employs over 11,000 people and has annual revenues in excess of $530 million dollars. Possibly looking to follow Junior's lead, current NBA player Chauncey Billups recently invested money into some Wendy's franchises. Junior is the second largest Wendy's franchise owner in the world and frequently listed as one of the most admired business leaders in America. His personal net worth today tops $400 million. That's just $250 million shy of Michael Jordan. That's also $380 million MORE than Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's current net worth of $20 million :)

    When not running his fast food empire, Junior Bridgeman likes to play golf and, in fact, is on the board of directors of the PGA. He has been married to his wife Doris for more than 35 years. The couple has three adult children who all have MBAs and work in the family business. Junior Bridgeman is a private man who has built a heck of a fortune, family, and life. He recognized a problem and turned it into an opportunity. Thanks to a lot of hard work, that opportunity made him an extremely wealthy and admired man.
     
  2. TheRealist137

    TheRealist137 Member

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    for the really lazy

    dude barely made any money on the NBA, invested in Wendy's and Chili's franchises, now owns a bunch of them and makes hundreds of millions in revenue. Billups is trying to do the same thing.
     
  3. Nook

    Nook Member

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    You left out the part about Fatoine Walker working the fry line.
     
  4. Rockets12

    Rockets12 Member

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    Thank you :)
     
  5. apollo33

    apollo33 Member

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    doesn't caron butler own a bunch of burger kings now

    I guess fast food franchise is a pretty good investment if you have the dough
     
  6. Nook

    Nook Member

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    They are not as good as they used to be, but there are worse investments.
     
  7. RedEyesKirby

    RedEyesKirby Member

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    He also worked at Burger King before he played for the NBA. I'll tell you this, fast food franchise is definitely better investment than paying for divorces like many NBA players.

    Pay for the dough, not for the hoe.
     
  8. BamBam

    BamBam Contributing Member

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    Everybody knows Kareem, and now we know Kareem is worth $380mill less than Junior Bridgeman! I think it's safe to say that Kareem made a lot more in his 20yr NBA career than Bridgeman did, but it goes to show you that it's not what you make, it's how you spend/invest it that matters!
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  9. yummyhawtsauce

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    good for this guy, in the NFL, I hear guys go broke even faster, hell, some players go broke while still playing!
     
  10. Pieman2005

    Pieman2005 Member

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    I own some Los Pollos Hermanos chains myself. Complete with underground labs.
     
  11. Blake

    Blake Contributing Member

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    Kareem was basically ripped off by his agent/advisor a few years before he retired.
     
  12. shastarocket

    shastarocket Contributing Member

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    I hate to say it, but this article feels very disingenuous and lazy. Yes the guy deserves praise for his hard work and success, but they make it seem like no other NBA player even tries to invest his money while he is playing. Hell, this dude bought a Wendy's (on a whim) because it was "his favorite fast food restaurant"; no business acumen required. There are plenty of athletes who try to do the right thing and get screwed in the process (Antoine Walker for example.)

    Once again, I'm not trying to minimize what this guy was able to accomplish. Articles like this paint an incredibly black and while picture that propagates stupid stereotypes.
     
  13. HTown_TMac

    HTown_TMac Member

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    Lemme get in on this.
     
  14. Blake

    Blake Contributing Member

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    Agreed, but to his credit at least he invested his money in a proven franchise, as opposed to the three industries with the highest overhead/toughest way to actually make money...clothing lines, record labels or night clubs, which are the three biggest industries athletes seem to invest in (according to that giant SI article about broke athletes).

    Though I think Antoine lost a lot of his money in real estate ventures in poor neighborhoods...which is very noble but fiscally dangerous. Don't think his gambling helped, either...

    I have never understood why athletes (well, the athletes who make millions a year, not the league minimum guys who make mid six-figures before taxes for 4-5 years) seem to think they need to make risky private-equity style investments in the hope of making millions AFTER their careers are over. They should invest those millions while they make them in low yield, low risk investments and simply live off the interest of what they made in their careers.

    Hell, if you make $50m in your career, (Let's say 25m after taxes, pension, agent fees), spend 5-10m of it over the 10 years and save the 15-20m and have it earn 3% net, which is 450k-600k per year in free money for the rest of your life! I can live on that...:grin:
     
  15. Nook

    Nook Member

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    This is a feel good story..... "See not all black athletes go broke, and if this guy did it, there is no excuse for all other athletes not being rich!"

    I do not doubt that he busted his ass, nor do I doubt that he is a good role model. However, luck has played a part in this.... what if he had invested in Burger Chef? Quiznos?
     
  16. BamBam

    BamBam Contributing Member

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    I was unaware of this until you brought it up, so I looked it up and found several conflicting versions of what happened. Regardless, Bridgeman's approach was totally different than Kareem's, Bridgeman was totally involved in his investments and was completely hands on, while Kareem was more accepting of letting someone else handle his money and his investments, which makes you more susceptible to getting ripped off. At the end of the day, you are responsible for how your money is handled, and which investments to get involved in.

    (P.S) I would love to have a net worth of $20mill !!!...;)
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  17. generalthade_03

    generalthade_03 Contributing Member

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    This goes again everything the Obama administration believes in.....how dare you trying to be rich Junior Bridgeman, you must let the government take care of you!
     
  18. heypartner

    heypartner Contributing Member

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    Beard should invest in strip clubs. I can help him unionize them
     
  19. mingthething

    mingthething Member

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    [​IMG]
     
  20. Lunik II

    Lunik II Member

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    Eating Wendy's while reading that made me feel like im paying for his salary
     

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