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Money mistakes: What these NBA standouts learned

Money is not an issue for Turner Broadcasting commentators Charles Barkley and Grant Hill after their stellar NBA careers — but it wasn't always that way. CNBC asked Barkley and Hill what their biggest financial mistakes were.

Barkley, who grew up in Leeds, Alabama, said he learned early on the opportunities that basketball would give him. "I realized that unless you can dribble a basketball, throw a football or hit a baseball, the chances of being successful are very limited."

Barkley went on to earn more than $40 million in his career but says his made a big financial mistake early on.

Grant Hill
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Grant Hill

"The biggest mistake I made was trusting people with my money," Barkley said, referring to his first sports agent, Lance Luchnick. "My first agent was a scum bag who stole all my money."

A man who answered the phone at Luchnick's office on Friday told CNBC that Luchnick was not available and that he would not comment. The man would not give his name.

Barkley says the lesson he learned is to pay closer attention to his finances and take precautions even with his closest allies. "You should get your money audited every year, because money makes people do crazy things," he added.

Hill, who made more than $140 million in career earnings, said early on he blew some of his money on buying cars and made some bad investments over time.

"In sports, it's part of learning how you respond to failure. I think the same thing can be applied everywhere," he said.

Hill said he now plays it safe and keeps his money diversified after living through the financial crisis of 2008.

"I don't forget the emotions and feelings that the world is coming to an end at least in the financial markets. Things are better now."