Former NBA No. 1 draft pick Joe Smith earned $61 million over his 16-year career. Today, he's living paycheck-to-paycheck and owes $157,000.
"A lot of people think once you sign that contract, you're just an automatic millionaire," Smith tells former MLB star and businessman Alex Rodriguez on CNBC's "Back in the Game," in which Rodriguez helps former pro athletes get back on solid financial footing.
"But it doesn't work like that. Nobody really explained that and broke that down to me, that Uncle Sam, out of that $3 million, Uncle Sam is going to take probably $1.5 [million] of that. That was just something I had to learn."
While Smith collected $61 million in total earnings, after taxes, agent fees and management fees, he actually took home about $18 million over the course of his career. Still, that's more money than most Americans ever see in a lifetime.
What really got Smith off track was his spending.