My favorite sports article to date, written by Chris Ballard for Sports Illustrated, chronicles the the pratfall of Antoine Walker. It’s interesting to read the details of how a man with accomplishments that only MICHAEL JORDAN can equal (NCAA title, NBA title, and over $90 million made during his NBA career), can be living in near-poverty, playing with dreamers in the NBADL who would feel honored to have one bench-warming NBA season. However what has made this article stick with me is that Ballard unearths the heartache of many a pro athlete that oft goes unspoken. Ballard does an incredible job of detailing the pressures that elite athletes often fall prey to, and that is not having a trustworthy source for financial advising but also the pressure to remain loyal to one’s past, even at the stake of one’s wellbeing. Although frivolous spending was a main factor in his financial demise, it is reported that Walker had 30-70 friends and family members on his pay roll. I think Ballard did a commendable job in illustrating that elite athletes don’t just inherit fame and riches but also a completely taxing new set of pressures. It also goes without being said that Ballard does an outstanding job of humanizing the mistakes of a man that are entirely too easy to condemn and somehow igniting a little flame of hope in the reader for a man who’s past should garner anything but.