Chicago Bulls fans recently had a unique opportunity to own a significant symbol of the team's successful history -“ NBA championship rings from the Bulls' 1996, 1997, and 1998 seasons. This was the era of the legendary trio -“ Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, and Dennis Rodman -“ who, together, formed one of the most powerful starting lineups the NBA has ever seen.
Jordan, Pippen, and Coach Phil Jackson all received championship rings those years. But they weren't the only ones recognized this way. Randy Brown also received a ring each of those years. Brown was a back-up guard, but proved himself vital to the strength of the lineup. In fact, Brown is credited with helping the team achieve its best record to date: 72 wins and 10 losses during the 1996 season.
After his successful career in the NBA, Brown went on to act as assistant coach for the Sacramento Kings. But, unfortunately, he recently fell on hard times financially -“ and was dismissed from his coaching spot to boot. He filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy late last year. And that's how the Bulls championship rings ended up on the market. Early this year, the bankruptcy judge in Brown's case ordered Brown to sell his rings. The minimum bid required? $19,000. The rings actually appraised at $40,000 and ultimately fetched even more than that. Last month, an anonymous buyer paid $58, 833 for the set of rings -“ which contained nearly 200 diamonds combined -“ outbidding Jordan's former publicist, Estee Portnoy, who had offered $40,000.
Brown was, understandably, unhappy about having to part with the rings, given their obvious sentimental value. Brown joins a long list of professional athletes who've run into financial trouble and had to take cover under the protection of the bankruptcy laws. Mike Tyson, Bjorn Borg, Tony Gwynn, Dorothy Hamill, Joe Louis, Lawrence Taylor, and Johnny Unitas have all been there. So have many other rich and famous folks: Abraham Lincoln, Kim Bassinger, Burt Reynolds, MC Hammer, Marvin Gaye, Willie Nelson, Samuel L. Clemens (Mark Twain), Donald Trump, and Wayne Newton -“ to name just a few.
Riches and fame aside, Brown's situation is reminiscent of the plight many average Americans are struggling with across the country today: unmanageable and unaffordable debt. Whether it's a job loss, pay cut, or an "upside down- mortgage, millions of people are falling prey to the current economic turmoil and sinking into a hole financially. Bankruptcy was designed to help people in this situation, by giving them the opportunity to make a fresh start.
So if you're currently struggling with unmanageable debt, or think you might be heading for this kind of trouble, call a bankruptcy attorney today and learn what bankruptcy can do for you. In North Carolina, contact The Law Offices of John T. Orcutt, with convenient office locations in Raleigh, Durham, Fayetteville, and Wilson. Call (toll free) 1-888-234-4181, to set up a free, confidential debt consultation. Visit www.billsbills.com for more information.