Ex-NBAer Owns 72 Papa John’s, Outback Stores

Former Kentucky and NBA star Jamal Mashburn has built himself a restaurant franchise empire.

Jamal Mashburn and Rick Pitino

(Thankfully, they didn’t choose the sportswear business)

In a recent interview with Aron Phillips of DimeMag.com, Mashburn said he owned a jaw-dropping number of chain restaurants:

I’ve always been in business and own franchises of Papa John’s, Dunkin’ Donuts and Outback Steakhouse, as well as car dealerships. I own over 34 Outbacks, 37 Papa John’s and dealerships in Kentucky.

There’s no follow from Phillips on Mashburn’s restaurant investments, so we don’t know the nature of Mashburn’s stake in the individual businesses. Though one recent online solicitation for Outback franchises required a $75,000 up front fee and $6.5 million line of credit for ownership of four restaurants.

The LEXINGTON (KY) HERALD-LEADER confirmed Mashburn’s restaurant business interests in March, 2008, including the identity of his very high profile partner.

In 2000, an investor group including Mashburn, (Rick) Pitino and Avare completed the purchase of 70 percent of Toyota on Nicholasville and the Lexus Store of Lexington on U.S. 27 in Nicholasville.

Two years later, the trio picked up Ron McCauley as a business partner and bought Toyota of Richmond. McCauley eventually bought out his partners. He sold the dealership in 2007.

Other restaurant ventures for Mashburn, Pitino and Avare include 35 Outback Steakhouses throughout California. Mashburn and Avare, along with McCarty, who is an assistant coach at U of L and played under Pitino with the Boston Celtics, are partners in a company that owns and operates 28 Papa John’s pizza restaurants in six states.

Mashburn also reportedly dabbles in the horse racing business, partnering with Outback Steakhouse co-founder Chris T. Sullivan and Pitino on a stable of thoroughbreds.

Ironic to hear that Mashburn, who made $75,623,634 during his 13 NBA seasons, is currently entrenched in business with Pitino in light of the horrific financial condition of fellow former Kentucky and NBA star Antoine Walker.

Walker now has virtually nothing to show for his $108,142,015 in NBA earnings and may eventually see jail time for debts incurred in Vegas.

Would love to know if Pitino offered to cut Walker into the deal he did with Mashburn back in 2000. Or Mashburn for that matter.