Ever wonder how, exactly, someone who makes tens of millions of dollars over the course of a medium-to-long pro sports career can find himself in financial ruin? Welcome to Exhibit 72,962, The Bad Investment. The stars of this episode? Former Duke basketball players Christian Laettner and Brian Davis. Oh, and for some reason, Shawne Merriman.
Davis and Laettner, owners of Blue Devil Ventures, were up-and-comers in the real estate market, having successfully completed an urban redevelopment project in Durham at the beginning of the decade. Buoyed by their initial success and ability to turn a profit in the early-oughts real estate market (this is where your internal disaster alarm should be going off), the two planned a massive “second phase” in Durham while simultaneously investing in similar restoration projects across America, even trying to take on the biggest blight available: the Memphis Grizzlies.