Sammamish, WA –Robert Swift’s departure from his Seattle-area hilltop home was anything but swift.
A young couple bought the property from the bank in January after it fell into foreclosure, but Swift was squatting on the premises since then. The couple tried to get in touch with him numerous times after they acquired ownership but to no avail.
Swift, who apparently is sadly another pro athlete who squandered his fortune, finally left just ahead of the King County sheriff’s deputies who would have evicted him after a court-ordered deadline came and went.
Swift reportedly moved out sometime last weekend, according to KOMO News, and his current whereabouts are unknown.
Robert Swift was Seattle’s first-round draft choice with the 12th overall pick right out of high school in 2004. He bypassed college and went directly to pro ball where most observers considered him a bust. The 7″1″ center who played for the NBA Seattle SuperSonics, the Oklahoma City Thunder, and in Japan, pocketed somewhere in the range of $12 to $20 million in his basketball career depending upon some estimates, but has evidently fallen on hard times, which included losing the home to foreclosure last year.
According to Deadspin‘s summary of his basketball career, “beset by injury and ineffectiveness, Swift never put it together.” After being released by the Thunder (who had relocated from Seattle), he refused a NBA Developmental League assignment and went to the Tokyo Apache.
The new owners, Eric and Jessica Ko-Dalzell, didn’t exactly find the Welcome Wagon waiting for them at Swift’s former home. USA Today reports that “When the new owners went inside, they were met by an intense smell and “shocking” conditions of squalor.” They found the place trashed, with beer bottles, pizza boxes, dog droppings, shell casting, bullet holes, all over the place. Poignantly, they also discovered basketball memorabilia, including unopened correspondence from several college hoops powerhouses offering Swift a full scholarship.
[Top image credit: STB-1]
Why do think so many professional athletes have difficulties with money management?