What is Spencer Haywood’s Net Worth?
Spencer Haywood (born April 22, 1949), is an American former professional basketball player, with an estimated net worth of approximately $3 million*.
Spencer Haywood was a member of the NBA from 1969 through 1983. Haywood played for many teams including the Seattle SuperSonics and New York Knicks as well as the Los Angeles Lakers, Washington Bullets, and Los Angeles Lakers. Haywood won a medal with the US men’s basketball team at the 1968 Summer Olympics. Haywood was the ABA MVP for 1970 and 1980, and won an NBA championship. He was a four-time NBA All-Star, an ABA All-Star, and All-Star Game MVP. His #24 was retired in Seattle by the Seattle SuperSonics. He is also a member of The Basketball Hall of Fame.
Spencer was a star in his field and earned an average of $350,000 per season, which is equivalent to about $1.5 million today.
Spencer was also known for his marriage to Iman, a supermodel from 1977 to 1987. They had one child together.
A young shoe company called Nike approached Spencer early in his playing career to offer him endorsement. Spencer was offered $100,000, which is roughly $500k today. Or a 10% stake in the company. Unfortunately, Spencer chose to take $100k. He would have earned significantly more if he had accepted the equity offer (not including dividends).
Spencer Haywood was born in Silver City, Mississippi on 22 April 1949. He moved to Detroit’s Krainz Woods neighborhood in his teens. He attended Pershing High School and helped to lead the school’s basketball team to the state title.
In 1967, Haywood enrolled at Trinidad State Junior College in Colorado. He averaged 22.1 rebounds and 28.2 points per game on the college’s basketball team during the 1967-68 seasons. In the fall of 1968, Haywood transferred to the University of Detroit. He averaged 32.1 points per match that season and was the NCAA’s leader in rebounding, with 21.5 points per game.
1968 Summer Olympics
Haywood was still in college when he got a spot on the US national basketball team for the Summer Olympics. He was not only the youngest player at the tournament but he also scored 16.1 points per match, which made him the top scorer. He won the gold medal with his team.
Haywood made the decision to become a professional after his sophomore year at college. This was prohibited by NBA rules, which required that players must be graduates of their classes before they could join the league. Haywood was therefore signed to the ABA’s Denver Rockets. He averaged 30 points per game and grabbed 19.5 rebounds per match during his first season with the Rockets, 1969-70. This was enough to win the Western Division title for the ABA. The Rockets defeated the Washington Caps seven times to reach the division semifinals. In the end, the team lost to the Los Angeles Stars. Despite losing the final game, Haywood still had an amazing season. His 986 field goals, and 1,637 rebounds set ABA single-season records. Haywood was awarded ABA Rookie of the year and ABA MVP.
Haywood was a member of the NBA’s Seattle SuperSonics in 1970. Haywood was named to the All-NBA’s First Team in 1972, 1973 and All-NBA’s Second Team in 1974, 1975, respectively. Haywood also established a single-season franchise record of 29.2 points per game. This was in 1972-73. He set a new single season franchise record for rebounding with an average of 13.4 games the following season. Haywood was the team’s first ever playoff berther in his final season as a SuperSonics player. Haywood also participated in four NBA All-Star Games while he was with Seattle.
After five seasons with SuperSonics Haywood was traded to New York Knicks. He played with them from 1975 to 1979. He was also a part of the Bob McAdoo team. Haywood then briefly played for the New Orleans Jazz. He then played briefly for the New Orleans Jazz in 1979-80. Haywood developed a cocaine addiction during this period. He fell asleep during practice and was eventually let go by the Lakers in the 1980 NBA Finals. Haywood played with the Washington Bullets from 1981 to 1983, and ended his NBA career.
Haywood was a professional basketball player for Reyer Venezia in Italy during the 1980-81 season. He was a teammate of Drazen Dalipagic from Serbia, who is one of the most accomplished athletes in Yugoslavian sports history.
Haywood vs. National Basketball Association
Haywood signed in 1969 with the Seattle SuperSonics. He and the team had violated a rule of the NBA that said a player cannot join the league if they are less than four years old. Haywood, facing severe consequences, decided to challenge the NBA rules and launch an antitrust lawsuit against SuperSonics owner Sam Schulman. Haywood argued that the policy was a restraint of trade and therefore was illegal under the Sherman Antitrust Act. The case reached the Supreme Court. It ultimately upheld an earlier injunction issued by the US District Court in the Central District of California in Haywood’s favor. Haywood and the SuperSonics came to an agreement out-of court, which allowed him to continue with the league.
Haywood was married to Iman, a fashion model and actress in 1977. They had a daughter, Zulekha. They divorced in 1987. Haywood married Linda in 1990, and they have three children.
Haywood was inducted into Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2015.
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