Metro-East News

Bankrupt former NBA star Darius Miles’ belongings to go on the auction block

Want to buy former NBA star Darius Miles’ waffle iron?

Here’s your chance. An auction will be held on Wednesday to satisfy creditors in Miles’ bankruptcy.

And it isn’t just waffle irons.

Miles has NBA jerseys signed by LeBron James, Larry Bird and Latrell Sprewell, and an NFL jersey signed by Michael Vick. He also has tennis shoes signed by Lamar Odom and a commemorative bat signed by Mark McGwire. They will all be on the auction block at Belle-Clair Fairgrounds at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday.

“(Miles’) personality is such that if someone needed something, he would just walk up and give it to them,” said Virgil Straeter, with Auction Associates. “He is probably the most humble, genuine professional athlete I have ever met.”

There will also be furniture, karaoke machines, more than 1,000 DVDs, video consoles and games.

A former East St. Louis Flyers basketball standout, Miles was a first-round draft pick with the Los Angeles Clippers in the 2000 NBA draft and signed a contract worth $9 million. He starred in a movie with Scarlett Johansson and Ryan Reynolds. He landed an endorsement with Michael Jordan’s athletic brand.

His star was rising, and his financial future looked secure.

In June, he filed for bankruptcy.

Miles is 35 now. It’s been 16 years since the 6-foot-9 forward was drafted by the Clippers straight out of East St. Louis Senior High School.

But injuries, legal problems and bad investments have left Miles asking the court to allow him to sell off his assets to pay creditors. Miles listed $460,385 in assets and $1.57 million in liabilities.

Miles listed a $20,000 child-support debt in his bankruptcy and a $100,000 loss in a 2008 California real-estate deal. He also lost money in another real-estate deal with fellow investors former St. Louis Rams player Marshall Faulk and rapper Nelly after a Laclede’s Landing property became mired in lawsuits.

In addition to his Belleville home, Miles listed 12 other properties he owns, all in East St. Louis. He has a Deutsche Bank account with $49,000 and his son’s college fund with $84,900. He also listed ownership of various collectibles with unknown value, including trophies, signed jerseys and jewelry.

Miles was raised in East St. Louis by his mother, Ethel, who drove a bus to support her son. He learned how to dribble a basketball on roller skates. After Miles was drafted, he put his mother up in a house 10 doors down, where she continued to cook and watch out for her only son. Ethel Miles died in 2013.

In 2000, sportswriters and coaches crowned Miles as Mr. Basketball Illinois. St. John’s University recruited Miles, but he opted to make himself available for the NBA draft. The LA Clippers bit. It was the highest a high school graduate had been selected in the NBA draft.

The Clippers later traded Miles to the Cleveland Cavaliers. He then went to Portland to play for the Trailblazers.

There were signs that Miles was having trouble adjusting to the NBA limelight.

In October 2003, a man said he was attacked by Miles in an East St. Louis nightclub. No charges were filed against Miles. In 2004, Miles’ best friend, Geracy “Ray Ray” Stephens, was stabbed to death at a Collinsville housing project. In January 2005, he was suspended from two games after a verbal clash with coach Maurice Cheeks. He later apologized. Miles was later suspended for 10 games for violating the league’s substance abuse policy.

Miles suffered a knee injury and missed two entire seasons between 2006 and 2008. In 2009, Fairview Heights police charged Miles with marijuana possession. That charge was later dismissed.

In 2010, Miles tried to revive his career by trying out for the Charlotte Bobcats. He was later waived by the team. The same year, Miles was sued for child support by a Chicago woman who was the mother of Miles’ daughter.

In 2014, Miles sold his home on Clairmont Drive in Shiloh for $500,000.

“I just hope this gives him a chance for a fresh start,” Straeter said.

Beth Hundsdorfer: 618-239-2570, @bhundsdorfer

Want to go?

Auction details: 5:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Belle-Clair Fairgrounds

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