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With his millions gone, Maryland legend Joe Smith gets help from Alex Rodriguez

Maryland's Joe Smith and assistant sports information director Chuck Walsh leave the court after the Terps' NCAA tournament victory over Texas in 1995.
Maryland's Joe Smith and assistant sports information director Chuck Walsh leave the court after the Terps' NCAA tournament victory over Texas in 1995. (Lloyd Fox / Baltimore Sun)

One promo for next week’s CNBC special “Back in the Game” tells us a couple of things about former Maryland men’s basketball star Joe Smith.

First, that he made $61 million over his 16-year NBA career.

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Second, that he’s lost nearly all of it.

As for how? It seems Smith, 42, has followed the time-honored, Hemingway-inspired tradition of going (nearly) broke gradually, then suddenly. In another promo for the show, which airs at 10 p.m. Tuesday, he tells host Alex Rodriguez some of his expenses over the years. It’s a long list.

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There were the homes purchased in every city he played in (12 total), many of them paid for in cash. There was “quite a bit of jewelry.” And there was the Chevrolet Corvette, the Mercedes-Benz SL 500, the Mercedez-Benz S 600, the Bentley, the Porsche Panamera and the two Range Rovers.

“What happened to Steve Francis?” he wrote in a first-person account Thursday for The Players’ Tribune. It wasn’t crack cocaine that caused his spiral, he says.

(Left unmentioned was the $100,000-plus Smith claims his ex-girlfriend, “Love & Hip Hop Hollywood” star Moniece Slaughter, bilked him out of between October 2011 and March 2012.)

“When you tell me how I build their self-esteem, I don't know how, because mine is shot," the former national Player of the Year and No. 1 draft pick tells Rodriguez.

According to CNBC, Rodriguez works to build Smith’s confidence and “get him back on solid financial footing.”

Smith, who last played in the NBA in 2011, averaged 10.9 points and 6.4 rebounds per game over his career. Along with fellow former Terps star Steve Francis, he was undrafted in last year’s Big3 basketball league (though he did later play). His most recent appearance in College Park came in November 2015, when Smith was an honorary captain for Maryland’s game against Georgetown.

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