For Boris Becker, there was only one thing that mattered: Boris Becker. And he believed that a whole life can be fought with the rules of tennis. This ignorance of the player Becker has now put him behind bars. From someone who would not learn.
The world that Boris Becker once ruled and ruled was 668.86 square meters. A tennis court or – as in Wimbledon – “my living room”, as Becker often said. He dominated this world for years in legendary games and legendary finals with pike jumping and with over 200 km / h fast servings, alone. “Me”, as it appeared on the cover of a major news magazine in 2001.
He left this world with his last professional fight in 1999 to lead something called life outside the 668.86 square meters. Now, 23 years later, this Becker life ends in a cell that, according to those who know the circumstances, will be maybe six to eight square meters. For two and a half years with good behavior for 15 months.
That means prison
15 months means Christmas, Easter, his birthday, his mother’s birthday, his children’s birthdays, the Wimbledon tournament, the US Open, the espresso in his bar in London … It means prison. And it also means that the actually short list of German sports heroes behind bars is one name longer. Bubi Scholz, Graciano Rocchigiani, Uli Hoeness and Boris Becker. You have to get used to it first. Back then, in 1999, everything could have been different.
For he was equipped for a life after tennis, at least outwardly. He was known all over the world, popular, a hero. And worth an estimated $ 50 million, he was a man who could have invested wisely. In projects, in sports companies, in tennis schools, you name it, his name was a brand that shone. Tennis players are pure athletes, doping or bribery conditions are hardly known from tennis.
And Boris Becker also had all the freedom to afford life after tennis, for how should someone who has been hitting balls over the net since he was 17 know about business life, balances, contracts? In the weeks before the court in London, he himself admitted that he had not read any contracts or bank statements while still playing, that others had always done it for him.
It was a rare confession, for he conducted Becker’s business life differently and presented it differently. Legs apart, first-class, Mercedes car dealership owners, inventors of tennis rackets, internet pioneers, no matter what, but almost everything without success. It was a life with only one headline: “I”. And this, and you can say it today, never left the 668.86 square meter tennis court in your head. Becker was always of the opinion that the few rules in a tennis match are enough to become a winner in reality, and when it came to everyday life around him, he could make the rules himself.
The ace no longer worked
If you talked to him and tried to figure out his intricate rocks and nooks, if you can call it that, business or asked the reasons for his multi-million dollar bankruptcy, he could always look down with a mixture of hubris and indifference and do it with “Don’t worry, a Boris Becker has it under control” from the table. And if you asked further, you sometimes said, “I will not tell you that, it is my intellectual property.” Today, it is known that this property was not very large and was often limited to the phrase that Becker once said many years ago about his business tactics: “You hit a few returns, and at the right moment you bet an ace. “
Only the ace no longer worked, as was seen in the days before the court in London. How bad his legal situation was – and that he also knew it – was felt if one will on his lack of service. For suddenly there was no longer “I” Becker, but the innocent, ill-advised by everyone else; the ignorant who had not been told which properties actually belonged to him. But that was not true on at least four points in the indictment, and the judge saw it for what it was. A game, but without serve, but with, yes, not mea culpa return.
That says a lot about player Becker’s ignorance of believing he would somehow survive the London trial. Because please, according to his belief, what has he already done wrong? Okay, forget to mention a few bucks here and there, but not in bad faith. And he, who has done so much for Germany’s good reputation in the world, can not see exactly where his “worldwide” fortune is. It was the bad press that ruined his reputation, and besides, there were always others who used him.
Boris Becker did not exempt the rich from money to give to the poor
It’s the same ignorance one encounters with others in the celebrity class when Thomas Gottschalk, for example, says: “Boris did not skin off poor grandmothers. At worst, a few rich financiers have become a little poorer who are worried. With the fame of tennis idol would decorating, and it was obviously a bad investment. My sympathy for them is limited. “
Of course, this Robin Hood-like view is not correct, for Becker did not steal money from the rich to give to the poor, but borrowed money to close the gaps in his very expensive lifestyle and his extremely deficient business. He has not paid bills to companies to pay their employees, he has let the gardeners at his Mallorca Großmanns-Bau sit on their claims and and and. The list is, once you know it, embarrassingly long.
These rules of the game apply to any plumber, any seller. Each Becker
And he has betrayed confidence in an English bankruptcy law that gave him a chance to be out of it all after a year on the condition that he put all his fortune, every penny, on the table. Rules of the game, well-meaning ones that apply to everyone. For every plumber, every salesman and every Becker.
The London prosecutor spoke of a “bad character” in Boris Becker. It’s hard and maybe not right. Better would be: an unfinished character, one who has never left his “I” to become a “we” or “they”.
And something else to remember: Boris should have been warned. As early as 2002, a court in Munich sentenced him to a fine of 500,000 euros and a suspended prison sentence for tax evasion. He voluntarily paid back tax of three million euros. He had to borrow the money from someone back then. This is how it started and has now, through countless economic adventures, led to the judgment of London. Had to head there because Becker never left the tennis court in his head.