King Of Beasts With his NBA loot Matt Geiger has become a latter-day Noah

May 16, 2004

Matt Geiger has a lot of mouths to feed. First there's Big Daddy,
his prize buffalo. Then there's Mr. T, his donkey. And then there
are the other 45 animals, ranging from cows to minstrel horses,
that roam his estate near Tampa.

Geiger and his agents used nature's eat-or-be-eaten principles to
negotiate a six-year, $52 million deal with the Philadelphia
76ers, his third team, in 1998. Three years later aching knees
forced him to retire after nine seasons in the NBA. The Sixers
still owed him $24 million. "I wasn't the guy who had all the
talent," says the 7'1" Geiger, who averaged 9.2 points and 5.7
rebounds. "I was the guy who worked hard."

And still does. Matthew Allen Geiger used his basketball earnings
to build a company called MAG Animal--which sells animals to
sustain his menagerie--and two other businesses: a real estate
corporation and a luxury transportation service. While he won't
say what his investments are worth, his bachelor pad gives clues.
The 34-year-old lives in a six-bedroom, 29,000-square-foot
mansion. He has four pet sharks in a 3,000-gallon tank, and a
750-gallon aquarium.

"I don't want to sit back and enjoy my money," Geiger says. "I'd
like to continue to make money. I'd like to retire twice."

--Melissa Segura

COLOR PHOTO: BILL FRAKES (GEIGER)

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)