NBA Retirees: Generating Income after the Buzzer

March 2, 2012 Rare Air: The Ross Blog 2 Comments

Amare Stoudemire works at Foot Locker during lockout

Talking Retirement Preparedness with Intern Kyle Chrupcala


With the recent news of Allen Iverson’s financial woes, more concern revolves around the plans upon retiring for NBA basketball players. According to Sports Illustrated, “60 percent of former NBA players are broke after five years of retirement.” Life doesn’t end at forty or fifty years old, therefore these players need to be prepared for the future ahead; at least thirty years or more. After a lifestyle that many players, like A.I, grew accustomed to, a consistent income is imperative.

With that being said, there are many notable NBA stars who have found success after leaving the basketball court.

Magic Johnson, one of the most successful players on and off the court, admitted that he didn’t know anything about business after retiring.  After seeking advice from power brokers, Magic is now counseling players on being prepared for life after a basketball career.  Magic’s success off the court is insurmountable. He is a media figure, motivational speaker, activist, sports commentator, business owner, and most importantly an HIV survivor. “I Stand with Magic,” a campaign initiated by the Magic Johnson Foundation, has provided free HIV/AIDS testing to more than 38,000 Americans in 16 major cities.

Charles Barkley, the 13 time NBA All-star, is definitely one to mention when it comes to business. Being one of the biggest personalities in the NBA, Sir Charles has made a name for himself as a sports analyst for multiple stations after his memorable 16 year basketball career. Not only does he have the gift of gab, but he can write; with two books authored under his belt. With an estimated net worth of $40 million, Barkley is another role model that players who focus solely on their basketball career should learn from.

Then there is Michael Jordan. It can be debated that he is the greatest basketball player of all time, but he is undoubtedly the most recognized in the sport. Michael Jordan is to basketball as Hulk Hogan is to professional wrestling. Jordan’s strategic branding of his name is remarkable. According to Forbes magazine, “Brand Jordan remains a $1 billion sales business for the sports manufacturer.” To add to his business deals, Jordan is also the majority owner of the Charlotte Bobcats, with 80 percent ownership. With numerous sponsorship deals from Nike, Gatorade, Coca-Cola and more, Jordan is the most entrepreneurial sports star to retire from the game that originally gave him his claim to fame.

The 2012 NBA Lockout could be seen as a blessing in disguise. It gave players a realization that there is a life after basketball. It provided an opportunity for athletes experiencing the lockout firsthand to prepare themselves for the beginning of the rest of their lives.

This unusual but admiring attempt of using his spare time for the better, Donte West became an employee of Regency Furniture. Although he had a criminal record, he assured his employer that it was just a misunderstanding as he included on his application.  And while some players weren’t utilizing their time wisely off the court, some continued to play in other leagues and other countries; like Duron Williams who played in Turkey, and Pau Gasol who helped lead Spain to their second straight euro title. Baron Davis is a great example when it came to making the best out of the 149 day lockout. After a 12 year absence, Davis enrolled back in school at UCLA. He planned on becoming a full-time student if the lockout turned long term. Even though it ended, Davis plans to go back to school to become a college basketball coach.

With the entrepreneurial spirit of these active players and hall of famers, the other current stars of the NBA should see these success stories as the answer to real problems they could face after game checks stop rolling in and endorsements slow down.  Also, they should view “The Answer,” aka Allen Iverson’s story as a wakeup call. His recent financial woes is a lesson that living the superstar life without a steady flow of income can only take you so far for so long. An entrepreneurial and innovative mindset can translate into promising business ventures and income; for anyone.   These success (and not-so successful) stories  should teach us to embrace new ventures to keep the wallet full, bills paid and houses out of foreclosure.

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  1. Ben C. says:

    Charles Barkley lost all of his weight by training CrossFit although he credited Nutrisystem most likely because he is getting paid the big bucks from them whereas CrossFit did not offer him a dime. Watch this video:

  2. nice blog great job and also nice work

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