If you follow the NBA even a little bit, you know the amount of money being given to players is jaw-dropping. Players are receiving contracts that will net them close to a quarter of a billion dollars in just four or five years. To call that sort of money life-changing would be an understatement.
Because of so many people poking and prodding around these uber-rich stars, information is leaked to sources who then tell the public about the details of their massive contracts. So the information becomes public. Despite the information becoming public, 14 year NBA veteran and NBA Players Association President Chris Paul says that finance is the one topics that does not receive talking time in NBA locker rooms.
“I’ve been around long enough to realize that guys in our league, we talk about everything in the locker room except for finance, except for money,” Paul told The Athletic. “Nobody talks about money, because it’s one of those uncomfortable things.”
Paul desperately wants to change this dynamic. He believes if wages are more openly discussed, it can help young guys who stumble upon newfound wealth better manage their money and build on it — opposed to blowing it all within a short period of time.
“I’ve heard so many stories. That’s why I try to talk to guys because it happens,” Paul explained. “This is a short career. In the grand scheme of life, this is a short career. You try to maximize it as much as possible. There’s the rookie transition program and all these different people that try and help you. But when you come in the NBA at 18 years old, you’re just thinking about basketball, basketball, basketball. You don’t even understand what health insurance is.”
Paul has made efforts to discuss financial literacy before. When Steve Ballmer purchased the Clippers in 2014, he asked Steve to speak to the team about how he amassed his $50 billion fortune and what he does to maintain it.
“My hope is that’s something we can keep implementing in our league and just try to continue that dialogue,” Paul added. “I think guys would definitely listen to the owners and CEOs of their teams who’ve dealt with that type of money.”