It must be pretty tough trying to adjust to the real world after having everything handed to you on a silver spoon for most of your adult life. After all, having somebody take care of the first-class travel, accommodations, and restaurant reservations for pampered athletes requires a special skill.
Well it looks like the NBA millionaires will have to fend for themselves pretty soon if the league decides to lock them out. But if they do get told to take a hike when the current collective bargaining agreement runs out on June 30, the players’ union is doing its best to prepare them for the horrors that will surely follow. The union has written a 56-page guidebook on how to live without their outrageous salaries, called ‘Hope for the best. Prepare for the worst.’ According to a union spokesperson, the books were handed out to clubs from November to February.
The book is designed to help NBA players prepare for the financial burdens which could result if there’s a stoppage. This isn’t the first time a self-help book has been produced to help millionaire athletes cope. The NFL players’ union also published one and recently handed it out since it looks like that league might also lock players out when their agreement expires and if extensions don’t prove to be fruitful.
The NBA’s book gives players advice on how to pay their regular expenses such as rent or mortgages. It suggests they don’t go out and buy anything new or extravagant, such as jewelry, cars, and clothing. It also advises them to stay away from gambling towns like Atlantic City and Las Vegas while telling them to keep in touch with their children, agents, wives and the their all-important entourages.
The book features a chapter called ‘Clothing and Jewelry’ and lets players know that these items don’t have much of a resale value and are pretty hard to liquidate quickly if the going gets tough. Players are advised to place their money in a lockout fund to take care of their loved ones
The union’s executive director Billy Hunter warns the players that a lockout is extremely likely.
The main reason of course is because of money. The union says the league is loaded and the league naturally wants to cut down on player benefits and salaries. It all gets a little complicated after that as the union and league throw about percentage and increased revenue numbers that most hard-working fans have a hard time listening to considering some players make more in a year than they will during a lifetime.
The book contains another section that tells players to be careful when talking to the media. Back in the last lockout in 1998, Kenny Anderson was quoted by the New York Times as saying things were so tough he was thinking of selling his Mercedes. That statement attracted a lot of bad press and it’s something the league wants to avoid this time around.
The books might be useful for rookies and guys making the league minimum, but it’s doubtful the top players are going to take the time to read them, not when the top guy’s making about $2 million a month.