Via Half Sigma, we learn the factoid that 3 out of 5 former pro basketball players are broke within a half decade of being out of the game. The typical NBA player makes millions of dollars and has a two digit IQ. That's a recipe for trouble -- both overspending and getting scammed by advisors.
A major problem is that many NBA players don't have anybody they can trust in their immediate family with a three digit IQ to manage their money for them.
This attracts some gaudy parasites. For example, Jonathan Tilove's book, The View from MLK Boulevard, reports on the Rev. J. Richard Harris of St. John First Missionary Baptist Church in the impoverished town of Belle Glade, Florida. As I noted in VDARE:
The Reverend is a convicted felon who did time for traveler's check fraud in the 1970s, pleaded no contest to failing to return a rental car in 1996, and claims to have firebombed white-owned businesses in the 1960s.
Yet, Tilove says,
"Harris has a remarkable talent, a gift, for which there is no precise word in the English language. Through a combination of charisma, chutzpah, cunning, and cool, he has a knack for being where it's at and looking as if that is right where he belongs."
For example, in 2000 his humble congregation was astonished to view him on the global Super Bowl broadcast consoling the losing coach.
Reason: Harris’ Belle Glade is a town of 15,000 that has sent roughly one football player to the NFL every year since 1985, a rate about 100 times the national average.
Leveraging this local natural resource, the Rev. Harris now specializes in ministering to the spiritual needs of NFL players, most famously Baltimore Ravens superstar Ray Lewis during that linebacker's murder trial. One pro player recently gave the Rev. Harris a Lexus. Another gave him a Rolex.
His duties counseling rich young men don't preclude this man of God from pursuing a love affair with the camera that makes Paris Hilton look like J.D. Salinger. Tilove notes that Harris was subsequently seen introducing Jesse Jackson at a protest rally during the 2000 Florida recount brouhaha; lecturing the United Nations Commission on Human Rights in Geneva, Switzerland; and dancing with former Attorney General Janet Reno in a New York Times photograph of her bizarre "Janet Reno Dance Party" fundraiser that was inspired by Will Ferrell's Saturday Night Live sketch.
In contrast, I knew a Stanford grad, the son of a suburban lawyer, who made tens of millions in big league sports. He had his brother, a CPA, manage his money for him. Everything worked out fine.
Perhaps the NBA should offer a money management service for players designed to protect capital. The players would only be issued debit cards, rather than credit cards, and league-employed accountants would only let them spend, say, $3,000 per week.
Of course, with the current allegations of NBA officials fixing playoff games to extend the series, maybe the NBA wouldn't be the most trustworthy organization to manage this.
By the way, there should be an official list where you can place your name and social security number to say that you don't want to be issued a credit card, and each credit card issuer would be required to check everybody they sign up against the list.