By Angela Wills
Entering the league offers various experiences for athletes. Some make an immediate impact, while others never achieve superstar status. In some cases, they even migrate from team to team while only contributing a few minutes per game, or at least offer veteran leadership.
But hey, the paycheck looks relatively appealing regardless.
Adonal Foyle played in the NBA for 12 seasons for the Golden State Warriors, Orlando Magic and Memphis Grizzlies, yet never averaged more than six points or seven rebounds in a season. But his solidity as a player was enough to establish longevity, and earn more than $63 million during the length of his career.
Since retiring in 2009, Foyle has launched several business ventures, including providing financial counseling to athletes. He’s also written a book called Winning the Money Game, and recently spoke with the Los Angeles Clippers’ J.J. Redick on Yahoo’s podcast, “The Vertical” about money management of funds earned by NBA players.
Redick revealed that players often set goals for saving and investing their earnings, but if those players go on to spend more than they save, the effort lacks reward. Foyle stated that many of the players he works with have to answer an innocent question during the initial consultation “How much did you spend on coffee?”
Foyle believes that simple questions such as this, or “how much did you give to your mom or sister,” are designed to make athletes think. If the player isn’t sure, Foyle sees that as an indicator that the player isn’t in total control of his finances. “They know how to buy a car, they know how to buy a house, but they don’t really know how much they’re spending or how much they give their boy, because some of it is cash. You give your boy $50, you give your mom $1,000.”
Foyle’s reason behind asking the coffee question is to get people to take an honest look at themselves. He believes that if you really can’t engage in this conversation, then you’re not really aware of what’s happening with your finances. Not knowing how much is spent on the simple or little things tends to be the same case for the amount spent on the larger items and eventually, it’s all out of control.
Foyle feels that the biggest challenge is having athletes say no to their friends and family. Acquiring millions of dollars makes players want to take care of those that are closest to them. He recommends that players design a blueprint for spending and allowances early on in their careers. This is especially necessary when it concerns giving money to friends and family because it sets the guidelines for what’s to be expected before it’s too late in the game.