Life after the NBA has been sweet for many, while others have found their great fortunes evaporating like magic. It’s all glory and greatness for a handful of years, on average. On the upside, the NBA offers one of the most generous retirement plans of all sports, second only to MLB. Vested after just three years (if they make it that long) and compensated with 140% matching funds to their NBA 401k contributions, it’s enviable.
On the other hand, the average retirement age finds players barely in their 30s, while their salary and retirement must last the rest of their lives. Luckily, with fame and name appeal, many are able to launch into a new career with an alley-oop slam dunk. Just think of Shaq and his expansive menu of corporate brands from which to promote with his trademark smile. And what about his Hollywood contact list? It must be like a laundry list of top agents and producers. So, what have the rest done? How have other NBA greats transitioned from the courts and lights lifestyle to real life? Take a look at these awe-inspiring retirement stories.
Junior Bridgeman – Fast Food Franchise Investor
This Hall of Fame NBA forward and shooting guard enjoyed a stellar basketball career, but, arguably, doubled his accomplishments outside of the court. Drafted by the Lakers in 1975, Bridgeman was then swept off to the Milwaukee Bucks where he enjoyed a solid 12-year career. However, in the decades since he left the league, he’s made millions more slam dunking within the fast food industry.
In 1988 the Bucks retired Bridgeman’s jersey and he was inducted into the Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame in 1999. Meanwhile, Bridgeman, with his precision business acumen, invested in three Wendy’s franchises, learning the ropes of the franchise by working at a local Wendy’s. He now owns over 160 Wendy’s burger shops and more than 120 Chili’s restaurants. He’s the second largest Wendy’s franchise owner and one of the most successful post-professional sports athletes. Recently he has set his sights on another fast food must-have—Coca Cola. Bridgeman has been shifting his focus into distribution for the soda Goliath.
Adam Morrison – Stay-at-Home Dad
Like others of these athletes with an abbreviated career, Adam Morrison has the unenviable distinction known as an NBA bust. At Gonzaga University Morrison stood out as one of the top players and was drafted third overall in the 2006 NBA draft. Signed by the Charlotte Bobcats, his uneventful career with the NBA virtually ended with the Lakers in 2010. He went on for a comeback try with international teams and with an NBA summer league but threw in the towel by 2012. Brand endorsements for Adidas and Johnson & Johnson, as well as returning to Gonzaga to study sports management and do some coaching have been a few of his post-retirement endeavors. But number one on his list is being a dad for his two daughters and young son. He and his girlfriend share a non-traditional relationship. Morrison doesn’t believe marriage is necessary.
They live just outside of Spokane, Washington on a gorgeous piece of land with green countryside and mountain views. The daily schedules of his children are his first priority. Of his lifestyle choice, Morrison had this to say: “I’ve saved my money and done well where I can now pick and choose how I spend my time.”
Mark Blount – Real Estate Investor
Mark Blount played for the NBA for ten years. It was the culmination of his childhood dream. First, he struggled to make it to the University of Pittsburgh and, finally, to the NBA. In 2000, Blount, a seven-foot-tall center from Yonkers, New York, was drafted by the Boston Celtics. In 2010 he retired from his career as a solid center for several teams including the Denver Nuggets, the Minnesota Timberwolves and Miami Heat. As soon as he retired, he knew he had to make some serious moves if he was going to retain his NBA-star lifestyle. From flipping residential real estate to running Cinnabon shops, Blount’s enthusiasm for the challenge of the real estate business is palpable. “The restaurant business was a learning curve for me, but the real estate [business] is a passion for me,” Blount says.
He opened three Auntie Anne’s shops in Florida, ran them for four years, then sold them for a hefty profit in order to focus on his real estate projects. He and his partners invest in various properties and renovate aging residences for housing. He’s also involved with several philanthropic activities in his local Fort Lauderdale community, like Toys for Tots in Palm Beach Gardens. Advice for other guys who have to leave the court behind, Blount suggests getting into business or taking courses to find an interest in something.
Derrick Coleman – Clean Water Delivery
First-round pick Derrick Coleman became Rookie of the Year for the Nets after they drafted him in 1990. He went on to play for the All-Stars in 1994. Averaging 20 points per game, Coleman had huge potential, but by 2005, with fifteen NBA seasons under his belt, the Pistons released him from his contract due to his part in an infamous on-court brawl in 2004 between the Pacers and the Pistons.
Today you might find him hauling clean water supplies to residents in Flint, Michigan. Since it was discovered in 2014 that the city of Flint had signed up for a contaminated water source, Coleman had been driving 65 miles a day to deliver fresh water supplies to Flint. “I’ve seen the rust and everything that’s in their water,” a concerned Coleman said, rhetorically asking, “How can this happen here in America?” Michigan is Coleman’s hometown. He went back to live there in 2011. Besides supplying clean water, he invested heavily in renovating and revitalizing the city, trying to bring jobs and economic development to Flint, but he invested during poor economic times and lost it all.
John Stockton - Youth Basketball Coach
John Stockton made his mark as an up and coming point guard at Gonzaga catching the eye of the Utah Jazz who chose him in the first round of the 1984 draft. He played for the Jazz his entire career racking up assists by sending packages to Karl “The Mailman” Malone until he retired in 2003. Stockton was appreciated. The city commemorated him by renaming the street to the Salt Lake City Delta Center “John Stockton Drive.” In 2004, they retired his number 12 jersey. In 2009 he became a Basketball Hall of Famer.
After retirement Stockton became a coach. First, he coached youth teams, splitting his time between several different teams. In 2015 he coached professionally, joining the women’s basketball program at Montana State University for a few years. He’s also been pursuing a business career.
Darko Milicic – Apple Farmer
In 2001, Darko Milicic was drafted just one pick behind LeBron James, but Milicic’s NBA career lagged far behind. The Detroit Pistons had high hopes for the 7-foot-tall Serbian, but Milicic did not like playing for the NBA. In fact, he’s already sold his Pistons Championship ring and donated the money to charity. He abruptly retired in 2012. “I was so lost,” Milicic said, “I really came to hate basketball, you know? I just wanted to come back home and live another life.”
And so, he did. After playing briefly for a Serbian basketball team and then giving a kickboxing career a quick shot, he found his true calling. Back at home in his native Serbia he became an apple farmer. He traveled to Italy to study orchard farming and put $8 million into a 125-acre apple farm that yields over 10,000 pounds of fruit per year. He loves it. With sheer excitement in his eyes, he talks about getting into cherry farming.
Detlef Schrempf – Business Development Officer
Detlef Schrempf chose the most practical career path possible after retiring from the NBA in 2001. As a financial advisor, he learned how to best manage his wealth, and he’s done a great job! His net worth is $5 million. He hit the NBA shortly upon migrating from Germany to the U.S. After dominating the high school court when he moved here in his senior year, he led the Washington Huskies to the Pac-10, twice.
As an NBA star, Schrempf racked up scoreboards for the Dallas Mavericks, the Indiana Pacers, and the Seattle SuperSonics for 16 years. He was a two-time Sixth Man of the Year and a three-time All-Star. After retirement he stayed in the league for a couple years as an assistant coach for the Sonics. Coldstream Capital has been pleased to employ Schrempf as a Business Development Officer.
Hakeem Olajuwon – Real Estate Mogul
Hakeem Olajuwon is another basketball legend whose name is synonymous with the NBA. Olajuwon may have been born in Nigeria, but he’s an American superstar. Starting out at the University of Houston, he came to the NBA with the Houston Rockets in 1984. Apropos of the Rockets, Olajuwon launched his legacy with a bang. That year he won, not just NBA MVP, but NBA Defensive Player of the Year and NBA Finals MVP. It goes without saying, he led the Rockets to an NBA title that year as well. He did the same thing the next year. Back to back championships!
So, what else has he done? Well, first of all he mentored players like Kobe Bryant and LeBron James, to name a couple. After retiring in 2002 from 18 seasons of play, he became a Houston real estate magnate. With huge investments in the city’s properties, his company, Palladio Development Ltd., churned out $100 million in profits. As a devout Muslim, he’s made his fortune interest free. He’s worth $200 million.
Dennis Rodman – World Diplomat
Hall of Famer Dennis Rodman won five NBA Championships in his 14-season career. Like a basketball genius, he is known as the best rebounding forward in NBA history, racking up points for the Pistons, the Spurs and the Bulls. The two-time All-Star’s attitude came before him. The many scuffles and tension with the NBA ultimately found him sampling other careers.
Rodman’s autobiography called, Bad As I Wanna Be, says it best, as if his tats, piercings and outrageous hairstyles didn’t say it already. He took his impetuous personality to Pro Wrestling and appeared in Hulk Hogan’s Celebrity Championship Wrestling ring, flamboyantly reveling in the acts. He starred in Hollywood movies, hosted an MTV gig, and ended up in North Korea chillin’ with communist dictator Kim Jong Un—becoming an American ambassador of sorts to the tiny section of the Korean peninsula. He’s lived life his way, unapologetically.
Shawn Bradley – Utah Rancher
You can’t miss this guy on the court. Even among giants, Shawn Bradley towered at 7-foot, six-inches. Bradley was drafted by the Philadelphia 76ers in 1993 after leaving Brigham Young. He went on to play center for the Nets and the Mavericks, leading the league in blocks in 1997. In 2005 he called it quits.
One of his post-retirement endeavors has been running for the House of Representatives as a 2010 Republican candidate. He lost that race, but he went on to be in the movie Space Jam. His day job is running a ranch. Finding a horse big enough to carry him is one of the challenges of working on the ranch. He enjoys operating heavy equipment and has his own heavy equipment rental company called Mammoth Machinery, also based in Utah. Bradley is also a devout Mormon. He and his wife of six children live on the Utah ranch.
Kenny Anderson - A Camp Director
NBA point guard, Kenny Anderson from Queens, N.Y., played for the New Jersey Nets and several other teams, staying four seasons with the Celtics. Straight out of Georgia Tech, after leading the team to the 1990 Final Four, he made the 1991 All-American first-team his rookie year. Anderson went on to make the All-Star team in 1994 and to enjoy a solid career, retiring in 2006. His advice to retirees of the NBA? He addresses an all-too-common problem: “Be cautious on who you allow to handle your finances,” adding, “You think you’re letting other people help you out but they could be stealing from you.”
High school basketball coaching became his day job after he left professional basketball. A DUI ejected him from that career, but he’s been running basketball camps in Florida and gets back on the court as a coach of youth travel league. Sadly, Anderson suffered a stroke in February of this year and is now recovering.
Karl Malone – Malone Properties Entrepreneur and Truck Driver
NBA Hall of Famer, Karl “The Mailman” Malone, delivered over 36K points over his 19-year career, ranking second in all-time NBA scoring history only to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Malone was a 14-time All-Star and a two-time NBA Most Valuable Player. Malone is a Utah Jazz staple, even after being retired for 20 years. An 8-foot-high bronze statue of his likeness stands in Salt Lake City. The next two decades of his life have been spent as a successful entrepreneur owning businesses from car dealerships to running a deer hunting venture called Malone Outfitters—Malone as your personal, licensed guide. He’s an avid hunter. His house in his home state of Louisiana looks like a taxidermist shop! It sits on a large timberland property.
One of his first business ventures out of retirement was harvesting the trees. He’s hands-on. Malone will actually haul the timber himself, apparently loving trucking. It gives him time to think. Recently he has opened some Louisiana businesses near his family home with his oldest daughter who’s got the entrepreneur bug too. She’s super proud of their Cigar and Vape Shop. They traveled to the Dominican Republic to research out the endeavor. In that Louisiana town they also own a restaurant together called Teriyaki Grill, Tactical by Karl Malone, a clothing store, plus an apartment complex for college students. It’s Ruston, Louisiana, but people just call it “Malone Town.” In Salt Lake City, where his auto dealerships are located, Malone Properties employs over 370 workers.
Brandon Roy - High School Basketball Coach
As a Portland Trailblazer shooting guard, Brandon Roy brought the team great hopes for a Hall of Fame player on their roster. In 2007 he confirmed their hopes earning Rookie of the Year and going on to become a three-time NBA All-Star. His intimidating basketball presence earned this compliment from Kobe Bryant who struggled to guard the Trailblazer: “Roy has no weaknesses in his game.” Unfortunately, his knee gave out and he retired in 2011. A comeback attempt in 2012 with the Timberwolves failed, sadly. Before Roy hit his 30s, he was out of the league.
It took him a few years to accept this fate. As a coach at his old high school, Garfield High in Seattle, being on the court again has put his mind at ease. “It was tough, not being able to play this game,” Roy said, “But I’m at peace now. Basketball is again in my life.” And, frankly, he doesn’t miss the demanding NBA schedule nor the bright taxing lights of fame. “I now love being able to go home and see my family at the end of the day,” Roy reflects.
Bryant Reeves – Cattle Rancher
This former NBA great loves retirement. Oklahoma State University basketball phenom Bryant Reeves led the team to the Final Four in 1995 and then landed a spot on the NBA expansion Vancouver Grizzlies as their first ever draft choice to play center. With a nickname like “Big Country,” he’s definitely big—a huge 300-pound presence on the court, notoriously evoking fear in the hearts and minds of all NCAA players. Unfortunately, unforgiving back pain resulting from injuries forced him to retire after just six seasons. He moved on.
The first thing he did was buy a John Deere tractor and a 300-acre cattle farm in Oklahoma. On those acres he’s built his dream house, a 15,000-square-foot ranch. He’s also enjoyed coaching T-ball for his son’s Little League team. And, he’s not ruling out going back to get involved with Oklahoma State’s basketball program. As for professional basketball, “I do miss the NBA, but now with three kids, I enjoy being at home. It was fun while it lasted,” said Reeves. Humbling words, indeed.
Wilt Chamberlain – Jack Of All Trades
This old school legend is regarded as one of the greatest players ever. Wilt Chamberlain averaged 30 points per game. In one game, he spectacularly scored 100 points! Chamberlain decided to perform with the Harlem Globetrotters before going into his illustrious NBA career. He started with the Philadelphia Warriors in 1959. Chamberlain famously led the Los Angeles Lakers to win the 1972 NBA Championship, taking the NBA MVP title as well, and becoming a Hall of Fame superstar. Not to mention, an early architect of the Laker’s electric fast break, showtime appeal.
Retiring at 37, Chamberlain branched out into many areas. He dabbled in real estate, scored some wins in stocks and made other profitable investments. He wrote an autobiography, Wilt: Just Like Any Other 7-Foot Black Millionaire Who Lives Next Door in 1973. He promoted brands, starring in TV commercials (do you remember Le Tigre?), tried coaching for a while, and even took a shot at Hollywood acting. The basketball icon is no longer with us. In 1999 he died at age 63.
Michael Ray Richardson – A Substitute Teacher
In 1978, Michael “Sugar” Ray Richardson hit the NBA with a sensational smash. He became a four-time All-Star; leading the league in assists, steals and scoring, he averaged about 15 points per game. His future was bright. He was supposed to rival Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Larry Bird. He should have been inducted into the Hall of Fame. Instead, in 1986, eight years into his career, all that ended. The NBA banned him from the league permanently—Sugar Ray failed his third drug test. His potential plummeted to zero.
It was the blow he needed to quash his devastating drug habit. Richardson went on to play professional basketball in Europe for the rest of his career, well into his forties. After a short coaching stint, he moved back to Oklahoma. He also took a job as a substitute teacher for preschool children. He actually worked for years to get certified to teach three and four-year-old’s. He hopes the NBA organization will take him back someday, meanwhile he runs a youth basketball clinic for underprivileged children with former teammate Otis Birdsong.
Dan Dickau – Owns a Barbarshop
In 2011, NBA star Dan Dickau retired after six seasons. The former Gonzaga University point guard was picked up by the Sacramento Kings in 2002 but traded several times to many different teams. Since retirement he’s tried to keep one foot in the court with coaching and as a college basketball sportscaster for CBS and ESPN. Also, he founded a youth basketball academy in Vancouver, but his business venture flopped within a year.
A more profitable business venture has been the hair stylist gig he and his wife launched in Spokane, Washington. It’s called The Barbers, a franchise operation, of which they now operate three! The service-heavy shops offer basic cuts and “the works,” including hot lather neck shaves and massage. The shops are sports oriented with walls plastered in TVs, framed jerseys and a wide range of sports paraphernalia. Shoot a game of pool while you wait, or snack on free popcorn and sodas. The Dickaus are new to the Spokane area, recently moving there from Vancouver. They give back to the community with sponsorships and donations.
Charlie Ward – High School Basketball Coach and Motivational Speaker
This unprecedented athlete was drafted for all three major professional sports leagues! At Florida State he won the Heisman trophy and was later inducted in the 2006 College Football Hall of Fame. Post-college, the NFL, NBA and MLB all clamored for Charlie Ward. He chose the NBA, suiting up with the N.Y. Knicks in 1994. His solid career as a 3-point-wizard point guard lasted 11 years. Ward’s commitment to charity work with groups like the Fellowship of Christian Athletes earned him NCAA recognition. “His leadership transcended offense, defense and special teams,” Mark Richt, now Miami Hurricanes head football coach, said of Ward. “It transcended the basketball court. The way he goes about his life with such integrity. I’ve learned as much from him as he ever did from me,” Said Richt, Ward’s former Florida State quarterback coach. Ward was presented with the NCAA John Wooden Keys to Life award in 2011.
His inspirational work as a motivational speaker is part of his giving nature, giving back to the community and beyond. Coaching high school kids is another way he provides leadership in the community. Currently, Ward is coaching basketball at Florida High School in Tallahassee. Previously, he coached four seasons of high school football at Booker T. Washington High School.
LaRue Martin – UPS District Affairs and Community Manager
In 1972, LaRue Martin was the number one draft pick of the Portland Trail Blazers and a Loyola University star. His career with the Trail Blazers flatlined, anticlimactically, ending just a few years later in 1976. Immediately, Martin knew he needed to get a real job. Initially taking one with Nike in Portland, he soon found better paying work as a driver for UPS. The company had to custom-make pants to fit his towering height!
Today he will tell you, “There is life after sports. Period.” He also said, once he retired, he had responsibilities, a family to take care of, and so he took the day job at UPS and patiently worked his way up through the UPS corporate chain to become UPS Illinois district public affairs and community services manager. He’s proud of his accomplishments and work ethic. He also enjoys sitting on the board of the National Basketball Retired Players Association.
Steve Francis - An Entrepreneur
Steve Francis’ entrepreneurial spirit took off early with selling crack on the corner of his crime-infested city at age 10, but he escaped the dingy city for the bright lights and fast fame of the NBA. “It was messed up. I’m not glorifying it I got robbed at gunpoint a million times. I got my ass beat a million times. I saw drive-bys. But honestly, if you ask me what really scared me the most, . . . the drugs. The needles, man. The pipes. The PCP. The people slumped over with that look in their eyes.” A front and center view of the American crack epidemic.
Despite it all, he managed to land a decent NBA career. Drafted second overall in 1999, he was named NBA Rookie of the Year and was a three-time All-Star. His 9-season career was not long enough for Francis. Transitioning out would not be easy, it took a huge emotional toll, compounded by Francis who treated it with heavy drinking. When he pulled it together, he got into several business ventures. Out of his passion for music he launched a hip-hop label called Mazerati Music. It’s difficult for professional athletes, who have already had so much fortune, to strike it big again in the entertainment industry. Likewise, Mazerati Music sits on the shelf. Francis also launched a clothing line called We r One.
Evan Eschmeyer - An Attorney
Evan Eschmeyer headed back to Northwestern for a law degree just four years into his NBA career. Starting out at Northwestern, as the best men’s basketball player in the history of Wildcats basketball, Eschmeyer was courted by many pro teams. He went with the Nets in the 1999 NBA draft. Two years later he was traded to the Dallas Mavericks. Persistent knee problems forced him to make a tough decision. Doctors told him to retire or risk never being able to play basketball with his children. Eschmeyer had to let go of a dream. “Being forced out of the NBA was one of the most difficult things I have ever been through,” Eschmeyer said, “Imagine you take a world-class painter and cut off his hands so he can never paint again. All of a sudden basketball was gone.”
Today, he and his wife and their three children live in Ohio. As a business attorney with a family farm to run, he keeps very busy. Half the time he’s working as an attorney with a renewable energy fellowship for the Environmental Law & Policy Center helping renewable energy entrepreneurs get started. Life after basketball can be sweet too.
Shawn Kemp – Restaurant and Bar Owner
Shawn Kemp blasted into the NBA as a first-round draft pick for the Seattle SuperSonics in 1989. At 19, he was the youngest player in the league. When Gary Payton joined the team, the two dazzled and dominated the court. “Shawn was a freak of nature,” Payton said, “It’s a great feeling as a point guard. I knew anytime he’d say, ‘WOO!’ . . . that’s my sign . . . I could just throw it anywhere and he’d just go and get it.” The Sonics were hot in the mid ‘90s. During Kemp’s tenure he racked up more than 15,000 points for the league. Today the six-time NBA All-Star is worth $5 million. He retired in 2003 with 14 NBA seasons under his belt.
Post-retirement, he has spent his time and energy supporting the city he loves by joining the chorus of sports enthusiasts who are fighting to bring the Seattle SuperSonics back. He also supports the vitality of downtown Seattle with his restaurant and bar investments. The restaurant business is notoriously tough terrain. Kemp took his chances on a sports bar in Lower Queen Anne, Seattle. He called it Oskar’s Kitchen, apparently named after Oskar, Kemp’s pet fish that swam in the bar’s aquarium. Unfortunately, the establishment did not make it, closing in 2015. Today he’s part-owner of a trendy restaurant and lounge called Amber Seattle which marks its chic spot on First Avenue. He also holds investments in several other Seattle ventures.
Chris Washburn – Mortgage Company Collections
Chris Washburn’s future was so bright straight out of high school that he had to wear UV sunscreen. Washburn, one of three top high school basketball recruits in the entire nation, had the choice of virtually any college. He chose North Carolina State. His enormous size and agile hands brought the Wolfpack a powerful center. Despite his low grades, petty crimes and drug use, Washburn was selected in the 1986 NBA draft by the Golden State Warriors. By 1987 he checked into drug rehab. Washburn was not able to kick his addiction in time to live a professional basketball lifestyle. That hope summarily ended when he was slapped with a lifetime ban by the NBA in June of 1989. Third positive drug test, zero tolerance. He played only 72 games—career over.
Post-NBA, he bottomed out in total destitution, but finally overcame his vicious cocaine addiction. Washburn and his girlfriend tried their luck with a fried chicken restaurant in his hometown of Hickory, North Carolina, to little avail, doors closed in 2012. Most recently he’s been working the collections desk for mortgage companies while taking care of his elderly mother.
Latrell Sprewell – Priceline Pitchman
Another outrageous NBA personality is Latrell Sprewell. Notoriously, he grabbed his coach by the neck after the Golden State Warriors coach told him his passing was bad. He lost his contract and was suspended from the NBA for a year.
Other than that, he was a great player. He was a 4-time All-Star and made All-NBA First Team in 1994. However, at 36 years of age, Sprewell landed himself in retirement. It was 2005, and he rejected a 3-year, $21 million contract with the Timberwolves, arguing it wasn’t enough. Then he had nothing. Sprewell faced serious financial hardship. A $200 million custody lawsuit didn’t help. So, he became a pitchman for Priceline with a measly net worth of 50 thousand bucks.
Michael Jordan – Billionaire Entrepreneur
This epic NBA legend is eponymous with the Bulls and Nike. His iconic image, getting air to slam dunk the Chicago Bulls to six, count them, six, NBA Championship titles, is unforgettable. It’s emblazoned on the popular Nike brand. Michael Jordan lives on. He’s the first to beat Wilt Chamberlain’s scoring record. Jordan’s record, leading the NBA in scoring for ten years, is unbroken. Unbreakable. Jordan has the unique distinction of retiring three times. After leaving the Bulls in 1993, he gave professional baseball a shot, but left MLB to go back to the Bulls. Retiring, again, in 1999, he left the court and took a desk for the Washington Wizards, only to come back to the court in 2001 for the Wizards. Apparently, he thought they needed better players.
In 2003, he retired from the NBA for the last time. Today, Jordan has a net worth of $1.65 billion. With the great wealth he amassed through the NBA and his teaming up with Nike, he purchased the second largest stake in the Charlotte Bobcats, now Hornets, and has several business ventures amongst his wide marketing associations and endorsements.
Shandon Anderson - Owns a Vegan Restaurant
Shandon Anderson enjoyed a respectable 10-year career with the NBA. It all started in 1996 when the Utah Jazz drafted the native Georgian. He went on to play for the Houston Rockets, the N.Y. Knicks and Miami Heat. In 2006 Anderson won a championship ring with Miami. He retired the same year.
Another claim to fame for Anderson is his vegetarianism. He began moving toward a vegan menu over 20 years ago, allowing some occasional fish and chicken. In 2010 he took the vegan lifestyle so seriously that he signed up for culinary courses. Bringing his love for art and food together, he established a restaurant called Drink Art, serving views of its art gallery and dishes of a yummy Thai/Vegan hybrid. The restaurant adventure lasted a brief three years before shutting its doors. Anderson’s doing just fine. He’s in his mid-forties and kickin’ it with a net worth of $22 million.
Tim Duncan – Mixed Martial Arts Fighter
As an NBA player, Tim Duncan was phenomenal. He’s considered one of the ten best NBA players of all time. With the San Antonio Spurs, he won five NBA titles, three Finals MVPs, and two league MVPs. Since he retired in 2016, he chills at his BlackJack Speed Shop, a tricked out custom car services shop and showroom, and in the MMA studio, learning a few moves. He’s formidable. No word yet if he’ll fight professionally.
Duncan has a giving heart and will occasionally be found personally handing out food to the less fortunate. A fan recognized him handing out food in San Antonio, home of the Spurs, in January. When Hurricane Irma hit the U.S. Virgin Islands, where he was born and raised, Duncan teamed up with the San Antonio Food Bank to help out. His long list of philanthropy is long.
Adrian Dantley - A Crossing Guard
Arguably the most unique post-NBA career move, Adrian Dantley works as a crossing guard, protecting children crossing the street at a local school in Maryland. Former NBA great and 2008 Basketball Hall of Famer, Dantley, was a two-time NBA scoring champ and a six-time All-Star for the Utah Jazz. He retired in 1991.
Since leaving his successful career behind, Dantley finds meaning in his $14K day job with the school district. “I’ve definitely saved two lives. I’ve almost gotten hit by a car twice,” said Dantley. It’s important work! And it gives his day structure. Just like basketball he has to show up on a schedule, and he’s got summers and holidays off. He also enjoys refereeing for youth basketball in his retirement years.
Antoine Walker – A Financial Adviser
Two years into his NBA retirement, Antoine Walker burned through $108 million—his entire earnings as a professional basketball player. An extravagant lifestyle, gambling, and overly generous habits, like acting as an open ATM for friends and family, sank him. Plus, a real estate investment firm he created called Walker Ventures, heavily weighted in undeveloped properties, succumbed to the 2008 Recession. It all added up to a bankruptcy filing in 2010.
His future looked stellar from his view in 1996 as an NCAA basketball champion and a Celtics top pick. He was only 20 years old. His superstar career brought unimaginable wealth to a boy who had only known inner city poverty growing up in Chicago. Now he’s working as a financial advisor to warn others about the perils of poor money management, and he’s put out a documentary to prove it called, Gone in an Instant.
Scottie Pippen – Arkansas Rancher and ESPN Analyst
Legendary Chicago Bulls forward, Scottie Pippen, hardly needs an introduction. His Bulls jersey is reverently retired next to Michael Jordan’s, Jerry Sloan’s and Bob Love’s. He and Jordan were an indomitable duo in the ‘90s, clinching an astounding six NBA Championships. Pippen is one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History and a seven-time All-Star, plus, All-Star MVP in 1994. His career stretched an admirable 17 seasons. He finally gave up the ball in 2005 only to attempt an ill-fated comeback in 2007.
When he finally settled down and retired, he said, “I’m a family man and I couldn’t be happier.” He bought a farm with his brother in Hamburg, Arkansas, their hometown. Pippen lives in Florida, leaving the grunt work on the livestock ranch for his brother. Besides promoting global brands like Nike and the Bulls, he’s also teamed up with Market America, another brand he finds worthy of his name. Pippen also works for ESPN as an NBA analyst in his spare time.
Vinnie Johnson – CEO Piston Group
Vinnie Johnson built a Hall of Fame basketball career and an automotive empire. Shooting hoops from 1979 to 1992 for the NBA, Johnson led the Detroit Pistons to back-to-back Championships in 1989 and 1990, memorably slipping in a 14-foot shot with .7 seconds left on the clock to clinch the 1990 title. And now he’s leading the automotive industry in Detroit with his automotive supply empire called the Piston Group.
In 1992 Johnson called it quits, leaving the court and going straight to work. By the time the Pistons retired his number in 1995, Johnson was launching his company, Piston Automotive. Since then the company has grown by leaps and bounds, rising from a small Detroit supply chain to a global supplier. He knows what he’s doing. “I’m an ex-jock,” Johnson said, “I know that. But I also know that if you put a good team around you, you can accomplish anything.” Indeed.
Jay Williams – Author and Spokesman
A terrible motorcycle accident wiped out Jay Williams’ NBA career. After just one season with the Bulls, he wrapped his motorcycle around an electrical pole at 70 m.p.h. and the Bulls management let him go. Working hard, hustling with Duke to win the 2001 NCAA Championship, Williams won second pick for the Bulls in 2002, and then it all ended that same year.
He tried a comeback in 2006 with the Nets, but it didn’t work out. Instead he’s worked as a college basketball analyst for ESPN and CBS. He’s a motivational speaker and, in that vein, he’s penned an autobiography called, Life Is Not an Accident: A Memoir of Reinvention. Williams also took on an advertising gig as spokesperson for a N.Y. bank.
Rony Seikaly – D.J.
Rony Seikaly dons the D.J. booth for the music. “I’m not doing this to become famous. I’m doing this just to share the love, and to share the music.” As his first love, the Lebanese-born Seikaly was spinning disks at age 14, hosting garage parties for friends. He grew up in Athens, Greece but moved to the U.S. to attend Syracuse in 1984. Seikaly delivered a NCAA championship to the university and was then drafted by Miami Heat in 1988. He kicked off his NBA career leading the Heat in scoring and winning the NBA’s Most Improved Player Award in 1990. Seikaly played for the Warriors, the Magic and the Nets, and after a decade as a professional basketball center, he moved on to his true passion, music.
In 2005, after years of spinning records and dubbing sounds for fun, he began scratching and mixing music at clubs from L.A. to Ibiza, Spain. He’s made it his business. Real work, for pay.
Gilbert Arenas – Sportscaster
Gilbert Arenas may have entered the NBA as a second-round, 31st-draft pick, but the San Fernando Valley point guard proved his stuff to the Golden State Warriors after winning the NBA Most Improved Player Award and going on to become a 3-time All-Star. “Agent Zero” Arenas, a nickname that stemmed from his jersey number, also helped lead the Washington Wizards to playoff games averaging 29.3 points per game, far more than zero, the amount he quipped experts predicted of him. By 2013 he retired from the NBA after over a decade of play.
Agent Zero’s NBA career raked in $163 million, but he hasn’t been able to quit basketball. Arenas has gone from broadcasting basketball news to training to get back on the court. He airs a daily sports show for Complex News on their YouTube channel, and he has his own, personal podcast called No Chill Productions. And now, seven years out of retirement, Arenas has signed with the BIG3 league to play basketball this summer. On his podcast he admitted he’d been training for it all year.
Bill Walton – Sports Announcer
In 1972 and 1973, Bill Walton led the UCLA men’s basketball team to back-to-back NCAA Championships. By 1974, the Portland Trail Blazers picked Walton in the first round of the NBA draft. By 1977 he led the NBA Trail Blazers to their first Championship as the Most Valuable Player of the 1977 play off season. Walton traded to the Celtics in 1985, just in time to join Boston in clinching the NBA Championship that year.
Bill Walton retired in 1987 but made just as much of a splash in broadcasting. Overcoming a debilitating stutter, Walton became an always entertaining and sometimes controversial NBA sports commentator for NBC, CBS, ABC and ESPN. His vibrant career in broadcasting stretches over three decades, dwarfing his 13-year basketball career. Walton’s a free spirit and, notoriously, a devoted deadhead.
Vin Baker – Starbucks Management
Here’s a story about someone who did not fare as well transitioning into retirement. Vin Baker’s on-the-court career was stupendous. Baker was a four-time All-Star, one of the league’s top offensive forwards, and a powerhouse for the Boston Celtics. Playing for 13 seasons, he earned over $100 million dollars. In 2005, he was forced to retire. A few years later, it was all gone. Poof. He drowned his sorrows in booze until he hit his bottom.
Unfortunately, it’s an all too common story for the young and super-wealthy: irresponsible spending, a user lifestyle, and predatory financial management, a recipe for disaster. As a recovering alcoholic, Baker takes it as it is. He’s become a better man, he’s become a man. As a minister at his father’s church—for parishioners, for his family, and for his wife and four kids—he tells the story about how we can bounce back from the deepest drops. He also credits former SuperSonics boss, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, for helping him pull his life together. Down and out, Baker worked behind the counter at Starbucks. He was managing a Starbucks franchise by 2015. In 2018 he got back on the court coaching for the Milwaukee Bucks.
Maceo Baston – Cupcake Bakery
Maceo Baston played basketball for the NBA and all over the world. It all started in 1998 when he was drafted by the Bulls. He didn’t actually play for the NBA until he made the roster with the Toronto Raptors, and then with the Indiana Pacers, bouncing back and forth between the Raptors and the Pacers. In 2010 Baston left the NBA and played for the Israeli league where he had been a three-time Israeli League champion.
By 2011, Baston wrapped up his basketball career. He did some coaching. He mentors his son on the court. Most notably, he and his wife started a cupcake business called Taste Love Cupcakes in Royal Oak, Michigan. Baston’s company competed in the Food Network’s Cupcake Wars and won top prize. $10,000!
Tom Chambers – NBA Announcer
Tom Chambers kicked off his NBA career in 1981 with the Phoenix Suns. As one of the league’s best shooters, he racked up more than 20,000 points over his distinguished 16-year career. In 1987, Chambers won All-Star MVP, and he was a 4-time All-Star player. Chambers also scored liberally for the SuperSonics. He played five seasons with the Sonics.
Chambers retired in 1998 leaving the 76ers behind. Unable to veer too far from courtside stardom and excitement, he started a second career as a sports announcer for FOX Sports Arizona covering the Phoenix Suns. Breeding horses on his ranch in Utah is also a passion of his. He and his family all adore the place they call Shooting Star Ranch.
Greg Oden – Ohio State Student
In 2007, Greg Oden led the Ohio State University basketball team to the Big Ten Championship. Later that year, amongst predictions of a Hall of Famer future, the Portland Trail Blazers drafted Oden. He sat out his rookie year with a knee surgery injury, which, along with other injuries, would plague his career. He stayed with the NBA from 2007 – 2016, but, arguably, his career never took off. He spent most of the time on the bench. Facing retirement at 28 years old, Oden had a few decisions to make.
Back at Ohio State University, he’s starting over. “Since I’ve been in fourth grade, all I’ve known was basketball. I’m just trying to better myself and work on my degree and set something up for the future of my family,” Oden said. He majored in education and sports industry in order to land a coaching job. As a student, he’s had the position of student manager to the Ohio State Buckeyes men’s assistant basketball coach.
Oscar Robertson – NBA Player Advocate
Oscar Robertson is one of the original NBA greats, the Michael Jordan of his day, and one of the league’s founding players. In league history, Robertson is known as the greatest all-around player. Robertson was league MVP in 1964. Of his stellar 14-year career, he was a 12-time All-Star, and won All-Star MVP in three All-Star games. His Hall of Fame career ended in 1974. Robertson went on to live an exemplary life.
Robertson is credited for bringing free agency to NBA players, as well as significant pension benefits, after filing a 1970s lawsuit against the NBA. Once the ire of league management, he’s now embraced. In fact, in 2018 the NBA presented him with the Lifetime Achievement Award. Today, Robertson is widely admired for his player advocacy. Growing up in poverty in Indianapolis, Robertson worked hard to get out of the ghetto. After the NBA he became a successful small business entrepreneur, giving back to the community with his and his wife’s, Oscar and Yvonne Robertson Scholarship Fund. The fund assists in-need minority students. His NBA advocacy legacy also lives on. Robertson wrote, “All my adult life I’ve been paving the way for those who followed. That was true in 1970, when I was head of the players association and we sued the NBA to reform the league’s free-agency and draft rules. We won, and the victory led to higher salaries—for all players.”
Kevin Garnett — TNT “Area 21” Host
Kevin Garnet unofficially announced his retirement via Instagram video in 2016. An emotional farewell speech concluded with, “Thank you for the journey.” Now Garnett has embarked upon a new journey with TNT as host of the show “Area 21.” The format is similar to a daytime talk show. Garnett discusses NBA games and league-wide current events with guests. His lively and animated presence interviewing players and other guests has made the show a fan favorite.
Keven Garnett’s NBA career made him one of the greatest power forwards of all time. He played for the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Boston Celtics, bringing the Celtics an NBA championship during his first year with the team. For that championship series, he won third place for the Most Valuable Player award. In the NBA, Garnett is one of only four players who won both the MVP and Defensive Player of the Year awards in a single season. That ranks him with NBA greats Michael Jordan, Hakeem Olajuwon, and David Robinson. The 15-time All-Star’s NBA rap sheet is something to be proud of.
David West — Ambassador for Zoetic Global
David West has enjoyed an outstanding career with the NBA. He’s a two-time NBA All-Star and a two-time NBA champion with an enviable 15 seasons under his belt. Drafted by the Hornets, he also played for the Pacers and the Spurs. His first championship win came in 2017 with the Golden State Warriors, defeating the Cleveland Cavaliers 4-1. West signed with the Warriors for another year and won the championship again that year. And then, with that championship win over the Denver Nuggets, West retired. Hanging up his sneakers at the top of his game, he went out triumphantly. One of the lucky ones.
Following his retirement, he said that his passion in life is working toward bringing clean energy to Africa, to those who do not have access to electricity. “That’s really my life’s work, the commitment that I have to making sure that the continent benefits from technology and things in the world that can really help.” West made a $150K investment in Zoetic and serves as an ambassador and brand developer for strategic outreach and brand development. Other jobs he’s looking at are coaching, both at the college and pro level. But not yet. In his mid-30s. he’s got plenty of time to work.
Boris Diaw — President of Metropolitans 92
With a tweet and a vid, Boris Diaw announced his retirement from the NBA. “This is it. . . It was a good run.” And with that, he sailed off to live on a boat with two of his bros. Sweet departure. Diaw is a French basketball star who has played 14 seasons in the NBA. He towered as a power forward for the Suns, the Spurs, the Hawks, the Jazz, and the Bobcats. The 6-foot-8 forward also racked up medals and titles playing for two separate French teams in the European league. He won his first NBA championship with the San Antonio Spurs in 2014. He led in total assists and was second in total rebounds to defeat the Miami Heat 4-1.
This summer, Diaw was named the president of Levallois Metropolitans, a French team he played with during the 2017-2018 season. The team is based in Levallois-Perret and competes at the highest-tier level of French basketball. Metropolitans 92 won the French Cup in 2013 and the Match des Champions in 2013. Pretty cushy job. He’ll have to leave his boat for a few months to preside over the team!
Lloyd Walton – Counselor
Lloyd Walton signed with the Milwaukee Bucks in 1976. The 6-foot-1 point guard played four seasons before retiring in 1980. In 2018 he was hired on as a Certified Life Coach after completing a doctoral degree in organizational leadership. He is only the third player in NBA history to achieve this level of education. Currently, he mentors NBA players as a career counselor for the National Basketball Players Association. He assists athletes as a personal life coach to guide them with their transition planning goals. He also provides motivational speaking leadership.
We tell them 4.7 years is the average career, so that means when you are 25, 26 years old, your dream is over. They need to be ready for life after basketball. As a practicing counselor, that’s what Lloyd Watson tells the young athletes. Now he knows. When he was a recent retiree from the NBA, he learned the lesson the hard way. Taking off his jersey for the last time, he suddenly realized that scoring ten-plus points a game was not going to get him hired at IBM. After he left the court, he held various assistant coaching positions as well as a position as Executive Director of the James Jordan Boys & Girls Club in Chicago.
Mo Williams — Coach
Mo Williams hit the NBA scene as a 2003 draft pick by the Utah Jazz. As a rookie, he scored about 5 points per game. But free agency found him on the Milwaukee Bucks’ roster the following year. With the Bucks, Williams upped his game point average to 10.2 and provided over 6 assists each match. By 2006, the Bucks traded him to the Toronto Raptors, but Miami Heat acquired him by December of that year. His best run was with the Cleveland Cavaliers where he won his first NBA championship and made the All-Stars in 2016. With the Cavaliers, he and LeBron James sparked up an electrifying and formidable alliance on the court.
In 2017, after wavering to commit to a 14th season, Williams retired from the Cavaliers. Two years later, he’s got a new gig. California State University, Northridge took Williams on as an assistant coach for the men’s basketball team. The players, who are young enough to recall Williams and LeBron mixing it up on the hardwood, are starstruck. They admire and respect their new coach and his 13-year NBA career.
Jason Richardson – Student
Since Jason Richardson retired from the NBA four years ago, he’s been staying at home coaching his son, Jason Richardson, Jr., and finishing a degree in sports business. Coaching is tempting, he said, but, “I’m more interested in how you put a team together, the salary cap, getting teams to work well together.” Working in an NBA front office is his goal these days. That, and helping his boy achieve a pro basketball career.
As a 14-season pro basketball player, his goal as a shooting guard was scoring points for the Golden State Warriors. In 2002 and 2003, he won the NBA Slam Dunk Contest. He made the All-Rookie First Team in 2002. Williams also played for the Charlotte Bobcats, Phoenix Suns, Orlando Magic and the Philadelphia 76ers. Sadly, due to bone spurs in his knee, he was forced to retire. He was advised by doctors that continuing to play might permanently impair his ability to walk.
Metta World Peace – Coach
Metta World Peace, known as Ron Artest until 2011, took the old school road to the pros. Growing up in the projects of Queens, New York, he was discovered on neighborhood basketball courts playing hoops with some rough elements. In one YMCA-sponsored basketball event, a player was stabbed to death with a broken stick. No sweat. Artest took a scholarship at St. John’s University and led the Red Storm to the Big East Conference. He spent his summer breaks showboating at high-profile N.Y.C. summer basketball tourneys, earning him nicknames like “The New World Order.” In 1999, he was drafted by the Chicago Bulls. His NBA career spanned 18 glorious years.
A career highlight occurred during the Lakers/Celtic championship game. Kobe passed to Artest and, with less than a minute left in Game 7 of the NBA finals, he sank a 3-pointer. Artest’s basket sealed the win for the Lakers’ 2010 championship. They haven’t made it to the finals since. Metta World Peace says he’s still grateful for the moment that was the “biggest shot” of his career. A new documentary about his somewhat stormy life on the court released this summer. Titled, “Quiet Storm: The Ron Artest Story,” it was produced by Bleacher Report and premiered on Showtime. Today he’s working for his favorite team. He started coaching the South Bay Lakers, which is the L.A. Lakers’ development-league team, in 2017.
Roy Hibbert – Coach
Roy Hibbert, a Jamaican-American two-time NBA All-Star retired in 2017 after nine seasons. He was drafted 17th overall by the Toronto Raptors but flipped to the Indiana Pacers during the 2008 draft. With the Pacers, he fortified the team’s defensive front until 2015. The 7-foot-2 center earned NBA All-Defensive Second Team in 2014. His offense wasn’t too shabby either. He averaged 10.8 points per game at his peak. He also contributed 6.6 rebounds and 2.2 blocks.
At the ripe old age of 30, Hibbert called it quits. And now, the Philadelphia 76ers have invited him to coach. He will serve in a player development role, mentoring young Sixers players build their basketball skills and learn a thing or two about defense. Bleacher Report suspects Hibbert will work with Joel Embiid, the Sixers center who might get a few tips from Hibbert’s experience dominating as center.
Manu Ginobili — Batman
Manu Ginobili is an Argentine-Italian professional basketball player who debuted on the La Rioja Argentine basketball league team in 1995. He joined the NBA in 2002 signing with the San Antonio Spurs. The 6-foot-6 shooting guard is a 2-time All-Star and an NBA Sixth Man of the Year. He followed up his Italian League and EuroLeague championships by becoming a 4-time NBA champion. His illustrious career spanned an impressive 23 seasons. In 2018 he called it quits. What’s he been up to? Enjoying his retirement, living the life, visiting family in Argentina, and spending time with his kids.
Since retirement, job offers have come pouring in. Notably, he’s been offered a Senior Asset Manager position by a retired NBA colleague and a job as a bat-removal field technician for Terminix. He gained a significant amount of respect and notoriety from the Spurs fan base when, during a home court game against the Kings in 2009, he demobilized a pesky bat. He performed the same bat eradication stunt at San Antonio’s AT&T Center in 2015. The “batman” has not returned a response to the San Antonio branch manager of Terminix who said he waited a decade to propose the deal.
Jonathan Bender – Medical Device Inventor
Jonathan Bender was only 25 years old when unrelenting knee injuries forced him into retirement. Chosen fifth overall in the first round of the 1999 draft by the Toronto Raptors, lofty expectations of the 7-foot-tall power forward were not unwarranted. The talented 3-point scorer appeared to have a spectacular career ahead of him. Leaving Mississippi State University to play in the NBA was a smart move, but also a decision that left him without a college degree after his forced departure from the league. However, his pro ball income lifted him out of poverty.
Bender came from a poor area of Picayune, Mississippi. The situation only worsened after his father passed away when he was 12. By the time of retirement, he was the new head of household financially supporting 10 members of his family. The pressure to regain income found him scrambling for career options. After a series of failed business endeavors and debt, he had another idea. Bender invented something. It was a medical gadget devised to take the stress off of joints. Partnering with stores like Relax the Back, Bender quickly exceeded his first annual revenue goal of $500,000. As an entrepreneur and inventor, he and his company jbit MedPro have made him a success story once again.
Paul Pierce – CBD Entrepreneur
Legendary Celtic Paul Pierce achieved a phenomenal 20-season career in the NBA. The Boston Celtics chose him in Round 1 of the 1998 draft as the 10th pick overall. Good pick! The 10-time All-Star helped the Celtics clinch the 2008 finals championship title. He was named NBA Finals MVP in that contentious match against the Lakers. Pierce averaged 22 points per game during that series. But that wasn’t when he was dubbed “The Truth.” In 2001, after a matchup with the Lakers, Shaquille O’Neal nicknamed him saying, “Paul Pierce is The Truth.” The Lakers may have won that game, but Shaq was recognizing Pierce’s formidable force on the court. He put 42 points on the scoreboard that night.
Not quite a year earlier, tragedy struck. Hanging out a local Boston night club, Pierce was stabbed 11 times in his face, neck and back. A teammate rushed him to a nearby hospital. Prompt attention saved his life. He revealed later that the trauma of the attack caused post-traumatic stress and depression. He used cannabidiol (CBD) to cope with pain and depression after the assault. Most recently, Pierce opened a new line of CBD products called The Truth. “I created The Truth CBD Remedies to offer athletes a product they’d not only enjoy, but fully trust,” Pierce stated. Another post-retirement endeavor he’s enjoyed is being a sports analyst for ESPN.
Caron Butler – Burger King Franchise Owner
After a tumultuously rough start in life, Caron Butler vanquished the odds and lived to tell of his stellar success. In his 2015 autobiography titled, Tuff Juice: My Journey from the Streets to the NBA, Butler shares his experience dealing drugs and his time in prison for possession of cocaine and firearms. At one youth detention center he spent some time at, Butler discovered basketball. He joined a league, got his stuff together, enrolled in college and was selected by Miami Heat in the first round of the 2002 draft. The 2-time NBA All-Star achieved a 14-year career. He played with several teams including the Lakers, the Dallas Mavericks, and the Washington Wizards.
One legit job Butler held growing up was flipping patties as a Burger King associate. Now he owns six of the burger joints. To this end, he took business courses at Duke University. He also has some post-NBA income flowing in after joining ESPN as a college and NBA basketball analyst. As of 2018, he’s been an NBA analyst at FS1.
Matt Barnes – Business Tycoon
After a solid 14-season career, Matt Barnes announced his retirement on Instagram. Next to a photo of himself, he wrote, “Had a cool 15yr run!!” Adding, “#BillionaireBy50.” He also enlightened us with some of those business goal details, like dressing classy caj for business meetings and raking in more money off the court than on. At 39 with a $10 million net worth, he’s got some a few dunks to sink into his financial portfolio before he hits that goal.
Barnes suited up for a laundry list of NBA teams, but he spent a few years each with the Golden State Warriors and the Sacramento Kings. With the Kings, he secured an NBA championship. The small forward was also known for his in-your-face attitude. He racked up quite a few fines and suspensions for speaking his mind on the court. After kicking a water bottle into the stands while cursing at the opposing team’s fans, he was fined $25K. He’d receive three more fines like that. That makes $100K, but who’s counting, just another notch on his “bad boy” schtick.
David Harrison – Stock Trader
David Harrison’s NBA career wasn’t the best. The Louisville, Kentucky McDonald’s All-American went to the University of Colorado and was selected by the Pacers in the 2004 draft. He was brought on to become the team’s second or third-string center, but due to teammate injuries, he became a starter right off the bat. Good news, right?! Not exactly. Averaging 5.7 points and 3.8 rebounds per game, his performance was not spectacular. The Pacers did not renew his contract, and after four years, he was done. He pulled in about $4.5 million before heading off to play for the Chinese basketball league. By 2012 he was off the court for good.
Shortly after his career ended, desperate, Harrison took a job at McDonald’s. He worked the midnight shift to avoid face-recognition. In 2015 when he was just 32, he said that most of his NBA salary was gone and there was no money coming in. “People were showing up trying to take my car. My house was in foreclosure. I didn’t have any income. I just had everything going out.” Currently, he’s working as a stock trader trying to lock in some earnings, though it’s hard to say how much capital he has to work with. Since 2015, he’s held a head coach position at the Action Sports Academy, so there’s that.
Mike Miller – Energy Drink Entrepreneur
Winner of the 2001 NBA Rookie of the Year Award, Mike Miller debuted with the Orland Magic after he was selected in the 2000 NBA draft. In the 2006-07 season, with an average of 13.7 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 2.7 assists, playing only 30 minutes per game, Miller pulled off a win for the Sixth Man of the Year Award. Miller was also a fan fav for his unflinching determination to play through injuries. These days, Miller yet has his head in the game. The ex-NBA star is coaching the Memphis Tigers college basketball team.
After an illustrious 17-year career, he procured the assistant coach position. But Miller is a businessman at heart. He got into business launching Let it Fly, his energy drink company. Most recently, back at home, he opened up a sports bar called Let it Fly located in the Germantown area of Memphis. Miller calls it, “The city’s bar.” The cavernous 4,500-square-foot hang out features full swing golf simulators, a slider bar, 15 varieties of hot wings, and more TVs than you can shake a stick at.
Tayshaun Prince – NBA Exec
Tayshaun Prince is a 2008 Summer Olympics gold medalist with the U.S. national basketball team, an NBA champion, and now he's the lucky prize winner of a cushy and coveted NBA front-office gig. In 2006, he starred with Snoop Dogg in the hip hop inner-city horror flick Hood of Horror. The Compton, California-born star has lived a charmed life.
A solid 10-year run with the Pistons included an NBA championship and four All-Defensive Second Team awards, Prince went on to charm the Grizzlies' roster until 2015. Moving on, his 14-year career ended with the Timberwolves in 2016. By August 2017, Prince returned to the NBA, but this time, as a special assistant to general manager Chris Wallace. This year he was promoted to vice president of basketball affairs and will oversee all communications between the front office, coaching staff, and the locker room. He’s valued by the front office for his excellent rapport with the players.
James Jones—NBA Exec
Jones jumped on board with the Pacers in the second round of the 2003 draft. He played small forward for the Pacers until he was traded to the Suns in 2005. Injuries kept him on the bench, but he won a $4 million-dollar contract with Miami Heat. He had it renewed four years later. He also won his first NBA Championship with the Heat.
After 14 seasons with teams Indiana Pacers, Phoenix Suns, Portland Trail Blazers, Miami Heat, and Cleveland Cavaliers, this 38-year-old ex-NBA traded in his high-tops for the position of vice president of basketball operations position for the Phoenix Suns in July of 2017, precluding his return to the 2018 season.
Amar’e Stoudemire – IBSL Player and Owner
Starting in 2007, he made the All-Star team a remarkable five consecutive years. On top of that, he was named All-NBA Team five times. A relentless force for the Phoenix Suns, his legacy includes scoring an average of 21.4 points per game, ranking him fourth overall in Suns team history. In July of 2016, he signed with the New York Knicks so he could end his career as a Knick. He announced his retirement the same day.
Of course Stoudemire couldn’t leave basketball behind. He relocated to Israel to compete in the IBSL league with Hapoel Jerusalem. As part-owner, he had no problem sealing a playing contract. However, on September 1, 2017, he announced his retirement once again. And now, Stoudemire is coming out of retirement to yet again help out the Hapoel team. In the past, he’s won two Israeli League championship titles, one in 2016 and again in 2017. Plus, he’s won the Israeli Cup, the All-EuroCup Second Team Award, and two All-Stars Awards. Quite a curriculum vitae. Add to that, actor and producer. He’s known for MacGruber, Beyond the Lights and Trainwreck.
Elvin Hayes – Police Officer
Elvin Hayes is old-school. When he attended the University of Houston, he was one of two black players on the team. In 1966, Hayes took the Cougars to the Western Regional semi-finals of the NCAA tournament. His performance got him selected in the 1968 NBA draft by two teams. He went with the San Diego Rockets. He became one of the NBA’s most unrelenting scorers and rebounders in league history. He was inducted in the Basketball Hall of Fame and is a member of the NBA 50th Anniversary All-Time Team.
Hayes always wanted to be a police officer. In 2007, his dream came true when he became a City of Liberty Police Reserve Officer. After retiring, he went back to the university to finish off his undergrad studies. Finishing up those last 30 credits was tough! When interviewed, he said, “I played 16 years of pro basketball, but this is the hardest thing I’ve ever done.” Most recently, Hayes is a radio analyst for Cougar games on Houston’s KBME. He also owned a car dealership and did some acting. He appeared in three films.
David Robinson – Venture Capitalist
Legendary NBA great David Robinson wore No. 50 for the Spurs his entire career, choosing the number in deference to NBA idol Ralph Sampson. He joined the organization in 1989 when San Antonio was the worst NBA franchise ever known to the league. Robinson’s 14-season career as a center for the Spurs lasted until 2003. As a 10-time All-Star and a 4-time All-NBA First Team, he was an incalculable asset. In 1995 he won NBA MVP. He’s been inducted into the Hall of Fame twice. He’s one of the greatest centers to play the game. In 2003 he announced his retirement.
After retiring, Robinson became a venture capitalist. As a prominent businessman, he sits on the board at USAA Federal Savings Bank. He founded the Admiral Capital Group, a leading venture capital firm. He is also renowned for his contributions to philanthropy and education. His advice after unparalleled success? “Honor God with your first fruits.”