Chris Paul could very well be entering the twilight of his NBA career. He was recently traded to the Thunder, and in what ended up being his final season with the Rockets, the star guard showed his age. Add in his contract and it makes sense why Oklahoma City is reportedly struggling to find a deal for him right now. However, that contract is likely a point of pride for Paul as the president of the National Basketball Players Association.
When Paul was coming up, he saw numerous athletes struggle with money, which didn’t make sense to him. Once he reached the league, though, he understood. A mix of people preying on players with their alleged best interests in mind and players not fully understanding the jargon of finance, he came to learn, was a dangerous mix.
“I’ve heard so many stories,” Paul said. “That’s why I try to talk to guys because it happens. 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.”
“I think the reason why I’m so passionate about this is because I’m finishing up my 14th year in the NBA, and 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,” he said. “Nobody talks about money, because it’s one of those uncomfortable things.”
Paul is now using his years of experience, plus the players he’s seen go through all of this, to try and to someone who gives advice to incoming rookies and even current vets about what they should do with their money with the hopes of preventing them from going into financial peril.
Paul might be a divisive player on the court, but off of it, he’s someone who is happy to lend a hand to his fellow players. Financials are just another way he can help.