It’s a common story throughout sports, the star athlete who squanders their enormous fortune because of frivolous spending habits. It’s been the subject of several books and research studies, as well as the ESPN 30 for 30 documentary Broke, each of which chronicle the cautionary tales of financial destitution that follow many athletes’ excessive spending.
There are a number of reasons why this happens, and in the past decade, the NBA has instituted the rookie program, which is designed to provide guidance and education to help avoid these pitfalls. Part of that includes mentoring from retired athletes, who can speak from personal experience and stand as examples of both what to do and what not to do. Now, retired NBA legend Tracy McGrady is partnering with a financial firm to take this all a step further and offer free counseling to those seeking advice.
“When you first start playing in the NBA, you never really think about all this money or the endgame,” he says by phone. “We’re just so in the moment, just trying to be the best we can be and perfect our craft. So especially when you’re in your prime, things are going well, you’re making a lot of money, it’s about the moment. It’s about that moment in time. You’re never really thinking about life after basketball.”
McGrady himself is a model for responsible money management and savvy investing, having also developed his personal brand and evolved into an on-air personality for ESPN in recent years. He formed this partnership with Grant Haas of the firm Haas Portman Family Office, with the goal being to link athletes with financial experts who can guide them in building a sound and diverse portfolio that will set them up for long-term stability after their playing days are behind them.