There’s a real chance, I’m told, that the forthcoming labor deal will enable teams to sign prized first-round draft choices to extensions after Year 2 of their rookie-scale deals. Players are currently eligible for such extensions after Year 3, resulting in the mega-contracts we saw over the summer for Portland’s C.J. McCollum and Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo and the flurry of deals (Rudy Gobert, Steven Adams, Victor Oladipo, etc.) we just witnessed on Halloween.
You made big news in the sneaker world by deciding to sign with adidas. Why did you decide to sign with them? What was their pitch to you like? Kristaps Porzingis: What I loved about adidas the most is they give their athletes freedom; they let them create, they let them have a voice. In the meeting I had with them, everything I wanted to hear, I heard. It wasn’t about the money, I really felt that this was the brand for me, it felt right. I knew what I wanted at that point.
The league also follows up on that initial transition conference by holding meetings once or twice a season to focus even more on players being smart with their money. More recently, the National Basketball Players Association took another step in the right direction by partnering with Personal Capital, an online financial advisory firm that will offer players a free smartphone app that connects them with financial advisers and tracks their spending, investments and NBA-provided benefits. “Our tool meets the players where they are – on their phones,” said Chief Marketing Officer for Personal Capital Matt Goines in an interview with Market Watch. “I’m particularly interested in helping the rookies. When I started working with [former NFL head coach] Bill Walsh, he said, ‘These kids can make the dumbest decisions. Can you help them?’”
And it looks like this new app will do precisely that, giving players access to how much they’re spending and how much they still have in the bank. In a very real sense, this new feature will help players visualize the large quantities of cash that their brains probably would not have been able to otherwise. Already 50 players are using the service regularly, and Personal Capital obviously expects that number to grow. While Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson make more now as businessmen than they ever did as players, and while plenty of current NBA players have been smart in saving their money and hiring trustworthy financial advisers, not all young players are quite so savvy – particularly early in their careers.
Now, Williams is taking his obsession to the next level, partnering to develop a new gym in Deep Ellum named Fortis MMA. It’s not simply an investment to watch others work out, grapple or punch. Williams would like to compete when his NBA career is over. “I think it would be realistic,” he said. My coach “wants me to fight [in the cage]. I don’t know about that. I will do some jiu-jitsu grappling tournaments.”